Using StatCan Child and Family Health Data

data design

Statistics Canada brings together data from surveys, administrative, and integrated datasets to improve Canadians' knowledge of health behaviours, social determinants, equity and related outcomes.

Expand the items below for information on how to access StatCan data through the Research Data Centres (RDCs) and about services offered by the Social Data Linkage Environment (SDLE) team at StatCan. 

Accessing data through StatCan's Research Data Centres (RDCs)

Data collected by Statistics Canada

Survey data:

  • Cross-sectional
  • Topics that are commonly explored using survey data include:
    1. Issues that impact the mental and physical health of children and youth (e.g., physical activity, time spent in school and extracurricular activities, use of devices, sedentary behaviour)
    2. Health surveillance and population health research
    3. Information about health and health habits, collected through surveys, household interviews, anthropometric measures, laboratory/clinical data
  • Examples of surveys include:
    1. Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS)
    2. Canadian Health Survey on Children and Youth (CHSCY)
    3. Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS)

 Administrative data:

  • Important for producing demographic and health indicators, including life expectancy, mortality, leading cause of death, cancer survival, fertility, heath service use (admissions, discharges)
  • Family size, composition, and income estimates across various levels of geography, through use of tax files
  • Characteristics of immigrants upon arriving in Canadian, as well as long-term economic outcomes and mobility
  • Examples of administrative data sources:
  1. Canadian Vital Statistics (births and deaths)
  2. Canadian Cancer Registry (CCR)
  3. Hospital records: Discharge Abstract Database, Ontario Mental Health Reporting System, National Ambulatory Care Reporting System
  4. T1 Family Files (tax records of spouses, common-law partners, and their dependents)
  5. Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDb)


Integrated datasets:

  • Comprises multiple data sources, which together provide information on social determinants of health using survey and administrative data
  • Includes individual record linkage and area level
  • Examples:
    1. Canadian Census Health and Environment Cohorts - CanCHEC (long form census linked with administrative health data)
    2. Surveys linked to health administrative and census data (CCHS linked with vital statistics, hospitalization data, tax data, census short form, disease registries, etc.)
  • Mother-centric linkages (e.g., Canadian Birth Census Cohorts – CanBCC)
    1. Linked cohorts of mothers and babies from birth and stillbirth registries
    2. Uses data from census, immigration records, tax files, hospital records

How to Access Data from the RDCs:

For information about Research Data Centres and the application process, please visit []

For additional information about data available through the Research Data Centres, please visit []

Approved microdata linkages, including submissions that have been reviewed and approved according to Statistics Canada Directive on Microdata linkage, can be found online []

To search a complete list of statistical programs and surveys (active and discontinued) by subject area, please visit this site.  Subject areas include childcare arrangements, crime, education, health, immigration, labour, low income, risk behaviours and violence


Services offered by the Social Data Linkage Environment (SDLE) team at StatCan

The Social Data Linkage Environment (SDLE) is a safe, secure platform which facilitates the creation of linked population health datasets for social analysis across multiple domains, including health, justice, and education, by creating linked analytical data files. Note: the SDLE is not a large integrated database of survey information.

At the core of the SDLE is the Derived Record Repository (DRD): a relational database that includes only basic direct personal identifiers, created by linking source index files. Important aspects of the DRD include:

  1. The DRD includes surnames, given names, date of birth, sex, insurance numbers, parents' names, marital status, addresses (including postal codes), telephone numbers, immigration date, emigration date and date of death. -- historical database built using admin data
  2. The DRD uses both deterministic and probabilistic linkage methods
  3. DRD source data files are:
    • T1 Personal Master Tax File
    • CCB tax file
    • Canadian births database
    • Canadian Mortality Database
    • Landed Immigrant File and Temporary Residents
    • Health administrative datasets already linked to DRD (DAD, NACRS, OMHRS, CCR, etc.)

One of the benefits of using the SDLE is that existing linkages can be updated and re-used.

 Services offered by the SDLE team at Statistics Canada

  • Feasibility assessment of proposed record linkage projects
  • Advise on data sources
  • Liaise with subject matter experts
  • Conduct record linkage and build custom analysis files
  • Advise on analytical limitations and overall validity

Linkage project initiation:

  • Interested applicants must complete an SDLE proposal form to have the feasibility of their request assessed, and to obtain a timeline and cost estimate to conduct the record linkage.
  • Objectives must be included, in addition to details regarding anticipated public benefit.
  • Project proposal must be e-mailed to:
  • For more information about the SDLE, please visit: (