Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB)

Detailed information for 2016





Record number:


The Longitudinal Immigration Database provides detailed and reliable information on the performance and impact of immigration programs.

Data release - December 10, 2018


The Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) integrates administrative immigration data since 1980 with tax data since 1982. It provides detailed and reliable information on socioeconomic outcomes of immigrants after their admission, such as employment income and mobility. It connects short- and long-term outcomes with characteristics at admission, such as immigrant admission category, source country and knowledge of official languages. The database also provides information on pre-admission experience in Canada, citizenship acquisition since 2005 and settlement services information since 2013. For immigrant children, outcomes are available at the family level.

The database is managed by Statistics Canada on behalf of a federal-provincial consortium led by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Reference period: Calendar year

Collection period: All year


  • Education, training and skills
  • Immigration and ethnocultural diversity (formerly Ethnic diversity and immigration)
  • Labour market and income
  • Mobility and migration
  • Population and demography

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The IMDB includes, all immigrants admitted to Canada since 1980, all non-permanent resident permits since 1980 and tax files since 1982 for linked immigrants.

Instrument design

This methodology does not apply to this statistical program.


This survey is a census with a longitudinal design.

This methodology does not apply.

Data sources

Data are extracted from administrative files.

The IMDB brings together immigration information from IRCC, taxation data from the Canada Revenue Agency, and the date of death from the Canadian Mortality Database (CMDB).

Each year the IMDB is updated with new immigrant cohorts, new non-permanent residents, citizenship data, settlement services data and new taxation data. Tax information from previous years may be added later on if individuals are subsequently linked.

Error detection

The immigration microdata go through a series of edits prior to linkage to ensure that there are no duplicate records and that no data mandatory for matching is missing. Logical edits, range edits and content edits are used at this stage to improve the data quality of the files. After the linkage, extreme values and missing information necessary for derivations are identified. SAS software is used for these processes.


Imputation was undertaken for immigration education variables due to higher rates of item non-response for admission years 2011 to 2018.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

A series of diagnostic tables is produced after each update to evaluate the quality of the match. These provide historical trend comparisons of counts with previous years data by key characteristics. Coverage rates are produced to assess the success of the matching process.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. As necessary, data are suppressed or rounded to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

The use of the Longitudinal Immigration Database is subject to the normal privacy and confidentiality constraints to prevent the release of personal information. Micro-records are not released to users and all aggregate statistics are subject to suppression or rounding.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Data accuracy

The IMDB combines administrative immigration data with T1 Family Files (T1FF) and T4 supplementary file through probabilistic record linkages. Of immigrants admitted between 1980 and 2016, 83.0% were linked to at least one T1FF record. Details on data accuracy for information from the T1FF may be consulted under the T1FF entry (record number 4105). Of immigrants admitted between 1980 and 2017, 66.7% were linked to at least one T4 record, while 52.3% of non-permanent residents with active permits from 1980 to 2017 were linked.

The immigration files go through a validation process for accuracy of code sets and comparisons with the previous year's files.

No coefficients of variation (CV) are produced for estimates as the IMDB is considered a census of all immigrant tax-filers within the reference years.


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