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Canada, Metropolitan area

Codes and Frequencies

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Explore how IPUMS created this variable


METROCA indicates the census metropolitan area in Canada in which the household was enumerated in the 1981 to 2001 samples years. METROCA is harmonized by name and does not account for boundary changes over time.

Metropolitan areas are composed of one or more adjacent municipalities centered on a large urban area that has a population of at least 50,000, with the entire area containing a population of at least 100,000. To be included in the metropolitan area, municipalities must have a high degree of integration with the urban core, as measured by commuting flows derived from census place of work data.

The full set of geography variables for Canada can be found in the IPUMS International Geography variables list. For cross-national geographic analysis on the first and second major administrative level refer to GEOLEV1 and GEOLEV2. More information on IPUMS-International geography can be found here.

Comparability — General

Metropolitan areas are defined consistently over time, although 1971 and 2011 samples do not contain this variable.

Missing metropolitan areas: The 1981 sample is missing 6 metropolitan areas. These areas are:

  • Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières
  • Oshawa
  • Windsor
  • Sudbury and Thunder Bay
  • Regina and Saskatoon
  • Victoria


  • All households


  • Canada: 1981, 1991, 2001