Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB)

Detailed information for 2013





Record number:


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

Data release - December 7, 2015; August 24, 2016 (re-release)


The Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) combines linked administrative immigration and tax data files. It is a comprehensive source of data on the socio-economic outcomes of the immigrant taxfiler population in Canada.

The IMDB provides detailed and reliable information on the labour market behaviour of different categories of immigrants over a period that is long enough to assess the impact of characteristics at admission, such as education and knowledge of French or English. The database also provides information on pre-admission work or study experience in Canada, provincial mobility and family composition.

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: March/April (tax data) All year (permanent and non-permanent resident 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

Target population

A person is included in the Longitudinal Immigration Database if he or she obtained permanent resident status or a non-permanent resident permit since 1980 and filed at least one tax return since 1982.

Instrument design

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 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 Statistics Canada's Amalgamated Mortality Database (AMDB).

Each year the IMDB is updated with new immigrant cohorts and new taxation data. Non-permanent residents in possession of at least one refugee claim, work, study or temporary resident permit are also added each year. Individuals admitted in previous years may be added later on if they are subsequently linked to a tax record.

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 2010 to 2013.


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 an administrative Immigrant Landing File (ILF) and a Non-Permanent Resident File (NRF) with the T1 Family File (T1FF) through exact matching record linkage techniques. The overall linkage rate for the ILF-T1FF is approximately 87%. The linkage rate for the NRF-T1FF is 48%.

Details on data accuracy for information from the T1FF may be consulted under the T1FF entry (record number 4105).

The ILF and NRF 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 and non-permanent resident tax-filers (excluding those with only visitors' permits) within the reference years.

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