Western SPOs Data Workshop, 2021


On June 22nd and 24th, 2021, CYRRC partnered with Western SPO umbrellas – AAISA, AMSSA, MANSO, and SAISIA to host workshops on refugee mobility and retention rates and economic outcomes. The objective of these workshops was to build the capacity of Service Provider Organizations (SPOs) to access and use data from the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB). 

Facilitated by CYRRC researchers Yoko Yoshida (Western University) and Jonathan Amoyaw (Dalhousie University), the workshops provided specific instruction on:

  • How to produce tables and charts based on the publicly available IMDB data products
  • What this information means in the context of program planning and evaluation
  • Limitations of the IMDB and who to contact for more information.

The examples and case studies referenced in the workshops focused on refugee settlement and the experiences of SPOs in Western Provinces (BC, AB, SK, and MB), however, the skills and tools taught can also be applied to explore broader immigration issues across Canada.

Mobility Workshop – June 22, 2021


Economic Outcomes Workshop – June 24, 2021


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Respecting the privacy of individuals is very important to Statistics Canada. As such, proper measures are implemented to ensure the confidentiality of the personal information in the IMDB. To protect confidentiality, all sensitive personal information is removed so that the linked files are anonymized. Also, publicly available data from the IMDB have been aggregated and are subject to rounding. This ensures that small cell counts that may reveal information on specific individuals are not released.

The IMDB Interactive Tool operates at a provincial level only. You can, however, find  sub-provincial data at:

Several files are included in the IMDB. This includes the T1 Family Files (T1FF), the Integrated Permanent and Non-permanent Resident File (PNRF), and the Non-permanent Resident File (NRF). The T1 Family File (T1FF) contains tax records dating back to 1982. The PNRF has information on the admission characteristics of people who have immigrated to Canada as permanent residents since 1952. Recently, the content of the IMDB has been expanded to include information about citizenship acquisition since 2005. The PNRF also includes some information about the pre-landing characteristics of non-permanent residents who became permanent residents. Detailed information about the characteristics and type of permits for all non-permanent residents (both those who became permanent residents and those who did not) is available in the NRF. Researchers can link the NRF to the PNRF, and subsequently the T1FF, to track the migration history of immigrants—from temporary resident status to permanent resident status and citizenship— and examine their outcomes after admission to Canada. Tracking the complexity of immigrants’ migration history and outcomes would, however, require access to the IMDB through the Research Data Centres (RDC) across Canada.

The interactive tool shows how many people were not retained in the province you selected and which provinces they emigrated to by highlighting those provinces in blue. Darker shades of blue indicate that, among those who were destined to a specific province at the time of admission (specified under “Geography of Admission”), more people reside in that province, while lighter shades indicate lower numbers of residence. The “Geography of Residence” button shows how many people are now filing their taxes in other provinces. See the video from the Mobility Workshop [46:10] for a more detailed explanation of this function.

Yes, it is possible, but you would need to generate and combine information from different time points using the IMDB interactive tool. For instance, you can generate retention rates for a province at different years (e.g., 1 year since admission, 3 years since admission, and 5 years since admission), compile the separate information, and compare the rates to see when the drop in retention rate is pronounced. 

Yes, total income includes the tax filer’s income from taxable sources (for example, all market incomes such as employment earnings) as well as non-taxable sources (for example, government transfers such as social assistance or child benefits).

The country of citizenship and country of birth are indicated, but the country of asylum is not.

No, the IMDB does not have information on immigrants with disabilities.

The 2019 data is expected to become available late 2021 or early 2022. It usually takes one to one and a half years for data to be available after the collection year.

Please Contact DSS Client Services / DSS Service a Clientele (STATCAN) via email:

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