Now you can actually know it all


Our friend Alice at punditsguide.ca continues to astound and confound with the depth of information she’s piling into her ultimate politics-geek website. The latest: 2006 Canada Census data, broken down by riding.

This is pure electoral-geek heaven. Alice explains: “Stats Can released the 2006 Census Data by Federal Electoral District (FED … i.e., federal riding) on June 26. My value-added is that I’ve scraped all that into my database, grouped and sub-grouped it, computed all the percentages, and computed each riding’s rank (nationally, regionally, provincially, and “local-region”-ally) both top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top, on each measure they provided.”

So say, hypothetically, there was a federal by-election coming in Westmount-Ville Marie. What would Alice’s charts and graphs tell us? So much. They would tell us so much. For instance…

We see that Westmount-Ville Marie has the country’s second-highest percentage of people who lived outside Canad 1 year ago and five years go, and the highest percentage of non-permanent residents. (Alice’s best guess: McGill and Concordia university students.) The riding is third in the country in knowledge of both official languages, sixth for people who claim Arab ethnicity, and last in the country in the number who have no post-secondary education at all.

I’d tell you more, but the charm of punditsguide is that you can decide for yourself what you want to look for and go data-mine for yourself. Here’s the link for the StatsCan data for the three ridings facing more or less imminent by-elections. The other 305 have all the same data, so you can get lost for hours…

St. Lambert, Quebec

Westmount-Ville Marie, Quebec

Guelph, Ontario


Now you can actually know it all

  1. Minor nit…. your wesmount link seems to be wrong on the bottom list (comes up st-lambert).

  2. Fixed. Thank you.

  3. Brilliant : thank you … this website is definitely bookmarked!

  4. Hi again Paul,

    One anonymous reader just wrote me to say that there was no census data on the Ottawa Centre page. However, when I looked at the URL from which the error report was submitted, the reader was looking at the Ottawa Centre page from the *old* representation order (i.e., the 1996 rep order), rather than the *current* representation order (i.e., the 2003 representation order under which we’re currently running elections).

    Could I piggy-back onto your comments section here to remind guide users to ensure they select the correct riding? I don’t have the older census data in for the older ridings yet, and put that as a bit of a lower priority, although I will get to it eventually).

    If searching for a riding like “Ottawa Centre”, and you get two choices returned:

    ON-03: Ottawa Centre
    ON-96: Ottawa Centre

    You will usually want the first one, unless you’re looking historially.

    The correct link for the current version of Ottawa Centre is:

    ON-03: Ottawa Centre


  5. Very cool and useful!

  6. Just wanted to shout out a thank you to one of your readers, “MG” from Edmonton, who caught a little problem with the upside down rankings of non-count measures under the Region heading (and if your head is spinning after that one, you’ll realize just what an eagle eye MG has).

    He wondered why the reverse rank always equalled the rank in that case. The answer was, I made a transcription error. Hence the self-correcting nature of the internet works to all our benefits once again. Good catch, MG; it’s fixed up now.

    thanks again

  7. Paul,

    Thanks for this. I’m on information overload right now. The most interesting thing I found was that Tom King is running in Guelph! The man wrote one of the greatest Canadian novels of all time, and now he’s running for office. Now that I’ve seen the statistics for the riding, I see that the NDP hasn’t fared all that well in the past few elections. Does the NDP have a real chance here?

  8. Bookmarked and widely distributed to my circle of poli junkies.

  9. D. Jones,
    Tom King will have a better chance of winning if people like you send him a cheque!

  10. Wow, this is insane. Insane . . .

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