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Category: Regional industries and economies

Overview:  Local IDEAs (Indicator Database for Economic Analysis) is constructed to support a wide range of statistical analysis as a central resource for a network of researchers. The database includes an extensive set of social and economic indicators that contribute to the economic vitality of Canadian localities to benchmark their performance against other countries, particularly the U.S. The indicators included in the database are in the process of being assembled through a combination of publicly available sources. In addition, special tabulations of economic and social data are available through the purchase of complementary private sets of data.  Local IDEAs is a project of PROGRIS: Program on Globalization and Regional Innovation Systems at the Monk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.

Units of Analysis: City-region, defined as the presence of a core city linked by functional ties to a surrounding hinterland based on travel to work

Form: Aggregate data tables


  • Municipalities: standardized from 1986 forward
  • Regions: some indicators standardized from 1971 forward, most from 1996 forward
  • Business records: 2001; 2006; 2011; Patents: 1975-2010

Frequency: Annual for income, patents, R&D, business patterns; years ending in 6 or 1 for the Census of Population and D&B full file businesses.

Access: Free

Key Data Elements:

  • Demographics
  • Labor market
    • Occupation levels
    • Educational attainment levels
    • Academic fields of study
    • Unemployment
  • Immigration and domestic migration
  • Canadian business pattern data
  • Canadian business records (approximately 1.5 million records)
    • 8-digit SIC/ 4-digit NAICS
    • Employees
    • Revenues
    • Full contact details
  • Global corporate ownership structure
  • Profiles of industrial clusters (19 types by 144 regions + flexibility to create custom types)
  • City region GDP estimates
  • Detailed geo-reference data on Canadian patent filers
  • Local private R&D expenditure data from Impact Group
  • Detailed geo-references public R&D funding

Data Sources:

  • Statistics Canada
  • Dun & Bradstreet
  • Hoover’s
  • Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO)
  • Conference Board of Canada
  • Innovation Atlas
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • University Spin-offs

Potential Uses for Regional Analysis: Determination of the social and economic factors that provide the foundation of prosperity for city-regions.

For Additional Information:

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