The purpose of this website is to provide information about the real methods used to create British Columbia's Official Population Statistics.


About the Author

While preparing for doctoral studies, I came across this reference which foreshadows my experience with those in BC Stats Population Section, Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Services.

From an introduction as a guest speaker to a Chamber of Commerce meeting presentation, January 2008.

William Warren Munroe is an expert on migration statistics. He worked for the BC government as the provincial expert on migration from 2002 to 2006. He received a Master of Arts degree in Geography from Carleton University in 2001, specializing in human settlement patterns, migration, statistics, and geographic information systems.

He was a business owner with 12 employees in the early 1980ís doing residential construction and renovations. He also has Certifications of Apprenticeship and Qualification (Red Seals) as a bricklayer (1982) and an electrician (1990).

He returned to university to pursue studies in Community and Regional Planning and Statistics after having served terms as a Co-Chair of the UBC Tenants Association and the Coordinator of the UBC Community Gardens. In the early 1990ís, he was involved in developing a Public Participation Process between UBC and the surrounding communities to address planning issues. He also advocated bicycle routes in North Vancouver and was a founding member of the Canadian Community Garden Network.

At Carleton University, he was able to create a series of courses on Statistics and Population with several adjunct professors from Statistics Canada. His undergraduate thesis tracked the movement of ideas and his masters thesis examined migration by age, across density gradients (core/periphery), with an emphasis on migration of retirees and health aspects of quality of life. As a founding member of the Carleton University GIS Society, he initiated contracting of students services to the municipal, regional, and federal governments.

In 2004, he designed a software program that creates dynamic webpages for statistical data which has won several provincial government awards. He is currently an independent consultant living in Qualicum Beach with his wife and two children. Other activities include leading a Science Club at Qualicum Beach Elementary School (2007/2008), as well as being involved in negotiations with the Labour Relations Board regarding the promotion of excellence in the work place.


For those of you interested in migration here are links to some of the articles I wrote for the provincial government of BC...

  • "Migration between Core and Peripheral Areas"
  • "Where do the Children Play"

    This feature article was not submitted by the manager, Dave O'Neil; there was no feature article in the Spring / Summer of 2004.

    After submitting the article in the spring of 2004, I asked Dave O'Neil, over a 6 week period, whether he read it. He responded saying he would get to the article. When I finally refused to leave his office until I could see the paper and pass it on for publication, the manager found it under boxes in the corner of his office. The paper did not have a mark on it ... no edits. I asked about the edits and he said it did not need any.

    I took the paper to the Director, Don McRae. Two days later, the manager told me that McRae said my paper was "poorly written and missing important data". The important data was the Total Fertility Rates. I replied that the TFRs were in the article. I resubmitted the exact same paper a year later when the manager was away and it was accepted and published with a few minor edits in September 2005.

    I realized then, that service to the public and clients was not a priority for Dave O'Neil and Don McRae. When I raised this example to the BCPSA and the BCGEU, I was put thru an adversarial process (violating the Public Service Act, the Labour Code and the Human Rights Code) and subjected to a wrongful dismissal.

  • "Intraprovincial Migration"
  • "Regional Migration"

Here is a study that I did for Statistics Canada, testing alternative indicators of social and economic integration

  • "Delineating Census Metropolitan Areas"
  • Residential Mobility and Health aspects of Quality of Life. This is my Masters Thesis looking at how to examine and forecast the migration of retirees and challenges and opportunities in health care.

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List of Accomplishments:
  • Population estimation model: improved BC Stats estimates from 6% to 2% error - the number of people per household varies.
  • Correctly predicted that the estimates procedure would have to be adjusted two years after the census to take out compound growth.
  • Helped with the completion of the Regional Index by writing the narratives for almost all the regions and industries.
  • Initiated the development of a queriable website to provide users with population estimates and projections.
  • Initiated the development of a software program, e-statsBC, that would write the code (.asp) to create queriable webpages with table and graph outputs of all BCStats data.
  • Initiated the development of a software program, web access data management tool that would write the code (.aspx) to create queriable webpages with table and graph outputs of all BCStats data. It was this innovative program that has won awards.
  • Rewrote the program (from scratch in APL) to estimate monthly interprovincial migration numbers using Child Tax Benefit data. For years the numbers were completely unreliable, but now they replicate StatCan figures exactly.
  • Revised method for calculating International in and out migration figures by separating NPR net figures correctly in order to compare Statistics Canada population estimates by age with those from BC Stats to the Census Division (RD) level. (Part of my job was to know about the difference between the two sources).
  • Created a database structure that accommodates any BC Stats dataset.
  • Created a database to handle single input text narratives regarding factors that influence migration.
  • Created a database to handle footnotes to accompany population estimates.
  • Learned several computer languages including .asp, .xml, sql, apl.
  • Completed several courses through the BCPSA including project management, consulting, MSAccess.
  • Advocated four population projection scenarios 1) central tendency 2)low growth3) high growth 4) cyclicality or boom/bust scenario based on historical trends in migration that show a positive correlation with commodity prices.
  • Correctly forecasted (in 2004) that there would likely be a decline in commodity prices in 2008. Migration moves from core to periphery when commodity prices rise. On the other hand, migration moves from periphery to core when commodity prices decline.

When I started working as the provincial expert on migration, I advocated population projections that include cyclical fluctuations in migration using aggregated commodity prices indexes as an indicator. The 30 year migration projection I modelled based on historical trends including cyclicality showed (since 2004) that the next major drop in commodity prices would likely occur in or around 2008 followed by increased out-migration especially of young adults. The model showed that there is a fifteen year cycle, peak to peak or trough to trough.

Eventually my contributions, including reducing error, time, and cost, were considered "confrontational" (contract lawyer Ms Rusen, June 22, 2007 speaking on behalf of BC Stats and the Ministry of Labour and Citizen's Services).


Past Current Activities

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Website content, code, and design by W.W. Munroe. Copyright 1999 - 2012.