The Social Policy Simulation Database and Model (SPSD/M)

The Social Policy Simulation Database and Model (SPSD/M) is a micro computer-based product designed to assist those interested in analyzing the financial interactions of governments and individuals in Canada. It can help one to assess the cost implications or income redistributive effects of changes in the personal taxation and cash transfer system. The SPSD is a non-confidential, statistically representative database of Canadian individuals in their family context, with enough information on each individual to compute taxes paid to and cash transfers received from government. The SPSM is a static accounting model which processes each individual and family on the SPSD/M, calculates Canadian federal and provincial taxes and transfers using legislated or proposed programs and algorithms, and reports on the results. It gives the user a high degree of control over the inputs and outputs to the model and can allow the user to modify existing tax/transfer programs or test proposals for entirely new programs. The model can be run using a visual interface and it comes with full documentation.

Caution: This tool is specifically designed for analyzing the tax and transfer policies in Canada and can't be used to analyze policies for other countries. Please contact us directly if you have questions.


Information on the contents, dates, and costs of upcoming SPSD/M training courses.


HTML | Document (PDF, 642.25 KB)

An overview of the SPSD/M Database and Model product.

Package contents and ordering details


Cost: As of December 10, 2013, catalogue no. 89F0002XCB has become free. A Licence Agreement is required before the delivery of this product.

The licence includes the current database, software and documentation plus all updates during the product cycle. A new cycle begins with the creation of a new SPSD/M (database) based on the most recent data (every one to two years).

Package contents and ordering details
Subject Details
Contents: This product is delivered via electronic file transfer (EFT).
Does not include consultation or training.
System Requirements: Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 compatible computers (Users of other operating system should contact the SPSD/M team for more details). Minimum 240 megabytes free on your hard disk for access to "Glass Box", Visual C++ is needed. Please see the documentation to find the appropriate version.
Information: Social Analysis and Modelling Division
Statistics Canada
24th floor, R.H. Coats Building
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0T6

Contact us

For information on the SPSD/M or installing these files please email

Data Liberation Initiative (DLI)

The Social Policy Simulation Database and Model is also available through the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI). Faculty and students of participating post-secondary educational institutions can access the model through their DLI contacts.

For more information on the DLI program, visit the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) website.

Date modified: