Standard Geographical Classification 1981


Contains Maps
ISBN 0-660-50617-3




Reviewed by Toby Rupert

Toby Rupert was a librarian living in Toronto.


This is the third edition of the SGC; the first was in 1974. SGC is a seven-digit system for the identification and coding of geographic areas. Why? “The main objective of the classification is to make available a standard set of geographical codes which, when used in Statistics Canada and elsewhere, will facilitate the linkage and exchange of data among different files containing information about census divisions and subdivisions” (from the Preface).

Volume One is a list of all units of the classification, plus appendices that incorporate changes and revisions since 1976; the entire system is now effective as of January 1, 1981. Volume 1A is composed of a series of reference maps that fold out. Volume Two has a list of all the unincorporated but inhabited places in Canada (post offices, shipping points, resource exploitation sites, and so forth: 29,000 of them!). These are arranged both in numerical order by SGC and in alphabetical order by province. Obviously, this tool is extremely useful for research work and for computer manipulation.


Statistics Canada, “Standard Geographical Classification 1981,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 14, 2024,