Map of Simcoe Muskoka




Accumulated Degree Days

A degree day occurs when the average temperature for a single day is 1°C above a reference temperature. For West Nile virus surveillance in Ontario, Accumulated Degree Days (ADD) are calculated for days above 18.3°C.

Higher temperatures are associated with mosquitoes moving through their life cycles more quickly, and with West Nile virus multiplying within mosquitoes more quickly. Seasons with higher ADD are associated with a higher prevalence of WNv-carrying mosquitoes and an increased risk of WNv transmission to humans. See Public Health Ontario for more details.

Active Transportation

Active transportation refers to any method of travel that is human-powered, but is usually associated with walking and bicycling.

Activity Limitations

According to Statistics Canada, an activity limitation is a limitation in home, work, school and/or other activities imposed by a condition(s) or by long-term physical and/or mental health problem that has lasted or is expected to last 6 months or more. An activity limitation may include the following: difficulty seeing; difficulty hearing; difficulty with physical activities (e.g. walking, stairs); difficulties learning, remembering or concentrating; emotional, psychological or mental health conditions (e.g. anxiety, depression, substance abuse), and other health problems that has lasted or is expected to last for six months or more.

Actual Incidents

When a crime is reported to the police, the incident is recorded as a "reported" incident. Police then conduct a preliminary investigation to determine the validity of the report. Occasionally, crimes reported to the police prove to be unfounded. Unfounded incidents are subtracted from the number of reported incidents to produce the number of "actual incidents." Numbers and rates of crime are calculated on the basis of "actual incidents" categorized according to the most serious offence.

Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP)

Paralysis is a loss of muscle function to one or more muscle groups. Flaccid paralysis is paralysis with reduced muscle tone. Acute flaccid paralysis is the sudden onset of flaccid paralysis that can not be explained by any other cause (e.g. trauma).

Adequate Housing

Adequate housing does not require any major repairs, according to residents. Major repairs include defective plumbing or electrical wiring, or structural repairs to walls, floors or ceilings.

Affordable Housing

Affordable housing costs less than 30% of before-tax household income.

For renters, shelter costs include, as applicable, rent and payments for electricity, fuel, water and other municipal services.

For owners, shelter costs include, as applicable, mortgage payments (principal and interest), property taxes, condominium fees, and payments for electricity, fuel, water and other municipal services.

After Tax Income

Total income minus federal, provincial and territorial income taxes paid.

Age Distribution

The frequency (number of people) of each age or age group in a population.

Age-Specific Rate

The number of events (e.g. cases of disease, deaths) in a particular age group in a particular region, divided by the number of persons in that age group in that region. The rate is usually reported per 100,000 population. The numerator and denominator refer to the same age group.

Age Standardized Incidence Rate

The incidence rate that a population would have if it had the same age distribution as a reference population. Age standardization is used to compare incidence rates of disease between populations with different age distributions. For example, some sexually transmitted infections (STI's) are more common among 15-24 year olds so a population with a higher proportion of this age group will have a higher overall incidence rate of STI's. In order to determine which population has a higher incidence rate regardless of age distribution, the rates must be age standardized. Most HealthSTATS pages will use the 2011 Canadian Standard population but older pages may still use the 1991 Canadian Standard population. Details for which reference population was used will be included on the page.

Age Standardized Emergency Visit Rate

Age standardized emergency visit rate is defined as the number of emergency visits, as recorded in the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS), due to a specific cause per 100,000 population that would occur if the population had the same age distribution as a reference population. Age-standardization allows for comparisons of mortality rates between populations with different age distributions. Most HealthSTATS pages will use the 2011 Canadian Standard population but older pages may still use the 1991 Canadian Standard population. Details for which reference population was used will be included on the page.

Age Standardized Hospitalization Rate

Age standardized hospitalization rate is defined as the number of hospital discharges, as recorded in the

Discharge Abstract Database

(DAD), due to a specific cause per 100,000 population that would occur if the population had the same age distribution as a reference population. Age-standardization allows for comparisons of mortality rates between populations with different age distributions.

The Association of Public Health Epidemiologists in Ontario (APHEO) recommend counting injury-related hospitalizations from National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS) instead of DAD. Therefore, injury-related hospitalization data on HealthSTATS reports hospital admissions through the emergency department.

Age Standardized Mortality Rate

Age standardized mortlity rate is defined as the number of deaths due to a specific cause per 100,000 population that would occur if the popluation had the same age distribution as the 1991 Canadian population. Age-standardization allows for comparisons of mortality rates between populations with different age distributions. Most HealthSTATS pages will use the 2011 Canadian Standard population but older pages may still use the 1991 Canadian Standard population. Details for which reference population was used will be included on the page.

Air Quality Health Index

Air quality health risk is measured by the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) developed by Health Canada and Environment Canada. Based on measurements of specific air pollutants - fine particulate matter (PM2.5), ozone (O3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - it categorizes health risks for Canadians from the negative effects of air pollution.

The ambient air monitoring station in Barrie is the only one in Simcoe Muskoka that collects hourly data on all three pollutants needed to calculate the AQHI.

Alcohol Attributable Deaths

The number of deaths attributable to alcohol consumption. Alcohol-attributable deaths are those deaths that would not have happened without the presence of alcohol.


A severe, whole-body allergic reaction that happens quickly after the exposure.


Proteins released by immune cells to fight against micro-organisms (ex. viruses, bacteria etc.) that invade the body.


Asthma, from the Greek for panting, is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. This inflammation may cause the airways to narrow when exposed to certain triggers, resulting in wheezing and breathlessness. Triggers for asthma symptoms can vary from one person to another and include both allergic triggers (e.g. dust, pollen, mould, etc.) and non-allergic triggers (e.g. exercise, cold air, air pollution, etc.).
ICD 10 Codes: J45-J46

Average Hourly Wage

The amount obtained by dividing employees' weekly pay by the number of hours in their normal work week.





Single cell microorganisms, some of which cause infections and disease in humans.

Binge Drinking (Grades 7-12)

Report consuming 5 or more alcoholic drinks on a single occasion within the past month.

Blue-Green Algae

Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, are microscopic organisms that can be found in streams, lakes, and other surface water. Blue-green algae can present health concerns, particularly when comprised of toxin producing cells.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI is calculated as the person's weight in kilograms divided by their height in metres squared. It is an indicator of health risk associated with underweight, overweight and obesity.

Brachial Plexus Injury

Brachial Plexus injury is caused by an injury to one or more nerves that control and supply the muscles of the shoulder and upper extremities. It is usually seen in newborns and occurs as a result of a difficult delivery.

Breastfeeding terms:

Any breast milk: infant is receiving any breast milk, either exclusively or non-exclusively (regardless of the method of feeding, including feeding at the breast, providing expressed milk or donor breast milk).  It is the sum of ‘exclusive’ plus ‘non-exclusive’ breast milk at a given time point.

Exclusive breast milk: infant is receiving and has received only breast milk (not even water) since birth (regardless of the method of feeding, including feeding at the breast, providing expressed milk or donor breast milk).

Non-exclusive breast milk (or ‘combination feeding’): infant is receiving breast milk in combination with some other supplement at the time point, i.e. formula, solids, other liquids; or has received a supplement at least once prior to two months and has returned to only breast milk.

“Returned to Only” breast milk:

  • At initiation: infant received supplement (e.g. formula) at some point in hospital (or first few days for home births) but was receiving only breast milk at discharge (or three days postpartum for home births).
  • At two months or beyond: infant received supplement (e.g. formula) at some point prior to two months, but is receiving only breast milk at the time point.

No breast milk: infant is not receiving any breast milk at a given time point

Never breast milk: Infant has never received breast milk




Caesarean section

Also known as a C-section, the surgical operation for delivering a child by making a small cut into the mother’s stomach to the womb.

Cancer of Breast

Includes all malignant neoplasms (tumours) of the breast. The breast tissue covers an area larger than just the breast. It extends up to the collarbone and from the armpit across to the breastbone in the centre of the chest. Cancer cells may start within the ducts (this is called ductal carcinoma) or in the lobules (lobular carcinoma). Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer.
ICD 10 Codes: C50

Cancer of Colon, Rectum & Anus

Often called colorectal cancer, these include all malignant neoplasms (tumours) of the large intestine and anus. Most colorectal cancers start in the cells that line the inside of the colon or the rectum. Colorectal cancer usually grows slowly and in a predictable way. It is curable when diagnosed at an early stage.
ICD 10 Codes: C18-C21, C26.0

Cancer of Lung & Bronchitus

Includes all malignant neoplasms (tumours) of the bronchus and lung. Virtually all lung cancers arise in epithelial tissue, and most originate from the lining of the bronchi.
ICD 10 Codes: C34

Cancer of Lymph, Blood & Related

Include a wide variety of cancers originating in bone marrow, lymphatic tissue or other blood related cells. The most common types of cancers included in this grouping are: leukemia, Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
ICD 10 Codes: C81-C96

Cancer of Prostate

Includes all malignant neoplasms (tumours) of the prostate gland. The prostate is located close to the rectum just below the bladder at the base of the penis.
ICD 10 Codes: C61

Cardiovascular System

The heart and the blood vessels through which blood is pumped and circulated through the body.


The census collects information on every man, woman and child in Canada. It provides a statistical portrait of Canada and its people. A census is conducted once every five years in this country.

Data are collected through a questionnaire that is filled out by an adult in each household and mailed back to Statistics Canada. Not all respondents receive the same questionnaire. Four out of five households receive a short form while the remaining one in five receives a long form. The short form contains seven questions: the respondent’s name, sex, age, marital and common-law status, family and household relationships and mother tongue. The long form includes the seven questions from the short questionnaire plus 52 additional questions, including a question on religion and new questions on birthplace of parents and language spoken at work.

This method of gathering detailed data from a sample of households was first employed in the 1941 Census of Canada. Sampling is an effective collection method, yielding high-quality data while reducing costs.

Census Division

A census division is a group of neighbouring municipalities joined together for the purposes of regional planning and managing common services.  For our purposes, Simcoe County and Muskoka District are census divisions.

Census Family

This definition of the census family classifies people in the following manner: 1) couples (married or common-law) living in the same dwelling, with or without children; and 2) lone-parents (male or female) with one or more children. The residual population is called "persons not in census families" or “non-family persons” and is made up of persons living alone and of persons living in a household, but who are not part of a couple family or lone-parent family.

Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and Census Agglomeration (CA)

Statistics Canada defines these as areas consisting of one or more neighbouring municipalities situated around a core. A census metropolitan area must have a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more live in the core. A census agglomeration must have a core population of at least 10,000.

Census Subdivision (CSD)

Census subdivision (CSD) is the general term for municipalities (as determined by provincial/territorial legislation) or areas treated as municipal equivalents for statistical purposes (e.g., Indian reserves, Indian settlements and unorganized territories). Municipal status is defined by laws in effect in each province and territory in Canada.

Cerebral Palsy

A disability resulting from damage to the brain before, during or shortly after birth and manifested by muscular in-coordination and speech disturbances.

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)

A clear body fluid that is found around and inside the brain.

Cerebrovascular Diseases

Cerebrovascular diseases is refers to a problem with the circulation of blood in the blood vessels of the brain. Cerebrovascular diseases include strokes, subarachnoid and intracerebral hemorrhages, cerebral infarctions and aneurysms well as late effects of cerebrovascular disease.
ICD 10 Codes: I60-I69


A primary sore or ulcer at the site of entry of a pathogen.

Childhood Overweight

Body mass index (BMI) is typically used to measure overweight in children. BMI is calculated by dividing the child’s weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared. There are two different ways to determine if a child is overweight based on their measured BMI: the CDC growth charts to determine the corresponding BMI-for-age percentile OR the International Obesity Taskforce (IOTF) recommended BMI cut-off points.

Using the CDC growth chart method, the child’s BMI is plotted on the CDC BMI-for-age growth charts (for either girls or boys) to obtain a percentile ranking. The percentile indicates the relative position of the child’s BMI among children of the same sex and age. Overweight is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex. Those with BMI from the 85th to less than the 95th percentile are considered at risk of overweight.

The recommended IOTF BMI cut-off points were developed by researcher Tim Cole and others. They are based on pooled international data (Brazil, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Singapore and United States) for BMI and linked to the internationally accepted adult BMI cut-off points of 25 (overweight) and 30 (obese).

Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases

Chronic respiratory diseases are persistent conditions affecting the airways and other structures of the lung. Common conditions include: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and respiratory allergies.
ICD 10 Codes: J40-J47

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of diseases characterized by airflow obstruction that can be associated with breathing-related symptoms like chronic coughing, expectoration and wheezing. The obstruction is generally permanent and becomes worse over time. The most significant risk factor for COPD is long-term cigarette smoking.
ICD 10 Codes: J40-J44

Circulatory System Defects

Abnormalities in the structure of this system that are present at birth.

Cleft Palate or Lip

A fissure or opening of the palate or lip caused by abnormal facial development during gestation.


Traveling from one's residence to one's regular place of business and back to the residence.

Commuting Duration

Refers to how many minutes it took for a person to travel from home to work. Median commuting duration is the value which divides the commuting duration into two equal halves, i.e., the commuting duration of individuals for the first half is below the median, while the commuting distance of individuals for the second half is above the median.

Confidence Interval

The 95% confidence interval indicates the interval or range within which the true population percentage probably lies. The reason for using confidence intervals is due to the uncertainty, or sampling error, associated with using results obtained from a sample to draw conclusions about the entire population from which the sample was drawn. The confidence interval (in our case, a 95% confidence interval) can also be interpreted as being 95% likely to include the percentage value we would have obtained if we had studied every member of the target population.

Congenital Anomalies

Congenital (present at birth) malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities (excluding inborn errors of metabolism).
ICD 10 Codes: Q00-Q99

Core Housing Need

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, a household is said to be in core housing need if its housing falls below at least one of the adequacy, suitability, or affordability standards and it would have to spend 30% or more of its total before-tax income to pay the median rent of alternative local housing that is acceptable (meets all three housing standards):

  • Adequate housing are reported by their residents as not requiring any major repairs.
  • Affordabledwellings costs less than 30% of total before-tax household income.
  • Suitable housing has enough bedrooms for the size and make-up of resident households, according to National Occupancy Standard (NOS) requirements.

A household is not in core housing need if its housing meets all of the adequacy, suitability and affordability standards


If its housing does not meet one or more of these standards, but it has sufficient income to obtain alternative local housing that is acceptable (meets all three standards).

NOTE: Regardless of their circumstances, non-family households led by maintainers 15 to 29 years of age attending school full-time are considered to be in a transitional stage of life and therefore not in core housing need.

Coronary Artery Disease

A narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply bood and oxygen to the heart as a result of the build-up of fatty material and plaque (atherosclerosis). As the coronary arteries narrow, the flow of blood to the heart can slow or stop, causing chest pain, shortness of breath, heart attack, or other symptoms.

Couple Family

Includes families that contain a married or common-law couple (either with or without children). A couple may be of opposite or same sex.

