Data Notes


Metro 2040 Growth Overlays: Urban Centres and Frequent Transit Development Areas

Metro 2040 identifies different types of growth overlays called Urban Centres and Frequent Transit Development Areas as tools for helping to shape and direct growth to a network of transit-oriented centres and corridors. The different types of Urban Centres and FTDAs are as follows:

Metro Centres (MCs)
Metro Centres are large Regional City Centres that anchor the Urban Centre Network. They serve the regional population by providing major activity hubs for transportation, employment, and housing.

Regional City Centres (RCCs)
There are seven other Regional City Centres found across Metro Vancouver that also serve as important sub-regional activity hubs for transportation, employment and housing. These Centres provide good locations to focus growth across the region while connecting to the larger Metro Centres.

Municipal Town Centres (MTCs)
There are 17 Municipal Town Centres that are locally-serving activity hubs for municipal populations. They provide good locations for shops, services, and amenities as well as employment and housing growth. Some Municipal Town Centres are important transportation hubs for sub-regional and municipal populations and are all linked to the Frequent Transit Network.

Frequent Transit Development Areas (FTDAs)
FTDAs are additional priority locations for accommodating concentrated growth in higher density forms of development. Urban design for these areas will also promote transit-oriented development where transit, cycling and walking are the preferred modes of transportation.

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Census Data - Random rounding
To ensure confidentiality, the values, including totals, are randomly rounded either up or down to a multiple of '5' or '10.' To understand these data, please be aware that each individual value is rounded. As a result, when these data are summed or grouped, the total value may not match the individual values since totals and sub-totals are independently rounded. Similarly, percentages, which are calculated on rounded data, may not necessarily add up to 100%.

Census Undercount: Not Included in Urban Centre Dashboard Data

NOTE: The data displayed in this Dashboard comes from the raw data of the Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada. The Census Undercount and Overcount are not included.

Census Background: The Census of Population is conducted by Statistics Canada every five years to develop a statistical portrait of Canada. This portrait provides a foundation for Regional Planning in Metro Vancouver, in association with member municipalities and the Province of BC, to create population, housing, and employment growth projections. These projections are integral to the Regional Growth Strategy, Metro Vancouver 2040, which provides the land use framework for transportation, economic, housing, utility (water, liquid waste and solid waste), environmental and climate change planning in the region. Development of a livable region with elements such as sufficient office and commercial space close to home, sustainable transportation options, and access to parks and greenways, require access to accurate projection estimates. This wide spread application underscores the critical importance of growth projections to the daily lives of residents across the region.

What is the Undercount? While the Census is a reliable source for the estimation of the population, many residents are either missed and some are counted more than once. This is called “the undercount.”

The reasons for which a resident may be missed in a census include:

  • Census enumerators unable to locate or access certain households (e.g. secondary suites)
  • People have difficulties understanding the questionnaire
  • Uncertainty about whether to include someone in a household
  • People with no usual residence
  • People are absent from their place of residence during the census survey period
  • People refuse to participate in the census

The reasons for which a resident may be counted more than once include:

  • Individuals living away from home are recorded by both themselves and their family
  • Non-Canadian residents are mistakenly included in the census

Following each census, Statistics Canada conducts three studies to measure errors in the estimation of the population. Two of these studies are conducted after the initial population count release.

The first of these studies is the Reverse Record Check which measures census population undercount, the number of persons missed in the census. The last study is the Census Overcoverage Study which measures census population overcount, the number of persons counted more than once in the census. [3] Results of these studies are usually available two years after the survey period. Adjusted estimates accounting for undercount and overcount are usually higher than initial census counts.

What is the Impact of the Undercount in Metro Vancouver? Statistics Canada generated a 3.70% Census undercount estimate (about 86,000 people) in the 2006 Census, and 1.97% (about 42,000 people) in the 2011 Census, for the Metro Vancouver region.

In the 2016 Census, the Census undercount estimate was relatively higher than the past. Statistics Canada generated a 4.31% Census undercount estimate (about 106,000 people) for the region. Statistics Canada also provided an estimate of the age cohort and gender distribution of the undercount population for Canada as a whole. It is assumed that Metro Vancouver's age and gender undercount profile is proportionally similar to the Canadian undercount profile.

Metro Vancouver's undercount population is proportionally allocated to member municipalities based on each municipality relative Census share of regional population by age cohort and gender.


Impact of the 2016 census undercount in Metro Vancouver
(Initial Release)
Net ErrorNet Error/Adjusted
Burnaby232,755 244,000 11,245 5%
Coquitlam139,285 145,000 5,715 4%
Delta102,240 106,000 3,760 4%
Electoral Area A - UBC U.E.L.16,135 17,000 865 5%
Langley City25,890 27,000 1,110 4%
Langley Township117,285 123,000 5,715 5%
Lion's Bay1,3301,400705%
Maple Ridge82,255 86,000 3,745 4%
New Westminster71,000 74,000 3,000 4%
North Van City52,900 56,000 3,100 6%
North Van District85,935 91,000 5,065 6%
Pitt Meadows18,575 20,000 1,425 7%
Port  Coquitlam58,610 61,000 2,390 4%
Port Moody33,550 35,000 1,450 4%
Richmond198,310 207,000 8,690 4%
Surrey517,885 541,000 23,115 4%
Tsawwassen First Nation815800-15-2%
Vancouver631,485 666,000 34,515 5%
West Vancouver42,475 47,100 4,625 10%
White Rock19,950 20,000 50 0%


For more information regarding how quality of census data is assessed and adjusted, please visit: