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Data sets and research tools

RDCs (The Research data centres) provide both short descriptions and detailed documentation about the data sets that are available for analysis in the RDC. The program also provides analytical and methodological research tools to assist researchers.

How to Search this Site

To search only the Research Data Centres Program website, select the "Search" tool located on the top banner, then select the "Advanced Search" option and in the field "Include pages with all these words" type in the text url:rdc and add any key word. For example, "url:rdc census" which will result in all pages on the Research Data Centres Program website that contain the keyword "census".

Call for proposals for the biobank of the Canadian Health Measures Survey

From November 1 to December 31, 2013, Statistics Canada is inviting researchers to apply for access to blood, urine and DNA samples from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) for use in health studies. The biospecimens are available to any Canadian researcher that completes a review process and would benefit from a national population survey of about 5,600 participants per collection cycle. Please visit the CHMS biobank website to download the application form and for more information about the review process.

Surveys available in the RDCs

The following data sets are currently available at the RDCs. For additional sources of data please refer to Statistics Canada Products and Services.

To read a short description about a specific survey used at the RDCs, click on the survey details.

To access detailed documentation on a specific survey used at the RDCs, click on the appropriate cycle or year. Many of the surveys below have multiple cycles. The links below will take you to the most recent cycle or wave released. Please select "Other reference period" in the "Definitions, Data Sources and Methods Pages" for links to documentation for the earlier cycles.

Record Number Survey Name Acronym
5108 Aboriginal Children's Survey ACS
3250 Aboriginal Peoples Survey APS
3879 Adult Education and Training Survey AETS
3207 Canadian Cancer Registry CCR
3226 Canadian Community Health Survey - Annual Component CCHS
5015 Canadian Community Health Survey – Mental Health CCHS
5049 Canadian Community Health Survey - Nutrition CCHS
5146 Canadian Community Health Survey – Healthy Aging CCHS
5071 Canadian Health Measures Survey
4440 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey CTUMS
  Census of Population
- Additional documentation
4508 Ethnic Diversity Survey
- User Guide
- Codebook
3504 Survey of Family Expenditures FAMEX
3503 Food Expenditures Survey FES
  General Social Survey GSS
4505 Access to and Use of Information Communication Technology GSS
4500 Education, Work and Retirement GSS
4501 Family GSS
3894 Health GSS
5024 Social Networks GSS
4502 Caregiving and Care Receiving GSS
4503 Time Use GSS
4504 Victimization GSS
3701 Labour Force Survey LFS
4422 Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada
2001 (Wave 1)
2003 (Wave 2)
2005 (Wave 3)
5080 National Survey of the Work and Health of Nurses NSWHN
5012 National Graduates Survey NGS
4450 National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth
- NLSCY synthetic files
National Population Health Survey NPHS
5161 Ontario Material Deprivation Survey OMDS
  Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (2006 - Adult 15+) PALS
  Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (2006 – Children under 15) PALS
  Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (2001 – Adults 15 +) PALS
  Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (2001 – Children under 15) PALS
5060 Programme for International Student Assessment PISA
3889 Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics
- Electronic Data Dictionary
5160 Survey on Living with Chronic Diseases in Canada SLCDC
5099 Survey on the Vitality of Official-Language minorities SVOLM
2615 Workplace and Employee Survey
WES - Electronic Data Dictionary
Youth in Transition Survey (YITS)
15 year-olds (Mathematics Cohort)
15 year-olds (Reading Cohort)

Data support in the RDCs

RDC researchers analyzing older data, or data part of a discontinued collection, or less frequently used data will have to use the data and documentation as it comes from the data provider.

As well, there will be little or no support for inquiries about content, sample design and related methodology issues for these data.

Please contact your RDC Analyst if you have questions about a particular dataset.

Using Non-Statistics Canada data sets in a Research Data Centre (RDC)

On occasion, it may be necessary for a researcher to use non-Statistics Canada data as part of their analysis. These data should complement the Statistics Canada microdata that are requested in the RDC proposal. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the researcher to acquire non-Statistics Canada data and bring a copy to the RDC. Non-Statistics Canada data can be brought into the RDC under certain conditions.

In order for Statistics Canada to determine if the data may be brought into the RDC, please provide the following information in your proposal:

  • The nature and type of data
  • What is the unit of analysis?
  • The source (e.g. website, agency)
    • The permission received to access the data (e.g. publicly available, written permission, signed a contract, ethics approval)
  • How does the use of these data contribute to the research question?
  • Will the new data be amended, pooled or merged with Statistics Canada datasets?
    • If yes, will these data be linked at the individual micro-record level?
      (Please note that record linkage requires additional approval from senior management at Statistics Canada)
This information also needs to be provided should the request to bring non-Statistics Canada data into the RDC occur after the project has been approved and the data is being added to the contract by amendment. Please contact the analyst at your RDC for more information.

Research tools

The following presentations provide additional information to researchers about the contents of some of the surveys available for analysis at the RDCs as well as discussions on different methodological issues. Bootvar is a program composed of macros which allow for the computation of variance estimates using the bootstrap method. The program is generic, i.e., it is possible to use with data coming from any of Statistic Canada's surveys that release bootstrap weights.

Bootvar is available in SAS and SPSS formats.

Appendix C of the Bootvar documentation provides for many surveys the bootstrap information required to estimate variances and conduct hypothesis tests using Bootvar or other software.