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National Classifications


Country / Area: Canada

Classification category: Activity classifications

General information
1 (a)Name of the current national classification (full name in official national languages and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)There is currently work underway to reach further agreements with the United States and Mexico on NAICS content, with the issuance of an updated NAICS Canada in 2002. In addition, there is currently work being undertaken to link more closely to ISIC.
1 (b)In which language(s) is the classification available?There are no essential conceptual differences with ISIC. However, NAICS (in all three versions, Canada, US and Mexico) used the principle that industrial producing units should be classified based on a supply-based conceptual framework (i.e. the process used in production and not the output of production). This does lead to some comparability problems with ISIC. In addition, there was greater emphasis in NAICS placed on new and emerging industries and service-based industries in general. The main criteria used in ISIC for delineating industries are a) the character of the goods and services produced; b) the uses to which the goods and services are put; and c) the inputs, the process and technology of production. As stated, NAICS is based on the third criterion mainly.
1 (c)Can the classification (or information about it) be accessed on the Internet? If yes, please provide the URL.The structures are conceptually the same (I.e. a progressive expansion of categories in going from the highest level to the lowest level). There are four levels in the ISIC structure (i.e. Tabulation categories, Divisions, Groups and Classes). There are five in the NAICS structure (i.e. Sectors, Sub-sectors, Industry Groups, Industries and National Industries). The last category was added to allow more flexibility while searching for agreements among Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Classification structure
2 (a)Please describe the structure of the classification: How many levels does the classification have? (Please provide labels, such as “Division”, “Class”) How many categories exist at each level?There are 925 National Industries.
2 (b)Please provide examples of the coding system used at each level.Yes
Relationship to international standards
3 (a)Is this classification based on (or linked to) an international standard classification? If yes, please describe.Standards Division, Statistics Canada
3 (b)Is the classification structure identical to the international standard or, if not, how does it differ? (e.g. have additional levels been added to the international standard or have changes been made within the level of the international structure, such as aggregations or additional breakdowns)Paul Johanis,
Director, Standards Division,
Telephone (613) 951-8577
3 (c)Please describe deviations from the international standard (in terms of structure, methodology or application rules). Please use examples, if a general statement is not possible.Information on NAICS is available at Statistics Canada’s website http\\:www.statcan.ca, under the category Concepts, definitions and methods.
3 (d)At what level of the international standard can data be reported for international comparison? (Please provide examples of programmes / indicators if reporting takes place at different levels of the classification.)NAICS was first implemented in 1997.
3 (e)If no links to international classifications exist or no international standard is used, please state if there are plans to use international norms in the future.There is a revision planned for 2002 and again in 2007.
Classification uses
4 (a)Please state for which statistical purposes (surveys etc.) this classification is used and if there are users outside of the Statistical Office. Please indicate at which level the classification is used for data collection and for data publishing.NAICS is used throughout Statistics Canada for the variety of statistics and surveys requiring industrial activity classification (e.g. Census, employment surveys, enterprise and establishment surveys, household surveys and the System of National Accounts).
4 (b)Please give the names of institutions that use the classification for non-statistical purposes (as opposed to statistical purposes in question 4(a)). Also indicate the kind of use (e.g. tax offices, social security, customs, enterprise register, employment services, work permits etc.)As stated in Question 13, NAICS is used throughout Statistics Canada for the variety of statistics and surveys requiring industrial activity classification (e.g. Census, employment surveys, enterprise and establishment surveys, household surveys and the System of National Accounts). The level of detail varies. The Census and other household surveys generally code to the 4-digit Industry Group level. Other surveys with specific subject matter content will code to the most detailed National Industry level.
4 (c)Please indicate if alternative classifications are used by other institutions of the economy. Are these classifications available and useful for the Statistical Office?The publication level varies with the survey. The Census publishes at the 4-digit Industry Group level. This is also true for Statistics Canada’s major establishment survey - the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours. The major employment survey (the Labour Force Survey) publishes with aggregated sector information. However, custom tabulations at a more detailed level are available. Other subject matter specific surveys may publish at the detailed level.
Implementation / revision status
5 (a)Please state the date of the official adoption of the classification. If not yet adopted, please indicate the current state (e.g. in development, sent for approval, in printing, ready to be distributed etc.)English and French
5 (b)Please state the date of use of the classification for individual statistical programmes.Yes
5 (c)Are there existing plans for revision or update of the current classification?Yes
5 (d)Name of former (previous) national classification (full name in both national tongue and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)Yes
5 (e)Please describe the link of the former classification to international classificationsSince the creation of the classification required three-party agreement there was significant give and take, as well as reconciliation of conflicting opinions. This could be classed as a problem or marked as an asset of the final classification.
5 (f)Please describe the structure of the former classification and indicate the number of items at each level of the classification. (similar to question 2(a))Statistics Canada is currently in the process of investigating convergence with ISIC through international organizations. No additional assistance is required.
5 (g)Do conversion tables exist between the former and current classification?NAICS is currently being used or is proposed for use throughout Canada in a number of non-statistical applications. Some examples are a) Revenue Canada files: b) Employment and Immigration information and reports, c) centralized Register of Businesses at Statistics Canada.
5 (h)When was the former classification implemented?Other than previous classifications and the current or past International and National classifications (e.g. NAICS US, NAICS Mexico, ISIC Rev2), alternative classifications are not used significantly in Canada
5 (i)Are statistical data still collected or published according to the former classification? Please indicate if this statistical data is collected or published by the Statistical Office or elsewhere.Conversion tables are available for related national and international classifications (e.g. NAICS US, ISIC REV 2), but not alternative classifications.
Supporting documents
6 (a)Have national explanatory notes and/or guidelines been elaborated?1980 Standard Industrial Classification (1980 SIC)
Classification Type des Industries 1980 (CTI 1980)
6 (b)Do correspondence tables exist between the national and the international classifications (if applicable)?Yes
6 (c)Are correspondence tables between alternative and current classification available (if applicable)?The 1980 SIC was structured into 18 Divisions, 76 Major Groups, 318 Industry Groups and 860 Industry Classes.
6 (d)Does a national coding index exist?There are 860 Industry Classes
6 (e)Is the classification available in electronic form? If yes, in which formats is it available?(e.g. PDF, TXT, Excel, XML)Yes
6 (f)Are the correspondence tables or indexes available in electronic form?The Standard Industrial Classification was most recently updated in 1980.
Contact information
7 (a)Name of institution / office responsible for the development and maintenance of the classificationA decreasing number of Statistics Canada surveys produce data under both the 1980 SIC and NAICS. This is currently true for the 2001 Census. However, this will be the final Census year in which data are classified to the 1980 SIC.

Source: UN questionnaire,