Project Canada 1980-90 Panel Study

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

The Project Canada Research Program has been carried out from the University of Lethbridge. National surveys of adults 18 and over have been conducted in 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, and 1995. Adult surveys in 2000 will complete the program. The goal has been to generate extensive information on life in Canada, with specific attention given to social issues, intergroup relations, and religion.

Data File
Cases: 429
Variables: 744
Weight Variable:
Data Collection
Date Collected: 1980-1990
Funded By
The 1975 survey was carried out for a cost of about $14,000 and had four major sources: the United Church of Canada ($2,000), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation ($3,000), the Solicitor General of Canada ($5,000), and the University of Lethbridge ($4,000). In 1980, the panel portion of the survey was made possible by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada ($10,000) and the United Church of Canada ($2,000). The second phase of Project Canada 1980, which involved filling the core out into a full national sample, cost approximately $8,000 and was funded primarily by the University of Lethbridge. Project Canada 1985 was funded completely by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada ($45,000); Project Canada 1990 and Project Canada 1995 were both funded by the The Lilly Endowment, Inc. (about $65,000 each).
Collection Procedures
All five of the adult surveys have made use of self-administered questionnaires and have been conducted by mail over approximately a four-month period. Questionnaires have ranged from eleven to twenty pages in length, and have included 300 to 400 variables. With minor variations, the procedures have involved (1) mailing the questionnaire with a front-page cover letter, (2) sending a follow-up postcard, and (3) mailing a second questionnaire.
Sampling Procedures
A representative sample of about 1,100 cases is sufficient to claim a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of four percentage points when generalizing to the Canadian adult population. Size and representativeness are the two key criteria in being able to generalize with accuracy from a sample to a population. Considerable care therefore has been taken to ensure that both standards have been met.

Concerning size, an interest in provincial comparisons resulted in 1,917 cases being gathered in 1975; 1,482 in 1980; 1,630 in 1985; 1,472 in 1990; and 1,765 in 1995. With respect to representativeness, the nation has been stratified by province (10) and community size (>100,000, 99,999-10,000, <10,000), with the sample drawn proportionate to the populations involved. As resources have improved, the number of communities being drawn on has increased from 30 in 1975 to 43 in 1980, 104 in 1985, 145 in 1990, and 228 in 1995. Participants have been randomly selected using telephone directories. Discrepancies between the sample and population characteristics have been corrected by weighting for provincial and community size, along with gender and age. Each of the five samples has been weighted down to about 1,200 cases in order to minimize the use of large weight factors (i.e., three or more).

All of the samples are highly representative of the Canadian population. Samples of this size and composition, should be accurate within about four percentage points on most questionnaire items, 19 times in 20 similar surveys. Comparisons with similar Gallup poll items, for example, have consistently found this to be the case.

A major interest of the ongoing national surveys has been to monitor social change and stability. Each survey sample since 1980 has consisted of (a) a core of people who participated in the previous survey and (b) new participants, who are used to create a full national sample of about 1,500 cases. For example, while the first 1975 survey was a typical cross-sectional survey with 1,917 participants, the Project Canada 1980 sample of 1,482 people included 1,056 who also had been involved in 1975.

The 1995 sample of 1,765 cases comprised 816 people who participated in previous surveys and 949 new cases. Of the 816, 400 had participated in the 1975 survey. They made up the ongoing core who have participated in all the surveys (236) and a special panel supplement (164), which was obtained through our adding as many of the original 1975 participants as we could whom we had "lost" between 1975 and 1995.

Various panels can be constructed from the surveys according to the five-year interval desired (e.g., 1975-85, 1980-90, 1990-95). While no claim is being made that these panels are representative of all Canadians, they do provide intriguing and novel data on the attitudes, outlooks and behaviour of a core of Canadians over the last quarter of the 20th century. The panels can be weighted as deemed desirable by data users.

For national surveys, the Project Canada return rates have been relatively high - 52% in 1975, 65% in 1980, and about 60% in 1985, 1990 and 1995. We tend to hear from about 65% of the people who have participated previously and just over 50% of those being contacted for the first time - favourable to the seldom - reported cooperation rates of (at best) around 65% obtained with face-to-face and telephone interviews.
Principal Investigators
Reginald W. Bibby
SES and Occupation Codes for the variables SELFSES2, SPSES2, OCCUP2 and SPOCCUP2:
"Occupations have been coded according to the Blishen & McRoberts (1976) socio-economic index scores. This 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.)"
Occupation codes for TYPE4 and SPTYPE4
Occupations have been coded using the 1980 Statistics Canada Standard Occupational Classification. The detailed Statistics Canada tables for TYPE4 and SPTYPE4 are not reproduced here.
Value Labels for AREANAM4
101 Vancouver
102 Victoria
103 Kamloops
104 Kelowna
105 Nanaimo
106 PrGeorge
107 Chase
108 Creston
109 Elkford
111 Golden
112 Hope
113 Salmo
114 Smithers
199 BCUnknown
201 Calgary
202 Edmonton
203 GrPrairie
204 Lethbridge
205 Red Deer
207 Bassano
208 Delia
209 LacLBiche
210 Morinville
211 PeaceRiv
212 SlaveLake
213 SwanHills
299 ABUnknown
301 Regina
302 Saskatoon
303 MooseJaw
304 PrAlbert
305 SwCurrent
306 Asquith
307 Bengough
308 Gravelbg
309 Humboldt
310 Nipawin
311 Rosetown
312 StarCity
399 SKUnknown
401 Winnipeg
402 Brandon
404 Thompson
405 Carman
406 FlinFlon
407 Killarney
408 MacGregor
501 Toronto
502 Hamilton
503 Kitchener
504 Kingston
505 London
506 Oshawa
507 Ottawa
508 StCaths
509 Sudbury
510 ThundBay
511 Windsor
512 Barrie
513 Collingwd
514 Cornwall
515 FtErie
516 Guelph
517 HaltHills
518 Lindsay
519 KirkLake
520 NorthBay
521 Timmins
522 Caledonia
523 Cobourg
524 DeepRiver
525 Dunnville
526 Meaford
528 Newboro
529 Paris
530 PtElgin
531 Red Rock
532 Ridgetown
533 Simcoe
534 Thamville
535 Tweed
536 Woodstock
599 ONUknown
601 Montreal
602 Chicout
603 Hull
604 QueCity
605 Sherbrooke
606 Trois-Riv
607 Amqui
608 Cownville
609 Drummond
610 Joliette
611 Montmagny
612 Rimouski
613 ThetMines
614 Victville
615 Cap-Sante
616 Champlain
617 Donnacon
618 Farnham
619 Gaspe
620 GrandRiv
621 KingFalls
622 PtRouge
623 St-Agap
626 Val-Dav
699 PQUnknown
701 SaintJohn
702 Fredictn
703 Moncton
704 Sackville
705 Hartland
706 Havelock
707 McAdam
708 Nequac
799 NBUnknown
801 Halifax
802 GlaceBay
803 Sydney
804 Boularde
805 Canso
806 Liverpool
807 Middleton
808 Mulgrave
809 Shelburne
810 Truro
811 Wolfville
899 NSUnknown
901 Charlotte
902 Summers
903 Cardigan
905 Montague
906 Souris
999 PEUnknown
1001 StJohn's
1002 CornBrook
1003 Gander
1004 Botwood
1005 Cupids
1006 Freshwater
1007 Lewporte
1008 StLawrence
1099 NFUnknown