Crime Severity Index

The Crime Severity Index measures the seriousness or severity of crime by both the number of police-reported crimes and the serious of those crimes in order to understand the impact of crime on the community.

Crude Birth Rate

Number of live births per 1,000 people. The crude birth rate is influenced by the age structure of the population and will be higher among populations with more women of reproductive age.

Current Alcohol Drinkers

During the past 12 months, the individual reports having a drink of beer, wine, liquor or any other alcoholic beverage. The word ‘drink’ means:

  • one bottle or can of beer or a glass of draft
  • one glass of wine or a wine cooler
  • one drink or cocktail with 1 and a 1/2 ounces of liquor.




A collection of data arranged for ease and speed of retrieval.

Dementia and Alzheimer Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, which causes thinking and memory to become seriously impaired. It is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is a syndrome consisting of a number of symptoms that include confusion, disorientation and intellectual impairment.
ICD 10 Codes: F00, F01, F03, G30


Demography is the study of populations, especially with reference to size and density, fertility, mortality, growth, age distribution, migration and vital statistics, and the interaction of all these with social and economic conditions.

Determinant of Health

Any factor that influences the health of individuals, communities and jurisdictions as a whole. Factors include, but are not limited to age, ethnicity, occupation, income, education level and risk factor behaviours (e.g. smoking, alcohol misuse, etc.).


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic condition that results from the body's inability to sufficiently produce and/or properly use insulin. Insulin is the hormone responsible for controlling the levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Consistent high levels of blood glucose can result in long-term damage, leading to the dysfunction and failure of various organs, such as the kidneys, eyes, nerves, heart and blood vessels.
ICD 10 Codes: E10-E14

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the standard for diagnosis of mental and behavioural disorders in Ontario and Internationally. The DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association, and is used to describe the features of and distinguish between mental disorders. The 4th edition of the DSM (DSM-IV) was used in Ontario up to the end of 2015, when the 5th edition (DSM-V) was adopted.


Disability, as defined by the Canadian Survey on Disability includes anyone who reported being "sometimes," "often" or "always" limited in their daily activities due to a long-term condition or health problem, as well as anyone who reported being "rarely" limited if they were also unable to do certain tasks or could only do them with a lot of difficulty.


A state of physiological or psychological dysfunction.

Disposable Income

Defined by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) as the sum remaining after deducting the following from total family income: total income taxes paid; the personal portion of payroll taxes; other mandatory payroll deductions, such as contributions to employer-sponsored pension plans, supplementary health plans, and union dues; child support and alimony payments made to another family; out-of-pocket spending on child care; and non-insured but medically prescribed health-related expenses such as dental and vision care, prescription drugs, and aids for persons with disabilities.

Dissemination Area (DA)

Small geographic area composed of one or more neighbouring blocks, with a population of 400 to 700 persons. All of Canada is divided into dissemination areas.

Down Syndrome

A congential disorder caused by having an extra 21st chromosome that results in a flat face and short stature, developmental delays, low muscle tone, and significantly impaired cognitive functioning.



Economic Family

A group of two or more persons who live in the same dwelling and are related to each other by blood, marriage, common-law or adoption. A couple may be of opposite or same sex. Foster children are included.


An epidural is a form of pain relief given to a mother to numb the pain in her lower back and abdomen during childbirth.


An incision made to the tissue between the vaginal opening and the anus during childbirth.

Erb's Palsy

Paralysis affecting the muscles of the upper arm and shoulder caused by an injury during birth to the upper part of the brachial plexus.

Essential Caregiver

Essential visitors who are designated by a resident or their substitute decision-maker and who provide direct care to residents, such as helping with feeding, mobility, hygiene, or cognitive stimulation.

Examples of caregivers include family members or friends, privately hired caregivers, paid companions and/or translators.

Ethnic Origin

Refers to the ethnic or cultural group(s) to which a person's ancestors belong.

Ethno-Cultural Diversity

Ethno-cultural diversity refers to area-level concentrations of people who are recent immigrants and/or people belonging to a visible minority group as defined by Statistics Canada. Note that this does not include Aboriginal Status as defined by the Census. This measure is derived from the Ontario Marginalization Index (ON-Marg) [link to onmarg:]


Violation of the air pollutant concentration levels established by environmental protection criteria or other environmental standards. Ozone (O3) levels are exceeded when there is at least one hour with an ozone concentration greater than the one-hour Ontario ambient air quality criteria (AAQC) of 80 ppb (parts per billion). Fine particulate matter levels are exceeded when concentrations are higher than the PM2.5 reference level of 30 μg/m3 (micrograms per metre cubed) for a 24-hour period.

Exclusive Breastfeeding

The recommended feeding practice for newborns up to 6 months of age, where a newborn infant receives only breast milk (including expressed breast milk). Other forms of infant feeding, such as water, breast milk substitutes (e.g. formula), other liquids and solid foods, are excluded.


Considered likely to occur based on multiple mathematical and historical factors.

Extreme Cold

Environment Canada's criteria for issuing an extreme cold warning is when temperatures fall to or are expected to reach -30°C for at least two hours in Simcoe County and -35°C for the District of Muskoka.

Extreme Heat

Extreme heat days align with Environment Canada definitions of heat warnings issued to warn about the effects of extreme temperatures. For the Simcoe and Muskoka regions, heat warnings are communicated when temperatures are expected to reach 31°C or higher and nighttime minimum temperatures are 20°C or higher for two (or more) days in a row, or when humidex values are expected to reach 40 or higher.



Fetal Growth Restriction

Refers to a condition in which a fetus is unable to achieve its genetically determined potential size. 

Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5)

Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is a type of air pollution composed of small solid particles and liquid droplets smaller than 2.5 micrometers (µm) in diameter that are suspended in the air. Due to their small size (30 times smaller than a human hair), they can penetrate deep into the respiratory system. PM2.5 is emitted into the air from vehicles, wood-burning and industrial activities. Inhalation of PM2.5 can cause serious cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

Forceps Delivery

Forceps (a tong-like instrument) are used to guide the baby out of the birth canal during birth.


According to Statistics Canada, there is no exact definition of Francophone. They have indicated, though, that there are two criteria that are mainly used when defining the Francophone population: mother tongue and first official language spoken, reported ability to conduct a conversation in French, and language spoken at home.


Gastrointestinal and Immunological Deficiencies

Refers to the inadequate functioning of these systems to maintain good health.  


The length of time between conception and birth during which the growing baby develops inside the womb.

Gestational Age

A common term used during pregnancy to describe how far along the pregnancy is. It is measured in weeks, from the first day of the woman's last menstrual cycle to the current date.

Getting Drunk (Grades 7 to 12)

Report drinking until becoming ill within the past month.

Gini Coefficient

The Gini Coefficient measures the degree of inequality in an income distribution, such as within a population. The Gini Coefficient is a way of attaching a number value to the Lorenz Curve. A value of zero means that income is equally spread among households and a value of one means that income is unequally distributed.

Government Transfers

Government transfers, with respect to the Census, include the following: old age security pension, guaranteed income supplement, Canada pension plan, employment insurance benefits, basic Canada child tax benefit, national child benefit supplement, universal child care benefit, provincial child benefits, social assistance, worker’s compensation benefits, working income tax benefit, goods and services tax credit (GST) and harmonized sales tax credit (HST).


Health Disparities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines health disparities as preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations

Health Indicator

A variable that reflects the state of health of persons in a community. Examples include infant mortality rates, incidence rates of infectious diseases, current smoking rates, etc.

Health Inequality

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health inequalities as the differences in health status or in the distribution of health determinants between different population groups

Health Outcome

All identified changes in health status.

