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  Geographic Data Cuts in Canada

Geographic Locales in Canada Canada Geographic Data Data Cuts

We provide compensation market rates for specific geographic locations, allowing you to more accurately price your jobs.

Canadian Geographic Locales in Culpepper Compensation Surveys are based on the Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) geographic classification system used by Statistics Canada, an agency of the Canadian government.

Census Metropolitan Areas in Canada are formed by one or more adjacent municipalities (i.e., census subdivisions) linked to a large urban area that contain similar economic and social characteristics. CMAs are ideal units for geographic benchmarking.

Canadian Locale Data Cuts in Culpepper Compensation Surveys
Effective: 10/4/2015
Geographic Locale [Canada Pay Zone] Geographic Region [Canada Pay Zone]
   AB: Calgary CMA [CA 2]   Prairies [CA 2]
   BC: Vancouver CMA [CA 3]   British Columbia [CA 3]
   ON: Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo CMA [CA 3]   Ontario [CA 3]
   ON: Toronto CMA [CA 2]   Ontario [CA 2]
   QC: Montréal CMA [CA 3]   Québec [CA 3]

For other cities, provinces, or rural areas not listed above, please use our postal-code search tool or contact our survey sales team for guidance on appropriate local and regional data cuts.

We collect and report updated compensation data year-round. We will include new locales and regions in Canada as soon as sufficient data is collected and verified from participating companies.

Geographic Regions in Canada

Canadian Geographic Regions in Culpepper Compensation Surveys combine regional data within a province or provinces from Geographic Locales and postal codes with similar pay rates. There are six different zone-based Geographic Regions in Canada:

  • Atlantic [X] includes:
    • New Brunswick
    • Newfoundland and Labrador
    • Nova Scotia
    • Prince Edward Island
  • British Columbia [X] includes:
    • British Columbia
  • Ontario [X] includes:
    • Ontario
  • Prairies [X] includes:
    • Alberta
    • Manitoba
    • Saskatchewan
  • Quebec [X] includes:
    • Quebec
  • Territories Region [X] includes:
    • Yukon
    • Northwest Territories
    • Nunavut

The number in brackets [X] appended to each Canadian Geographic Region represents the corresponding
Canadian Geographic Pay Zone.

Example:  Prairies [CA 3] provides an aggregate of all CMAs and postal codes in the Prairies Geographic Region in Canada Pay Zone 3.

Geographic Pay Zones in Canada

Geographic Pay Zones combine national data from Geographic Locales and postal codes with similar pay rates. They provide large geographic data cuts and are useful for organizations that want to create geographic pay differentials.

Pay Zones span the highest paying areas [Pay Zone 1] through the lowest paying areas [Pay Zone 5].

Example:  Canada Pay Zone 2 provides an aggregate of all Geographic Locales and Geographic Regions
appended with [CA 2].

Each step up, from Geographic Locale to Geographic Region to Pay Zone, provides a larger grouping of geographic data with similar pay rates.

Culpepper Geographic Pay Index (CGPI)

The Culpepper Geographic Pay Index (CGPI) is a geographic pay differential index that provides a relative comparison of the pay within a Geographic Locale to the national average.

CGPI calculations are based on cash compensation data submitted by participating companies for employees matching specific jobs in local markets (i.e., cost-of-labor).

The CGPI provides a reliable pay differential index by controlling for the unique job mix in each Geographic Locale. Comparisons are made between the pay for each job and the corresponding national average. The resulting values are then aggregated to produce a single CGPI score for each Locale. Locales are grouped into Geographic Pay Zones based on the CGPI Ranges shown in the table below.

Culpepper Geographic Pay Index (CGPI) Scores
by Canadian Pay Zone *
Pay Zone
CGPI Range
(% of Canada National Average)
Pay Zone 1


Pay Zone 2

103.0 to 111.9%

Pay Zone 3

98.0 to 102.9%

Pay Zone 4

92.0 to 97.9%

Pay Zone 5

< 92.0%

* Compensation levels for specific jobs in local markets can vary and be impacted by a number of other factors, including company size, industry sector, talent availability, competition, cost of living, and health of local economies.

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