PRIZM (2019)

PRIZM segments capture current demographics, lifestyles, consumer behaviours and settlement patterns in Canada. PRIZM is the latest release of our pioneering segmentation system that classifies Canada's neighbourhoods into 68 unique lifestyle types. Continuing with methodology that integrates geographic, demographic and psychographic data, PRIZM incorporates the latest authoritative data from nearly a dozen demographic, marketing and media sources to help you better analyze and understand your customers and markets. PRIZM provides the foundation for building custom segments that are aligned to your goals and objectives.

Summary and Description
Data Review and How-to-Use
PRIZM Definitions
Demographic Definitions
Additional Resources

Summary and Description
Below you will find a summary video (12:28) that covers product details, sources, methodology, applications and key questions about this product. This video will provide you with an overview and give you some ideas on its application.

Data Review and How-to-Use
A detailed data review video (19:28) is presented below. This video covers:
  • All PRIZM folders and files provided with the data delivery
  • Review of the data table layouts and structures
    • GeoProfile files (3:01)
    • License files
      • Unique License file (4:34)
      • Rural Enhancement License file (8:26)
  • How to append Postal Codes to the PRIZM codes (10:45)
  • Review of Geographic Hierarchy file (16:00)

Following these videos, there are some key PRIZM and Demographic definitions, along with additional resources linked for your reference: release notes, variable lists, metadata, and other information.  

PRIZM Definitions

Socioeconomic Status Indicator (SESI):
The individual segment numbers are based on SESI, a composite score that reflects a variety of factors, such as average household income, discretionary income, educational attainment levels, the value of private dwellings, average net worth and household size. The 68 segments have been ranked from one to 68 on the SESI scale, with one classified as the highest. Because this ranking reflects more than income alone, most of the segments have a SESI score that is different from their average household income ranking.

Social Groups: The 68 segments are organized into 19 Social Groups based on socioeconomic status, urbanity, cultural diversity and official language (English or French).

Lifestage Groups: The 68 segments are also categorized into 14 Lifestage Groups based on the presence of singles, couples and families. The major grouping divided the 68 segments into Young, Family and Mature classifications, and then further subdivided them by analyzing the commonality among the segments.

Demographic Definitions:

Age: Refers to the age of an individual. The age categories range from youngest to oldest in the following order: Young (relatively significant presence of those in their 20s and 30s), Younger (30s and 40s), Middle-Aged (40s and 50s), Older (50s and 60s) and Mature (70s and older).

Housing Tenure: Specifies whether a household owns or rents the dwelling, and whether the dwelling is Band Housing (on an Indian Reserve or Settlement). Tenure categories are Homeowners, Renters, and Band Housing.

Education: Refers to the highest level of school attended for people 15 years of age and older. Education categories are Grade 9, High School, Trade, College, and University.

Job Type: Refers to the occupation of people 15 years of age and older who were employed in the week prior to the Census. The categories are White Collar, Service Sector, Blue Collar and Primary.

Cultural Diversity Index: Based on a combination of immigration, language spoken at home and visible minority status.

Official Language: Based on a person’s knowledge of or ability to speak English, French, both or neither language.

Additional Resources
Our PRIZM product is provided at two levels of geography: FSALDU (postal code) and Dissemination Area (DA).

PRIZM Release Notes
PRIZM Technical Document
PRIZM Quick Reference Guide
PRIZM Quick Reference Guide (excel version)

PRIZM GeoProfiles Variable List
PRIZM GeoProfiles Metadata
PRIZM Unique Licenses Variable List
PRIZM Rural Enhanced Licenses Variable List
PRIZM Licenses Metadata

PRIZM DA GeoProfiles Variable List
PRIZM DA GeoProfiles Metadata
PRIZM DA Unique Licenses Variable List
PRIZM DA Rural Enhanced Licenses Variable List
PRIZM DA Licenses Metadata

Along with the release notes, you will see reference to the following:

GeoProfiles: Provides counts of households for each PRIZM segment within specific standard geographies.

License files: Provides the look-up between the combination of FSALDU and community name (Rural Enhanced) as well as the FSALDU (Unique); these files will allow you to assign the correct PRIZM code to your corresponding customer lists.
Note: If you also license ENVISION, our software will do this coding for you.

Variables List and Metadata: Provides definitions of each of the variables in the corresponding datasets.

Technical Document: Provides additional detail around how PRIZM is developed. 

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