Health Status

The degree to which a person is able to function physically, emotionally or socially, with or without aid from the health care system.

Heavy Drinking (Ages 19+)

Reports drinking 5+ drinks on one occasion at least once per month in the past 12 months.

NB: as of the 2013-2014 CCHS, binge drinking for females is defined as having 4+ drinks on one occasion. The definition for males remains the same. This change may impact interpretation of trends.

Heavy Drinking (Grades 7 to 12)

At least one heavy drinking episode (5+ drinks on one occasion) in the past month. Also known as Binge Drinking.

Heavy Precipitation Days

Heavy precipitation days occur where the total daily precipitation (rainfall and snowfall) is more than 10 mm.

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS)

A group of rare disorders that are characterized by varying degrees of kidney failure, low platelet count and hemolytic anemia.

Home Language

Refers to the language spoken most often or on a regular basis at home by the individual at the time of the census.

Household Food Insecurity

Refers to insecure or inadequate access to food due to financial constraints, and can be broken into down into three levels. According to PROOF Food Insecurity Policy Research, households experiencing marginal food insecurity reported one food-insecure condition. Households experiencing moderate food insecurity reported compromise in quality and/or quantity food consumed among adults and/or children. Households experiencing severe food insecurity reported reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns among adults and/or children. Please see our HealthSTATS page on Household Food Insecurity for more information.

For the COVID-19 Local Impact Survey conducted in fall 2020 and spring 2021, the definition of food insecurity levels is as follows:

Marginal food insecurity = If respondent answered affirmatively to any ONE of the survey questions (ie. “often” or “sometimes” for first two questions; or “yes” to the last four)

Moderate food insecurity = if respondent answered affirmatively to two to four of the survey questions

Severe food insecurity = if respondent answered affirmatively to five or six of these questions

Survey Questions:

“Please indicate if the statements are often true, sometimes true, or never true for you and other household members.

  1. In the past 30 days, the food that you or other household members bought just didn't last, and there wasn't any money to get more
  2. In the past 30 days, you or other household members couldn't afford to eat balanced meals
  3. Please indicate if the statements are true or false:

  4. In the past 30 days, did you or other adults in your household ever cut the size of your meals or skip meals because there wasn't enough money for food?
  5. In the past 30 days, did you personally ever eat less than you felt you should because there wasn't enough money to buy food?
  6. In the past 30 days, were you personally ever hungry but didn't eat because you couldn't afford enough food?
  7. In the past 30 days did you or other household members access food or meals, at no cost to you, from a community organization?





Running a vehicle's engine at any location while the vehicle is stationary.

Idling Duration

Duration of idling in seconds.


Immigrant refers to a person who is or has ever been a landed immigrant/permanent resident. This person has been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Some immigrants have resided in Canada for a number of years, while others have arrived recently. Some immigrants are Canadian citizens, while others are not. Most immigrants are born outside Canada, but a small number are born in Canada.


State of being protected against infectious disease.

Immunization Coverage

Please see Vaccine Coverage


The number of new cases of disease in a defined population in a defined time period.

Incidence Rate

The number of new cases of disease per population in a defined time period. It is the number of new cases of disease divided by the total population at risk. It is usually expressed as number of cases per 100,000 people.

Income Categories

The income categories, created by Statistics Canada, are derived from total annual household income and the size of the household. Income categories used in the HealthSTATS pages are calculated as follows:

Lowest- <$15,000 (1 or 2 pers.); <$20,000 (3 or 4 pers.) <$30,000 (5 or more pers.)
Lower middle- $15,000-$29,999 (1 or 2 pers.); $20,000-$39,999 (3 or 4 pers.); $30,000-$59,999 (5 or more pers.)
Upper middle- $30,000-$59,999 (1 or 2 pers.); $40,000-$79,999 (3 or 4 pers.); $60,000-$79,999 (5 or more pers.)
Highest- $60,000 or more (1 or 2 pers.); $80,000 or more (3 or more pers.).

Income Inequality

The difference in the distribution of incomes among a population (i.e. the gap between the rich and everyone else). 

Income Quintile

An income quintile divides the population into five equally sized income groups (from lowest income to highest income) such that 20% of the population (or households) are in each group. For the survey data (like CCHS), income is reported at an individual level and an income quintile is assigned to the respondent based on this self-reported household income. For administrative data (like deaths and hospitalizations) individual level income is not known, so income quintiles are approximated based on where the individual lives (sometimes known as neighbourhood income quintiles).

Indigenous Identity

Includes persons who reported being an Indigenous person, that is, First Nations (North American Indian), Métis or Inuk (Inuit) and/or those who reported Registered or Treaty Indian status, that is registered under the Indian Act of Canada, and/or those who reported membership in a First Nation or Indian band. Aboriginal peoples of Canada are defined in the Constitution Act, 1982, section 35 (2) as including the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.


The use of physical or pharmaceutical methods to stimulate uterine contractions or otherwise stimulate physiological labour to initiate childbirth and delivery.

Infant Mortality Rate

The number of live born infant deaths (364 days or younger) per 1,000 live births in a population by year.


The entry and development or multiplication of an infectious agent in the body.  A person can be infected with an infectious agent but not experience any disease.


Capable of causing infection.

Infectious Agent

An organism (agent) capable of causing infection such as bacteria, viruses or parasites.

Influenza and Pneumonia

Influenza is a viral infection that may cause pneumonia and death among elderly persons and those with cardiovascular or pulmonary disease conditions. Influenza and pneumonia are usually combined together because the confirmation of influenza as the causative agent can be difficult and under-represents the true number of cases.
ICD 10 Codes: J10-J18

Institutional Resident

Person who lives in an institutional collective dwelling, such as a hospital, a nursing home or a jail. This includes residents under care or custody and employee residents and family members living with them, if any.

Intact Family

According to the Census, in an ‘intact family’, all children are the biological or adopted children of both persons in the couple. This category also includes children living in census families for whom it cannot be determined whether it is an intact family or a stepfamily.

Intentional Self-Harm (Suicide)

Intentional self-harm (injury purposefully caused by the victim to him/herself) that results in death. Includes purposely self-inflicted poisoning or injury suicide.
ICD 10 Codes: X60-X84; Y87.0

International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10)

The international classification of diseases and related health problems (ICD) sets the standard for diagnostic classification for the compilation of national mortality and morbidity statistics by WHO Member States, including Canada. The ICD has undergone several periodic revisions over the years, which have been coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1948. The ICD is currently in it's tenth revision (ICD-10). The most current version of the ICD-10 is available on the WHO website -

The ICD-10 has undergone some modification to meet the specific administrative, epidemiological and public health research requirements of Canadians (ICD-10-CA). ICD-10-CA was developed by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) in collaboration with an Expert Panel of physicians, external field reviewers and the CIHI classification team. The ICD-10-CA is based on and is wholly comparable with WHO ICD-10 classification. The ICD-10-CA is the classification recommended in most clinical settings. It is the national standard for reporting morbidity statistics.


Penetrates sites where bacteria are not usually found such as blood or cerebrospinal fluid.

Ischaemic Heart Disease

Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is characterized by reduced blood supply to the heart caused by disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle. The two most common manifestations of IHD are angina pectoris and acute myocardial infarction.
ICD 10 Codes: I20-I25




Jaundice is the yellowing of the skin and eyes caused by excess of a substance called bilirubin in the blood.  Bilirubin is the molecule leftover after the iron in a hemoglobin molecule is removed. Jaundice is not a disease in itself but it is a symptom of other conditions.


Labour Force

Refers to persons who were either employed or unemployed during the week (Sunday to Saturday) prior to Census Day.

