Project Canada 1980

Data Archive > International Surveys and Data > Single Nation Surveys > Summary


Begun in 1975, Project Canada has generated extensive information on life in Canada, with specific attention given to social issues, intergroup relations, and religion. The project has taken representative samples of Canadians every five years, creating panel studies through which social change and stability can be monitored. This is the second of these studies.

Data File
Cases: 1,482
Variables: 315
Weight Variable: 315) WT2
Data Collection
Date Collected: October 15, 1980 - November 30, 1981
Funded By
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, The United Church of Canada and the University of Lethbridge.
Collection Procedures
The survey was the second in the Project Canada adult surveys. It was carried out by mail in two stages from October of 1980 through October of 1981. Reginald W. Bibby was the principal investigator, along with some part-time assistants. As in 1975, French versions of the questionnaire were returned to the Centre du Sondage at the University of Montreal.

As with Project Can75, the 1980 questionnaire was constructed to provide comprehensive data pertaining to three main subject areas being investigated: social issues, intergroup relations and religion. In order to monitor change, many of the items in the 1975 version were included in the questionnaire, with new items added to clarify the 1975 findings as well as update the content more generally.

Length: 11 pages; variables: about 300; completion time: 1-2 hours.
Sampling Procedures
Project Canada 1980 comprised a sample of 1,056 people who also participated in the 1975 study, supplemented by 426 new participants. Together with Project Canada 1975, this survey provides 1975-80 trend and panel data.

The effort to locate the 1,917 people who had participated in the 1975 survey began in the late summer of 1980 and continued through the spring of 1981. It appears 1,438 of the "PC75" respondents were located (75%), with 1,056 (74%) submitting usable questionnaires. In short, just over half of the 1975 sample were included in the new sample. The majority of people were contacted in October of 1980 and returned their questionnaires by the spring of 1981; mailings, however, were done in a number of waves as people were located.

In the early spring of 1981, the social and demographic characteristics of the sample to date - more than 800 people - were examined in light of the Canadian population. A supplemental sample of 1,200 cases was then drawn, which, when combined with the 1975 core, would produce a final sample of adequate size and sufficient representativeness to permit high-accuracy generalizations to the Canadian population. As before, Canada was stratified by province and community size (>100,000, 99-10,000, <10,000), and the overall sample drawn proportionate to the national population, with 43 communities involved. Participants were randomly selected using telephone directories. As in 1975, it was anticipated that weighting according to provincial and community size, as well as gender, would be required, with age weighting now also required because the ongoing core would have aged five years.

Follow-up procedures similar to those used in 1975 were again used. Approximately two to three weeks after the initial mailing, a follow-up letter was sent to non-respondents, while a second follow-up (a returnable postcard) was sent still another two to three weeks later.

In the spring of 1982, participants were sent a thank-you post-card, informing them of how the results were being disseminated, and welcoming further inquiries.

The number of usable questionnaires received: 1,482, making a return rate of 65%. We estimated it was possible for 842 of the "new 1980 sample" to return the questionnaire, with 426 (51%) doing so. Because of a two-month postal strike and a funding delay, they were contacted in the late summer of 1981 and submitted their questionnaires through the fall. Data collection covered some 12 months; date of return was recorded in order that reception time variations could be examined as deemed warranted.

The final national sample therefore comprised 1,056 cases from the 1975 sample and 426 from 1980-81. These 1,482 responses from 2,280 contacts represent a combined return rate for the ongoing core and new participants of 65%.

These 1,482 cases have been weighted for provincial and community size, along with gender and age. In order to minimize the use of large weight factors, the sample again was reduced, resulting in 1,300 cases.

So weighted, the sample is highly representative of the Canadian population. A representative sample of this size should be accurate within about 4 percentage points on most items, 19 times in 20 similar surveys.
Principal Investigators
Reginald W. Bibby
SES and Occupation Codes for the variables, OCCUP2, SPOCCUP2, SELFSES2 and SPSES2
"Occupations have been coded according to the Blishen & McRoberts (1976) socio-economic index scores, as well as the 1971 Statistics Canada classification of occupations. The SES index is determined using both objective and subjective criteria and reflects both the economic return and the prestige which are associated with one's occupation. The higher the score, the higher the occupational rating (Bernard R. Blishen and Hugh A. McRoberts, "A Revised Socioeconomic Index for Occupations in Canada." The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 13:71-79, 1976.)"