Application process and guidelines – PUMF Collection

The Public Use Microdata File (PUMF) Collection is a subscription-based service that offers institutions access to Statistics Canada PUMFs. For a yearly fee, designated contacts at subscribing institutions have unlimited access to all microdata and documentation available in the PUMF Collection.

Access to the PUMF Collection is provided through an Electronic File Transfer Service (EFT) and an Internet Protocol (IP) restricted online database with an easy-to-use discoverability tool, hosted by Rich Data Services (RDS). While select individual PUMFs are free and made available on the Statistics Canada website, the subscription fee is used to support the IT infrastructure for the self-serve online database.

To complement data access, the program provides administrative support. Members can contact staff for questions and technical support. The PUMF Collection program also keeps users updated about new surveys and data from Statistics Canada.

How to subscribe

Before subscribing, please check the Public Use Microdata File Collection user community. If your institution is already a subscriber, please reach out to the listed contact person to gain access to the microdata.

The PUMF Program Subscription Form is available for reference and download. Please contact for information on how to submit the form and payment.

PUMFs containing anonymized, non-aggregated data are governed by the Statistics Canada Open Licence.

How to access the Public Use Microdata File Collection

The entire PUMF Collection is available via an Electronic File Transfer (EFT) Web interface that is password protected and an Internet Protocol (IP) restricted online database.

Designated contacts at subscribing institutions will need to access the EFT Web Interface to access the password-protected EFT. The contact may then download microdata and documentation and share it with other individuals affiliated with their institution. Please contact your focal point, identified in the Public Use Microdata File Collection user community, to request an account to access the PUMF Collection.

To access the Rich Data Services (RDS) online database, data users from subscribing organizations can directly access RDS when at their organization or logged in to their institution using a VPN or proxy. Any data users attempting to access the RDS database who are not on a verified IP will receive an "Access forbidden! (Error 403)" message when accessing the site.