Land Transport Accidents

Any accident involving a device designed primarily for, or being used at the time primarily for, conveying persons or goods from one place to another on land. Excludes accidents to persons engaged in the maintenance or repair of transport equipment or vehicle (not in motion) unless injured by another vehicle in motion, accidents involving vehicles, but unrelated to the hazards associated with the means of transportation, e.g., injuries received in a fight on board ship; transport vehicle involved in a cataclysm; finger crushed when shutting car door, assault by crashing of motor vehicle, event of undetermined intent and intentional self-harm.
ICD 10 Codes: V01-V89

Large for Gestational Age (LGA)

A baby who is larger than 90% of babies of the same gestational age for singleton infants born in Canada (excluding Ontario) between 1994 and 1996.

Latent Tuberculosis Infection (Latent TB)

People with latent TB infection have TB bacteria in their bodies, but the bacteria are not active so these people are not sick. This is different than TB disease where the bacteria are multiplying and damaging tissue. People with latent TB infection do not have symptoms of TB disease and they cannot spread the germs to others. However, they may develop TB disease in the future. They are often prescribed medicine to prevent them from developing TB disease. This medicine must be taken for several months.

Lead Indicator

A measurement or observation that occurs before changes to another value or event of interest, and may be used to predict changes in the value or event of interest.


An abnormal change in structure of an organ or part due to injury or disease.

Life Expectancy

The number of years that an individual is expected to live according to statistics.

Lone-Parent Family

Includes families containing only one parent with his or her child(ren).

Long-Term Unemployed

The long term unemployed includes unemployed persons in private households who last worked in or before 2015.

Lorenz Curve

The Lorenz Curve is often associated with income distribution calculations by helping us to visualize the distribution of wealth in a population. For example, if income distribution were perfectly equal, 30% of households would bring in 30% of a population’s income.

Low Birth Weight

An infant weighing less than 5lbs 8oz or 2500 grams at birth regardless of gestational age.

Low Income Cut-off (LICO)

Income levels at which families or unattached individuals spend 20% more than average on food, shelter and clothing. The low income cut-offs (LICOs) represent levels of income where people spend disproportionate amounts of money for food, shelter, and clothing. LICOs are based on family and community size. The cut-offs are regularly updated to account for changes in the consumer price index.

Low Income Measure

Statistics Canada defines this as a fixed percentage (50%) of median adjusted household income, where “adjusted” reflects the fact that as the number of household members increases, a household’s needs also increase. A family is considered to be low income when their income is below the Low-Income Measure (LIM) for their family type and size.

Low Lying Placenta

A complication of pregnancy (also known as placenta previa) when the placenta is in the lower segment of the uterus and covers part or all of the cervix blocking the baby's way out of the uterus.

Low-Risk Drinking

Adhering to the Canadian low-risk drinking guidelines to reduce long-term health risks by consuming no more than 3 drinks a day or 15 drinks a week for men and no more than 2 drinks a day or 10 drinks per week for women, combined with some non-drinking days each week.




Macrocephaly is defined as a head circumference more than two standard deviations larger than the average for a given age and sex. Generally, this is used to refer to a congenital anomaly observed among newborns.

Market Basket Measure (MBM)

Market Basket Measure is based on the cost of a specific basket of goods and services representing a modest, basic standard of living. It includes the costs of food, clothing, footwear, transportation, shelter and other expenses for a reference family of two adults aged 25-49 and two children (aged 9 and 13).

Material Deprivation

Material Deprivation refers to the inability for individuals and communities to access and attain basic material needs. It encompasses income, housing quality, single parent households, government payments and educational attainment. Material deprivation is closely connected to poverty and refers to inability for individuals and communities to access and attain basic material needs.

This measure is derived from the Ontario Marginalization Index (ON-Marg) [link to onmarg:].

Maternal Diabetes

Maternal Diabetes or gestational diabetes is a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes have high blood glucose levels during pregnancy.


The average of a data set; found by adding all numbers together and then dividing the sum of the given numbers by the total number of numbers.


The numerical value separating the higher half of a data sample, a population, or a probability distribution, from the lower half.

Medical Exemption

Statement in the prescribed form signed by a physician or a registered nurse in the extended class stating that the prescribed program of immunization in relation to a designated disease or designated diseases (a) may be detrimental to the health of the person named in the statement or (b) is unnecessary in respect of the person named in the statement by reason of past infection or laboratory evidence of immunity.


"Men+" includes men (and/or boys), as well as some non-binary persons. Given the small size of the non-binary population, data aggregation to a two-category gender variable (women+ and men+) can be necessary to protect the confidentiality of responses provided.


The metabolic equivalent or MET is a way to measure the intensity of physical activity. One MET is the amount of energy (oxygen) used by the body at rest (i.e. the resting metabolic rate). The harder your body works during a physical activity, the higher the MET. MET-minutes can be calculated by multiplying the MET score of an activity by the number of minutes the activity is performed for. MET-minute scores are equivalent to kilocalories for a 60 kilogram person.


An organism of microscopic or submicroscopic size.

Minimum Wage

The lowest hourly wage rate that an employer can legally pay its employees.

Mother Tongue

The first language learned at home in childhood and still understood by the person at the time the data was collected. If the person no longer understands the first language learned, the mother tongue is the second language learned. For a person who learned two languages at the same time in early childhood, the mother tongue is the language this person spoke most often at home before starting school. A person has two mother tongues only if the two languages were used equally often and are still understood by the person.

Most Responsible Diagnosis

The diagnosis or condition that is most responsible for a hospital or emergency room visit. Where more than one condition is present, the most responsible diagnosis represents the condition responsible for the greatest portion of the patients’ length of stay or resource requirements.

Mucous Membrane

Wet, thin tissue found in certain openings to the human body. These can include the mouth, eyes, nose, vagina, rectum and opening of the penis.



Necrotizing Fasciitis ("flesh-eating disease")

A rare and severe infection of the deeper layers of skin and underlying tissue.  Many bacteria can cause necrotizing fasciitis. The most common cause is group A streptococcus.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)​

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a group of problems that occur in a newborn who was exposed to addictive opiate drugs while in the mother’s womb. The baby can become dependent on the drug after birth, withdrawal symptoms may occur as the drug is slowly cleared from the baby's system. Withdrawal symptoms often begin within 1 to 3 days after birth, but may take up to a week to appear.
ICD 10 Code: P96.1

Neonatal Mortality Rate

Number of live born infant deaths (27 days or younger) per 1,000 live births in a population per year.

Nervous System

The brain, brainstem, spinal cord, nerves and other nerve cells and tissue.

Neural Tube Defects

Abnormalities in the development of the spinal cord, skull and brain, resulting from failure of the neural tube to close properly during fetal development.

Nitrogen Dioxide

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is typically the indicator gas measured to indicate concentrations of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the air. NO2 in particular, and NOx in general are produced by high-temperature combustion which occurs in vehicle engines, industrial processes and power generation. NO2 contributes to the formation of ozone in the atmosphere. Inhalation of NO2 has been linked to acute and chronic respiratory disease and increased susceptibility to inhaled allergens.

No educational certificate, diploma or degree

People who have not obtained any type of certificate, diploma or degree, including people with less than high school.

Non-Family Persons

Persons living alone and persons living in a household but are not part of a couple family or lone-parent family.

Non-Official Language

Refers to the ability to conduct a conversation in a language other than English or French. 

North Simcoe Muskoka

Refers to the boundaries of the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). The boundaries of this LHIN are not completely aligned with the boundaries of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU).

