Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on municipal and local data

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What is the Centre for Municipal and Local Data?

The Centre for Municipal and Local Data (CMLD) aims to provide users with more accurate, detailed, and accessible data about Canada's economy, society, and environment at a local level. This portal was developed as part of an ongoing collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and as part of Statistics Canada's Disaggregated Data Action Plan (DDAP). The CMLD works with municipalities and other partners to collect, publish, and improve the consistency and comparability of municipal data reporting via the Municipal Financial and Socioeconomic Data Dashboard. The CMLD makes it easier for Canadians to access and understand data about their local area, and helps policymakers and researchers make better decisions based on that data.

Statistics Canada, the FCM and its members are committed to working together to better understand and meet the data and information needs of communities from coast to coast to coast. By leveraging the FCM's established network, StatCan can broaden the discussion of data needs and establish a process that allows all municipalities to participate.

What products and tools are currently available?

The Statistics Canada Centre for Municipal and Local Data includes a Municipal Finance and Socioeconomic Data Dashboard and a Geospatial Mapping tool.

The Municipal Financial and Socioeconomic Data Dashboard combines financial indicators with socioeconomic indicators and allows for comparisons between municipalities. It includes exploratory Canadian Government Finance Statistics (CGFS) for individual municipalities that are obtained from published financial statements, adjusted to align with the agency's international standards.

The Data Catalogue includes cross-functional Statistics Canada indicators and tables from various surveys available at the Census Metropolitan Area, Census Agglomeration and Census Subdivision levels.

The Municipal Mapping Application, which provided users with access to Statistics Canada's geo-enabled data, is no longer available. To find statistical products by geography, please use the Geography - Find information by region or area.

Where can I find more information about government statistics?

The Government Statistics portal includes information related to all levels of government in Canada. As the official statistical agency, we disseminate reliable and objective information on the public sector and to measure all the fiscal activities of government entities, this project will improve access to municipal-level data for Canadians.

How does Statistics Canada enable comparability between municipalities?

Having reliable, comparable, and sufficiently detailed information cannot happen without statistical standards that clearly define the concepts being measured. This project is attempting to standardize the data as much as possible to allow for comparability across multiple municipalities. In a situation where the data cannot be standardized, supplemental information would be provided with the output to give users as much context about the estimates as possible. This would also allow users to determine the fit for use of the data for their analytical needs.

How will personal information be protected if more detailed data is being made available?

Statistics Canada has in place robust technology, practices, and controls to ensure the highest levels of security. All disaggregated data are subject to the same rigorous privacy and confidentiality standards required by law. To learn more, visit Statistics Canada's Trust Centre.

Statistics Canada only publishes data that is permitted under the Statistics Act – all municipalities financial information from financial statements is considered 'publicly available' due to citizens rights to ask their municipality for financial statements. For data not considered publicly available, a waiver is required to be signed by the municipality before Statistics Canada is allowed to publish these datasets. Although it is our goal to make the dataset be a benefit to municipalities included in the dissemination of the product, municipalities do have the right to refuse to sign the waiver.

I work for a municipality or local government. How can I get involved?

Municipalities interested in collaborating with Statistics Canada are welcome to contact us via the online form, or by email at

Learn more about Statistics Canada data.

Statistics Canada offers a wealth of information for all levels of data literacy. The Agency's flagship publication, Canada at a Glance, presents current statistics on Canadian society, including subjects such as the population, education, health, prices and the economy, among others. Updated annually, this booklet is a useful reference for those who want quick access to a current statistical portrait of Canada.

You can also visit Statistics Canada's Learning Catalogue for data literacy training resources.

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