*Please note that the metropolis data files are no longer available to CERIS affiliates.
Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and Statistics Canada)
- WHAT IS IMDB?
IMDB stands for Immigration Database.
It is not a single database; it is a system of database that consists of a number of relational databases.
Currently, there are only 2 component databases in the IMDB that are available for researchers to use. These are:
- Landing records for all immigrants who arrived in Canada between 1980 and 2001
- Tax files (T1 General) for the immigrants who arrived in Canada between 1980 and 2001 (with a capture rate of 57%)
CIC and Statistics Canada have been working to add 5 more databases to the IMDB. These will be:
- immigration data system overseas
- visitors data system
- refugee claimant database
- T-4 sp (other income)
- T-4 sm (income from business)
- What variables does IMDB include?
The list of variables is long. Generally speaking, it includes all the variables that are parts of the landing paper and tax return form.
- What data has CERIS received?
CERIS has received a number of CDs from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. One CD contains individual landing records for all immigrants who came to Canada between 1980 and 2001. The others contain a number of compendium tables derived from tax files, 1980-1997. Each table is a cross-tabulation with 5-6 dimensions.
Tax files have 2 series of tables:
Series 1 consists of tables for in-migration toward each province, which are further organized into the following sub-categories:
- In-migration by immigrant class
- In-migration by level of education
- In-migration by language ability
- In-migration by intended occupation
- In-migration by country of origin
Series 2consists of tables for out-migration away from each province, which are further organized into the following sub-categories:
- Out-migration by immigrant class
- Out-migration by level of education
- Out-migration by language ability
- Out-migration by intended occupation
- Out-migration by country of origin
The tables in both series contains the following information:
- number of immigrants who reported employment income
- amount of employment income they reported
- number of immigrants who reported self-employment income
- amount of self-employment income they reported
- number of immigrants who collected welfare
- amount of welfare they reported collecting
- number of immigrants who collected UI benefit
- amount of UI benefit they reported collecting
These tables can be viewed using Beyond20/20, and each dimension can be saved as a single table for use in SPSS, Quattro Pro, Excel, dBase, etc.
- Limitations of the Data
The landing data are individual records, which are very useful for a variety of analysis. Although the landing records have a ‘Destination’ variable (which is usually a municipality in Canada), that variable is reliable only at the CMA level, but not reliable at lower levels of geography.
The tax data are not individual records; they are aggregates for groups of immigrants. In its current form, the tax data has two major limitations:
- they are grouped by provinces, not by metropolitan cities.
- They do not allow for intra-urban geographical analysis because unlike census, the tax data cannot be broken down to CSD, CT and EA levels.
- Can I request customized tables?
Yes. If these compendium tables (of tax data) do not meet your research needs, you can request special tabulations.
Your request should be sent to Stats Can’s Ms.Jane Badets or Dr. Heather Dryburgh.
Before you send your request, it is important to prepare a good data structure. Keep in mind that each table can only have up to 6-7 dimensions. If your request has more than 6-7 dimensions, you will need more than one table, which has cost implications.
Permanent Resident Data System, 1980-2005
(Provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada)*
*Permanent Resident Data System (PRDS) is formerly called Landed Immigrant Data System (LIDS). It contains immigrant landing records.
HOW TO REQUEST METROPOLIS DATA
The 2005 official extracts of the landing files include anonymous landing data for permanent residents from 1980 to 2005, one file per year and all in one big file. The dbf (foxpro format) and sdf (text format) are the two available formats. To request this data CD, please follow the request/approval procedure of How to Request Metropolis Data.
To use the data in the CD, decompress the files by transferring them in a hard drive and execute the “.exe” files.