Nutritious Food Basket (NFB)

A survey tool that is a measure of the cost of basic healthy eating that represents current nutrition recommendations and average food purchasing patterns. Food costing is used to monitor both affordability and accessibility of foods by relating the cost of the food basket to individual/family incomes.


Occasional Alcohol Drinker

Reports drinking alcoholic beverages less than once a month.

Official Language

Refers to the ability to conduct a conversation in English only, in French only, in both English and French, or in neither of the official languages of Canada.

Ontario Marginalization Index (ON-Marg)

A census- and geographically-based index that can be used for planning and needs assessment, resource allocation, monitoring of inequities and research.

Opioid Dispensed for Pain

Individuals who were dispensed a prescription opioid with an indication to treat pain. This includes opioids administered through oral and transdermal routes as well as injectables and suppositories. This excludes opioids indicated for Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT), and opioids indicated to treat cough, diarrhea, or for medical assistance in dying. This excludes over-the-counter medications for pain that contain opioids. This includes all narcotic dispensed from a community pharmacy in Ontario that are captured in the Narcotics Monitoring System (NMS) database.

Opioid Poisoning

​Opioid poisoning include all emergency visit or hospital discharge where there was an overdose or the substance was given or taken in error. The ICD-10-CA codes were limited to following relevant opioid poisonings:

• T40.0 (poisoning by opium)

• T40.1 (poisoning by heroin)

• T40.2 (poisoning by other opioids)

• T40.3 (poisoning by methadone)

• T40.4 (poisoning by synthetic opioids)

• T40.6 (poisoning by unspecified/other opioids).

Since these ICD-10-CA codes group opioids into broad categories, it is not possible to attribute emergency visits or hospitalizations to a specific opioid, such as fentanyl or oxycodone. Included were all emergency visits or hospitalizations where any diagnosis for opioid poisoning was used, excluding suspect or query diagnoses.


An increase in incidence of a disease above expected levels.

Owner Household

An 'owner household' refers to a private household where some member of the household owns the dwelling, even if it is still being paid for.

A household refers to a person or group of persons who occupy the same dwelling. This may include those who are related, a group of unrelated persons, or a person living alone.


Ground-level ozone (O3) is a naturally occurring gas produced through a chemical reaction between nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds when exposed to sunlight. It is produced primarily from fossil-fuel burning including by vehicles, industrial activities and power generation.

A common source of ground-level ozone is from vehicle exhaust emissions reacting in sunlight. Ozone can accumulate in suburban and rural areas (like Simcoe Muskoka) because the pollutants originating from urban areas react in the sunlight during the time taken to travel out of the cities.

Inhalation of O3 has been linked to asthma, chronic respiratory diseases and even premature death.




A microorganism that causes disease. This could be bacteria, viruses, parasites or other microorganisms.

Perinatal Conditions

Conditions that have their origin in the perinatal period (between 20 weeks gestation and the end of the 6th day of life) even though death or morbidity occurs later. These include: complications or trauma related to labour and delivery, disorders related to length of gestation and fetal growth, and other disorders or conditions specific to the perinatal period. These do not include: congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities, endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases, injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes, neoplasms and tetanus neonatorum. ICD 10 Codes: P00-P96

Persons Charged

Includes the number of people charged (not the number of charges laid) or recommended for charges by police. A person who is simultaneously charged with more than one offence is counted according to the most serious offence, even if the offences occurred in more than one incident. Individuals are counted on each occasion that they are charged by police, so persons may be counted more than once throughout the year.

Philosophical Exemption

Statement by affidavit in the prescribed form by a parent of the person named in the statement that immunization conflicts with the sincerely held convictions of the parent based on the parent’s religion or conscience.

Physical Activity

International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ)
The IPAQ assesses physical activities across four domains (leisure time, domestic & yard work, work related physical activity and transport related physical activity). The total amount of physical activity is quantified and categorized into the following three levels:

The two criteria for classification as ‘high’ are:
a) vigorous-intensity activity on at least 3 days achieving a minimum total
physical activity of at least 1500 MET-minutes/week
b) 7 or more days of any combination of walking, moderate-intensity or
vigorous-intensity activities achieving a minimum total physical activity
of at least 3000 MET-minutes/week.

The pattern of activity to be classified as ‘moderate’ is either of the following criteria:
a) 3 or more days of vigorous-intensity activity of at least 20 minutes per day
b) 5 or more days of moderate-intensity activity and/or walking of at least 30
minutes per day
c) 5 or more days of any combination of walking, moderate-intensity or vigorous
intensity activities achieving a minimum total physical activity of at least 600

This is the lowest level of physical activity. Those individuals who not meet criteria for Categories 2 or 3 are considered to have a ‘low’ physical activity level.

Statistics Canada's Leisure Time Physical Activity Index
Self-reported level of physical activity, based on their responses to questions about the nature, frequency and duration of their participation in leisure-time physical activity over the past 3 months.

Respondents are classified as active, moderately active or inactive based on an index of average daily physical activity during their leisure time. An average daily energy expenditure is calculated by multiplying the number of times the activity was performed by the average duration of the activity by the energy cost (kilocalories per kilogram of body weight per hour) of the activity. The index is calculated as the sum of the average daily energy expenditures of all activities.

Respondents are classified as follows:

Physically active: 3.0 kcal/kg/day or more

Moderately active: 1.5 to 2.9 kcal/kg/day

Inactive: less than 1.5 kcal/kg/day

SHAPES Physical Activity Levels

The following physical activity levels were based on responses to past seven day frequency and duration of hard and moderate physical activity. The cut-offs for the selected levels were chosen to be to be consistent with Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI).

Has expended an average of 8 or more kilocalories per kilogram of body weight per day or greater during physical activity in the 7 days preceding the survey.

Moderately Active
Has expended an average of 3 to 8 kilocalories per kilogram of body weight per day during physical activity in the 7 days preceding the survey.

Has expended an average of less than 3 kilocalories per kilogram of body weight per day during physical activity in the 7 days preceding the survey.

Physically Active

Enough metabolic energy has been expended during leisure time over the past three months to give some cardiovascular benefit.

Placenta Previa

A rare condition during pregnancy when the placenta attaches at the bottom of the uterus (rather than the top), blocking the opening to the vaginal canal and interfering with delivery of the baby.

Placental Abruption

A rare and serious condition during pregnancy when the placenta separates from the uterus before the baby is born.


Pneumonia is an inflammation or infection of the lungs most commonly caused by a bacteria or virus.

Police-Reported Crime Rate

The police-reported crime rate is calculated by summing all Criminal Code incidents reported by the police and dividing by the population. The crime rate excludes Criminal Code traffic violations, as well as other federal statute violations such as drug offences.

Population Estimates – Intercensal

Intercensal estimates are produced using counts from two consecutive censuses adjusted for census net undercoverage (CNU) (including adjustment for incompletely enumerated Indian reserves) and postcensal estimates. The production of intercensal estimates involves updating the postcensal estimates using the counts from a new census adjusted for CNU.

Population Estimates – Postcensal

Postcensal estimates are produced using data from the most recent census adjusted for CNU and the components of population growth. In terms of timeliness, postcensal estimates are more up-to-date than data from the most recent census adjusted for CNU, but as they get farther from the date of that census, they become more variable.

Population Pyramid

The most important demographic characteristic of a population is its age-sex structure. Age-sex pyramids (also known as population pyramids) graphically display this information to improve understanding and ease comparison.

Age-sex pyramids display the percentage or actual amount of a population broken down by gender and age. The five-year age increments on the y-axis (vertical axis) allow the pyramid to reflect long term trends in the birth and death rates but also reflect shorter term baby-booms, wars and epidemics.

