Graphic Monday: Mapping same-sex couples

by Patrick Cain

My colleague Leslie Young for most of January has been putting out our #graphicmonday feature, which is a way of getting value out of a mass of material we have around that’s interesting, but doesn’t fit a conventional story format. (Although it has turned out that some of them did become stories, on second thought.)

Today’s, the first I’ve done, uses data from the 2006 census to map same-sex couples across Canada.. Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are mapped specifically, but the underlying map shows any Canadian community from the large town size up.

The 2006 data is the most recent available. In 2011, Statistics Canada asked a question designed to count same-sex households, but the question was poorly designed and didn’t distinguish clearly between same-sex couples and two people of the same sex sharing accomodation. At the last minute (actually the morning of the census release), StatsCan decided not to release the data. My efforts to pry it loose with an access-to-information request were unsuccessful, in the end.

The main surprise in the data was a sharp difference between Quebec and the rest of Canada: gay and lesbian couples segregate much more from each other in Montreal, Hull and Quebec City than in cities elsewhere in the country.

About Leslie Young

A budding data and database geek, I try to turn numbers into stories. I've been with Global News since the spring of 2011. Find me on Twitter @leslieyoung
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