Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB)
Detailed information for 1980 to 2002
The Immigration Database was created to respond to the need for detailed and reliable data on the performance and impact of the Immigration Program.
Data release - July 15, 2004
The Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) is a database combining linked immigration and taxation records. The IMDB is a comprehensive source of data on the economic behaviour of the immigrant taxfiler population in Canada and is the only source of data that provides a direct link between immigration policy levers and the economic performance of immigrants. The database is managed by Statistics Canada on behalf of a federal-provincial consortium led by Citizenship & Immigration Canada. A person is included in the database only if he or she obtained their landed immigrant status since 1980 and filed at least one tax return after becoming a landed immigrant.
The IMDB was created to respond to the need for detailed and reliable data on the performance and impact of the Immigration Program. It allows the analysis of relative labour market behaviour of different categories of immigrants over a period long enough to assess the impact of immigrant characteristics, such as education and knowledge of French or English, to their settlement success. It also permits the investigation and measurement of different categories of immigrants on social assistance and allows the measurement and analysis of secondary inter-provincial and inter-urban migration.
Reference period: Calendar year
Collection period: March/April (tax data) All year (landings data)
- 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
A person is included in the database only if he or she obtained their landed immigrant status since 1980 and filed at least one tax return after becoming a landed immigrant.
This methodology does not apply.
This survey is a census with a longitudinal design.
Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore, no sampling is done.
Data are extracted from administrative files.
The IMDB brings together information from the Field Operations Support System (FOSS) landing information with taxation data (mainly from the T1 personal tax return). A person is included in the database only if he or she landed since 1980 and filed at least one tax return in that period.
It should be noted that some immigrants file taxes prior to receiving their landed or permanent resident status in Canada (for example, non-permanent residents (NPR) can include refugees who are in Canada prior to obtaining landed immigrant status and people on temporary work or student visas who subsequently apply for landed status). Only those NPR's who become permanent residents appear in the IMDB and for these immigrants there will be tax information in the IMDB for the years of tax-filing before they gain their landing status.
Each year the IMDB is updated with a new cohort of landings and the taxation data for all landing cohorts covered by the IMDB. In each new tax year there are new entrants from all landing cohorts, not just the newly added cohort, who have filed (or are matched) for the first time. There are also those immigrants who have filed previously, but have not filed in that year (although these immigrants remain in the IMDB as they could file in future years).
The landings micro-data go through a series of edits prior to linkage to ensure that there are no duplicate records and no key data missing that are mandatory for matching. Logical edits, range edits and content edits are used at this stage to prepare the files for linkage. After matching, flags are set to identify extreme values and missing information necessary for derivations. Visual Foxpro and SAS softwares are used for these processes.
This methodology does not apply.
This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.
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.
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 does not apply to this survey.