Positive Pools

A “pool” is deemed positive when the collection of mosquitoes tests positive for either West Nile virus (WNv) or Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEEv). Positive mosquito pools serve as an indicator of risk of exposure to WNv or EEEv and informs us of current vector and viral activity. Evidence suggests that as the number of mosquitoes carrying the virus increases, risk of transmission increases leading to human case reporting. Mosquito activity and subsequent positive pools are an important indicators for determining disease and exposure risk within a community.


Refers to all programs for high school graduates, including programs at two and four-year colleges/universities, and vocational and technical schools.

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)

Rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a series of injections administered to persons who are at risk of developing rabies disease following an animal exposure (e.g. bite). As soon as possible after the exposure, people are recommended to receive a rabies immune globulin injection as well as a rabies vaccine. Four additional rabies vaccine injections are recommended over the next four weeks. This rabies PEP course is considered highly effective at preventing rabies infection in humans.

Postpartum Hemorrhage

Heavy bleeding from the uterus after delivery that can lead to a hysterectomy if it becomes uncontrollable.

Potential Years of Life Lost (PYLL)

Potential years of life lost (PYLL) is the number of years of potential life not lived when a person dies "prematurely", defined for this indicator as before age 75. PYLL can be calculated for all causes of death or for specific causes. All PYLL statistics use the population aged 0 to 74. PYLL is often reported as an age-standardized rate per 1,000 persons age 0 to 74.


A condition that occurs during pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Without treatment, it can lead to serious complications for the mother and child. It’s cause is not known.

Preterm Birth

A birth that occurs prior to 37 weeks gestation.


The number of existing cases of disease or health condition at a particular time in a defined population.

Primary Care Provider

Primary care providers include medical professionals who provide primary, continuing medical care. These are predominantly general practitioners (GPs) and family physicians who offer the first point of health care. In Ontario, having a primary care provider is defined by being registered with a family physician or GP practice including family health teams (FHT) as reported in the Primary Care Population Database (PCPOP).

Private Dwelling

In the Canadian Census, a private dwelling refers to “a separate set of living quarters designed for or converted for human habitation in which a person or group of persons reside or could reside. In addition, a private dwelling must have a source of heat or power and must be an enclosed space that provides shelter from the elements, as evidenced by complete and enclosed walls and roof, and by doors and windows that provide protection from wind, rain and snow.”

Private Households

Person or group of persons occupying the same dwelling.

Problem Video Gaming

The 2015 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) used a nine question scale to assess problem video gaming among students. To be considered having problem video gaming, students needed to report at least 5 of 9 symptoms on the Problem Video Game Playing (PVP) screening tool, which measured preoccupation, tolerance, school and family problems due to video game playing in the past 12 months.

Property Crime

Property crime violations includes offences such as breaking and entering, theft over $5,000, theft under $5,000, and mischief among others.


Any of a large group of single-celled, usually microscopic organisms, such as amoebas, ciliates and flagellates. Some can cause disease in humans.

Psychological Distress

The 2015 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) used the Kessler 6-Item Psychological Distress Scale (K-6; Kessler et al., 2003) was used to measure non-specific psychological distress (symptoms of anxiety and/or depression) occurring in the past four-weeks. A score of 13 or higher on the six questions was used to indicate serious psychological distress and a score between eight and 12 was used to indicate moderate distress.




Quintile of Annual Income Per Person Equivalent (QAIPPE)

Statistics Canada calculates the average income per person by dissemination area (DA). Twenty-percent of DAs with the lowest incomes have a QAIPPE of ‘1’. This continues up the scale with 20% of DAs with the next highest incomes given a QAIPPE of ‘2’, then ‘3’, then ‘4’, and finally 20% of the dissemination areas with the highest incomes are given a QAIPPE of ‘5’ . The result is that each quintile/QAIPPE score represents 20% or one fifth of all households sorted according to their gross income.


Rate Ratio

The rate ratio describes how many times higher or lower the rate of an outcome is in a population group of interest compared to a reference group. For example, the rate ratio in obesity between Canadian high school graduates and Canadians with a University degree was 3. This means, among Canadians, the rate of obesity among high school graduates was 3 times higher than among university graduates (PHAC).

Recent Immigrants

Recent immigrants are immigrants who landed in Canada within the five years prior to the last Census date. For example, for the 2016 Census, recent immigrants would be those immigrants who landed in Canada between January 1, 2011 and May 10, 2016.

Recent Mothers

Women aged 15-55 years who have given birth in the past five years.

Regular Alcohol Drinker

Reports drinking alcoholic beverages at least once a month.

Reportable Disease

Ontario's Health Protection and Promotion Act states that certain infectious diseases or suspected occurrences of these diseases must be reported to local health units by health care providers, laboratories and administrators of institutions such as long-term care homes. Health units must in turn report these diseases to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. These are known as reportable diseases.

Reproductive Years

For females, these years begin during puberty and end when menstruation ceases at menopause. During the reproductive years, pregnancy may occur as the result of unprotected sexual intercourse.

Respiratory Failure

The inability of the lungs to perform their basic task of gas exchange, the transfer of oxygen from inhaled air into the blood and the transfer of carbon dioxide from the blood into exhaled air.



Scarlet Fever

A rare disease characterized by fever, reddish rash, inflammation of the nose, throat and mouth. It is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria. 

Sex-Specific Rate

The number of events (e.g. cases of disease, deaths) in a particular sex in a particular region, divided by the number of persons in that sex in that region. The rate is usually reported per 100,000 population. The numerator and denominator refer to the same sex

Sexual Contact

Sexual intercourse or other intimate sexual contact.

Shoulder Dystocia

Occurs when, after delivery of th fetal head, the baby's anterior shoulder gets stuck behind the mother's pubic bone usually because the baby is too big to fit through the birth canal.


Unlikely to have occurred by chance.

Small for Gestational Age (SGA)

Refers to a baby who is smaller than 90% of babies of the same age for singleton infants born in Canada (excluding Ontario) between 1994 and 1996. This reference was created during a period of increased availability of ultrasound confirmation of gestation age, and it is gender-specific.

Smoking Status

Occasional smoker – smokes cigarettes occasionally, but not every day. Former smoker – smoked daily or occasionally before but is now a non-smoker. Never smoker – never smoked, not even a whole cigarette. Current smoker – includes both daily and occasional smokers.

Smoking Status - Youth

Daily smoker has ever smoked a cigarette, even just a few puffs AND has smoked every day or almost every day in the 30 days preceding the survey

Occasional smoker - has ever smoked a cigarette, even just a few puffs AND has smoked some days or only 1 or 2 days in the 30 days preceding the survey

Non-smoker - has never smoked OR has smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes in his/her lifetime and has not smoked at all in the last 30 days

Current smoker - includes both daily and occasional smokers

Smoking-Attributable Fraction (SAF)

The Smoking- Attributable Fraction (SAF) describes the proportion of all cases of disease or death that are attributed to smoking. It is a way of describing the impact of smoking on a population’s burden of disease and death. The SAF gives an estimate of the amount of disease that could have been prevented if smoking were eliminated in the population. For example, if the SAF for lung cancer was 84%, this means that 84% of cases of lung cancers are caused by smoking, and all would be eliminated if no one smoked. In order to calculate the SAF one needs an estimate of the prevalence of smoking and an estimate of the risk associated with smoking and specific disease outcomes. The smoking prevalence data is usually obtained through population-based surveys like the Canadian Community Health Survey. The smoking risks are obtained from high quality scientific studies like the American Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II).

Social Assistance

Statistics Canada defines social assistance as payments made in the year on the basis of a means, needs or income test. Social assistance payments could be made by an organized charity or under a government program.

