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An economic region (ER) is a grouping of complete census divisions (CDs) (with one exception in Ontario) created as a standard geographic unit for analysis of regional economic activity.

Within the province of Quebec, economic regions (régions administratives) are designated by law. In all other provinces and territories, economic regions (ERs) are created by agreement between Statistics Canada and the province/territory concerned. Prince Edward Island and the three territories each consist of one ER. In Ontario, there is one exception where the ER boundary does not respect census division boundaries: the census division of Halton is split between the ER of Hamilton--Niagara Peninsula and the ER of Toronto.

Each economic region is assigned a two-digit code. In order to uniquely identify each ER in Canada, the two-digit province/territory (PR) code must precede the two-digit ER code.