The newly released PRIZM features 67 segments that capture current demographics, lifestyles and values in Canada. Developed using dozens of authoritative data sources, PRIZM gives you access to over 30,000 data points and can be combined with your own customer data.

From marketing strategies and site decisions to merchandising, mobile analytics and media planning, PRIZM powers decision-making.  Businesses, not-for-profits and government agencies all use PRIZM to analyze and engage their customers and markets at the neighbourhood level anywhere in Canada.

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 (11:22) 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, the value of private dwellings, average net worth and household size. The 67 segments have been ranked from one to 67 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: Each of the 67 segments are organized into one of 20 Social Groups based on the urban-rural context, home language (English, French and non-official), affluence, family status, age of maintainer and ethnicity. Social Groups represent various groupings, patterns and trends. Each segment is also assigned to one of five settlement types: Urban, Urban Fringe, Suburban, Town or Rural.

  • Urban segments are found in large- and medium-sized cities
  • Urban Fringe segments reflect once suburban areas that, over the last 30 years, have been absorbed by urban sprawl
  • Suburban segments tend to consist of communities located on the outskirts of cities and can often be found in the core neighbourhoods of smaller cities and larger towns
  • Town segments are found in smaller towns across the country
  • Rural segments reflect areas that are smaller than towns and include very small towns, villages, hamlets, and rural farms and isolated areas

The ranking of Social Groups is based on average income (not a SESI ranking). Groups have a letter and number combination. The letters U, F, S, T and R stand for Urban, UrbanFringe, Suburban, Town or Rural, while the numbers refer to income, with one indicating the highest average income for the group and seven representing the lowest. 

Lifestage Groups: The 67 segments are categorized into 8 Lifestage Groups based on the presence of singles, couples and families. The grouping divides the 67 segments into Young, Family and Mature classifications, and then further subdivides them by analyzing the commonality amongst them.

  • The Young group is divided into three subgroups according to the presence of singles, couples or starter families
  • Families are split into three sets based on the age of children: the very young, tweens, teens and twenty-somethings
  • The Mature group is divided into two based on the age of maintainers and the presence of children at home

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 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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