Socioeconomic Status

Descriptive term for a person's position in society, which may be expressed using such criteria as income, educational level attained, occupation, value of dwelling, etc.

Spontaneous Abortion

Also known as miscarriage, is any pregnancy that tends naturally before the fetus can survive.

Standardized Mortality (Morbidity) Ratio (SMR)

It is a comparison of the observed number of deaths (or illnesses) in a study population (e.g. Simcoe Muskoka) to the number of deaths (or illnesses) that would be expected if the study population had the same mortality (or morbidity) rate as the reference population (e.g. Ontario). An SMR of 1.0 means the mortality (or morbidity) experience in the study population (e.g. Simcoe Muskoka) is the same as reference population (e.g. Ontario).

Step Families

According to the Census, in a simple stepfamily, all of the children are the biological or adopted children of only one spouse or common-law partner – there are no step-siblings or half-siblings.

In a complex stepfamily, some or all of the children are step-siblings or half-siblings. A complex stepfamily may include any of the following family compositions:

There may be at least one child from one parent and at least one child from both parents.

There may be at least one child from each parent and at least one child from both parents.

There may be at least one child from each parent and no children from both parents.

Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS)

A rare, severe disease that is characterized by fever, nausea, diarrhea, redness of the skin and shock. It is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria.

Strep Throat

An inflammatory sore throat caused by group A streptococcus bacteria.

Subsidized Housing

Subsidized housing includes renter households living in subsidized housing. This includes rent geared to income, social housing, public housing, government-assisted housing, non-profit housing, rent supplements and housing allowances (Statistics Canada, Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016).

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Refers to the sudden death of an ifant under one year of age that remains unexplained after a thorough investigation.

Suitable Housing

Suitable housing has enough bedrooms for the size and makeup of resident households, according to National Occupancy Standard (NOS) requirements. Enough bedrooms based on NOS requirements means one bedroom for each cohabiting adult couple; lone parent; unattached household member age 18 or older; same-sex pair of children under age 18; and additional boy or girl in the family, unless there are two opposite sex children under 5 years of age, in which case they are expected to share a bedroom. A household of one individual can occupy a bachelor unit (example, a unit with no bedroom).


The systematic, ongoing collection, collation, analysis and dissemination of data for the purposes of public health action.

Swimming Advisory

A swimming advisory is posted at beaches if E. coli levels in water samples collected at the beach exceed the Canadian Recreational Water Guideline standard. Please note that the criteria used by health units across Ontario for posting beaches changed from >100 E. coli per 100mL in 2015 to >200 E. coli per 100mL in 2016 to better align with the Canadian Guidelines.


Syndromes are groupings of clinical signs and symptoms.

Syndromic Surveillance

Surveillance on syndromes or other early indicators of illness instead of laboratory-confirmed diagnosis (Example: Absenteeism, over the counter drug sales, etc.). The data are usually collected for purposes other than surveillance and, where possible, are automatically generated to avoid imposing an additional burden on data providers. 





Taxfiler Data

Colloquial term for a set of standardized data products generated from T1 tax files by Statistics Canada's Income Statistics Division (ISD). The formal term is "Annual Estimates for Census Families and Individuals."

Tenant Household

A ‘tenant household’ refers to private households where no member of the household owns their dwelling. The dwelling is considered to be rented even if no cash rent is paid. If the household contains both owners and renters, such as a boarder, the dwelling is considered owned.

A household refers to a person or group of persons who occupy the same dwelling. This may include those who are related, a group of unrelated persons, or a person living alone.


A teratogen is a substance, organism or process that disrupts normal fetal development and can lead to congenital anomalies or fetal death.

Therapeutic Abortions

Therapeutic abortions (also known as induced abortions) refer to all pregnancy terminations legally performed in a hospital, abortion clinic and private physician office. Abortions induced by the emergency contraceptive pill (RU 486) are not included. Pregnancies ending in spontaneous abortion (i.e. miscarriage) or fetal loss are also not included.

Tropical Nights

Annual count of days when the daily minimum temperature is equal to or greater than 20°C.

Tuberculosis (TB) Disease (also known as Active Tuberculosis)

People with TB disease are sick from TB bacteria that are active, meaning that the bacteria are multiplying and destroying tissue in their body. This is different than latent TB infection where the bacteria are not active and therefore not causing disease. People with TB disease usually have symptoms. People with TB disease of the lungs or throat are capable of spreading TB bacteria to others. They are prescribed several special TB medicines that can treat TB disease. Treatment is different for each person and takes many months. It is important to keep taking the medicines even if the person feels better because feeling better does not mean that the disease is completely gone. A doctor must be the one to decide when the person can stop taking the medicines.

Type 2 Diabetes

A disorder characterized by high blood glucose in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body does not properly use the insulin it makes.




The sac of muscles where the baby grows during pregnancy (womb).

Undetectable = Untransmittable

U=U or Undetectable equals Untransmittable means that someone living with HIV, who has access to effective antiretroviral treatment (ART) and care, can supress the levels of the virus to such low amounts that it becomes Undetectable through traditional lab work. When a person living with HIV attains a suppressed or Undetectable viral load, not only is their health improved but it also makes it impossible to pass on the HIV virus to sexual partners. The virus becomes Untransmittable.

Urban Heat Island

An urban heat island describes an urban area that is warmer than its surrounding rural areas. Buildings and paved surfaces in urban areas amplify and trap heat increasing the temperature compared to surrounding areas. Tree cover and green space in rural areas cool temperatures by providing shade and evaporating moisture.



The introduction of vaccine into the body for the purpose of inducing immunity.

Vaccine Coverage

The percentage of individuals in a specified group who are vaccinated against a certain disease.

Vaccine Preventable Disease

A disease that can be prevented by getting a vaccine.

Vacuum Delivery

A small vacuum is used to guide the baby out of the birth canal during birth.


Organisms that transmit human disease or play an essential role in the life cycle of a pathogenic agent.

Violent Crimes

Violent crime refers to violations of the Criminal Code against persons, as opposed to property or offences against the administration of the justice system. Violent crime includes assault, sexual assault, homicide, firearms use, robbery, abduction, criminal harassment, uttering threats, etc.


Microorganism consisting of DNA or RNA and a protein coat. Viruses invade host cells to survive and can cause infection and disease in humans.

Visible Minority

The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as "persons, other than Aboriginal people, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour."


Women (+)

"Women+" includes women (and/or girls), as well as some non-binary persons.  Given the small size of the non-binary population, data aggregation to a two-category gender variable (women+ and men+) can be necessary to protect the confidentiality of responses provided.

Working Income

The total amount of an individual's income for the year from employment and business, excluding deductions. This reflects the Federal Government's Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB), a refundable tax credit intended to provide tax relief for eligible working low-income individuals and families who are already in the workforce and to encourage other Canadians to enter the workforce. As of January 2014, eligibility for the WITB was limited  to working incomes over $3,000.

Working Poor

According to Statistics Canada, these are individuals with an after-tax income below the Low Income Measure (LIM), and earning an annual individual working income of over $3,000.

Worked Full-Time, Full Year

Full-year full-time workers' includes persons aged 15 years and over who worked full year (49 weeks and over) and mostly full time (30 hours or more per week) in the reference year (e.g. in this instance, the reference year was 2015 for the 2016 Census).

Worked Part Year and/or Part-Time

Includes persons aged 15 years and over who worked full year mostly part time or part year mostly full time or part year mostly part time in the Census reference year (e.g. in this instance, the reference year was 2015 for the 2016 Census). Part year is less than 49 weeks and part time is less than 30 hours per week.