Longitudinal and International Study of Adults

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The Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) aims to improve our understanding of what is happening in the lives of Canadians, so that we can see what services are suitable for them and what kinds of information is needed to support decision-making today and in the future.

Respondents will answer questions that are part of a longitudinal study about how people's lives change over time. These questions will be related to education and training, family, health, income and employment.

The data from this study will provide a better understanding of our society. The results will be important in influencing the way all levels of government develop effective policies and provide services and programs to better meet the challenges of our society and economy in the 21st century. Researchers, educators, learning institutions and organizations will also be using the data to understand the needs of Canadians in our evolving society.

The information may also be used by Statistics Canada for other statistical and research purposes.

Collection periods:
From July 8 to September 25, 2020
Collection methods:

In-person interview

A Statistics Canada interviewer with an official photo identification card will visit your home to conduct the interview. All members of your household aged 15 and older will be selected to participate. Data collection will be conducted using computer-assisted personal interviews.

Survey participation:


Your participation in this study is voluntary. However, this interview is important because it asks about changes in your life since our last visit. In order to determine how people's experiences are changing over time, your ongoing involvement is important, even if you missed your opportunity last time.

Your household represents a number of other households in your province and in Canada, and for statistical reasons, your household cannot be replaced. Because of this, choosing not to take part negatively affects the results of this study. All the selected households are needed to ensure that the collected information is as precise and accurate as possible to represent your province and Canada overall. Therefore, your continued involvement is essential, and we thank you for it.

  • Block Information Confidentiality


    Statistics Canada will use the information from this study for statistical purposes only. Statistics Canada is prohibited, by law, from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, household, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Furthermore, this information cannot be released under any other law, not even the Access to Information Act.

  • Block Information on Record linkage

    Record linkage

    To reduce the length of the interview and enhance the information you provided in this study, Statistics Canada plans to combine the information you provide with information we already have from other surveys or administrative data sources like the tax, pension plan, and immigration databases, where applicable.

    These linkages will take place at Statistics Canada and will be done only by Statistics Canada employees who are authorized to work with these data.

    All data, including linked data, will be used for statistical purposes only and will remain confidential and protected under the Statistics Act.

  • Block Information on Topics covered in the survey

    Topics covered in the survey

    LISA is designed to gather information over time on the adult population's labour market, learning, training and family experiences. LISA contributes to our understanding of the causality and associations between major life experiences and their impact on the educational, employment and financial outcomes of Canadians.

    The survey asks questions about

    • education and training (current and past)
    • labour market activities and job characteristics (current and over the last two years)
    • income, pensions and finances
    • life after retirement and retirement planning
    • economic well-being
    • families
    • relationship status (current and past)
    • caregiving
    • health
    • life satisfaction
    • work schedules
    • homelessness.
  • Block Information on Published data

    Published data

    Statistics Canada publishes the results of its surveys in many formats. To find all the documents related to this survey, follow the links below and type the name of the survey in the search engine located at the left of your screen to filter the results.

    Data: You will find tables, profiles of a community or region, thematic maps, public use microdata files, and data visualization tools.

    Analysis: You will have direct access to Stats in brief (e.g., releases from The Daily, fact sheets), articles and reports, and journals and periodicals.

  • Block Information on Respondent relations

    Respondent relations

    How to prepare for the interview

    Please gather a few of the dates associated with these important life events. If you were interviewed two years ago, then you only need to gather information since that last interview. This includes:

    • the completion of your schooling
    • move(s) from the parental home
    • marriage and past relationships
    • the birth of your children
    • parental leave

    It would also be useful for you to gather any relevant information related to:

    • training you may have taken
    • pay stubs, earnings, bonuses and pension benefits
    • child care payments
    • support payments.

    You do not have to show any of these documents to the interviewer, but having these on hand will make it easier for you to answer some of the questions and will shorten the interview.

    How it works

    A Statistics Canada interviewer will contact you in person. If it is not a convenient time for the interview, the interviewer will arrange an in-person interview at a time that is convenient for you. Our interviewers work flexible hours and can accommodate your schedule during the day, the evening or weekends.

    On the day of the interview, a Statistics Canada interviewer with an official photo ID card will visit your home to carry out the interview. Data collection will be conducted by computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI). All members of your household aged 15 and older will be selected to participate. We know how busy you are, and we appreciate you taking the time to assist us with this survey.

    Change of address

    If you and/or your family move to a new address, please let us know! You can email or call our Respondent Relations Team with the following information:

    • full name
    • date of birth
    • who has moved (just yourself, some members of the family, or the whole family)
    • complete new home address
    • home address at the time of the last visit
    • approximate date of the last visit

    General inquiries

    For more information related to you or your family's participation in LISA, please contact our Respondent Relations Team:

    • Email: statcan.LISA-ELIA.statcan@statcan.gc.ca
    • Atlantic: 1-800-565-1685
    • Quebec: 1-800-363-6720
    • Ontario: 1-800-387-0714
    • Western Region and Northern Territories: 1-866-445-4323
    • Statistics Canada national enquiries line: 1-800-263-1136
    • TTY: 1-800-363-7629
  • Block Information on Survey-specific questions

    Survey-specific questions

    What is LISA?

    The Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) is a household study that collects data every two years from people aged 15 years and older. LISA tracks over time the relationships between people's education, working lives and overall well-being.

    LISA is conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of Employment and Social Development Canada to provide updates to information we began collecting in 2011. LISA is a unique study because of its longitudinal design. Because respondents have been providing information since 2011, it is possible to observe changes that have occurred in the lives of Canadians, and the circumstances that led to these changes.

    LISA is composed of two parts. The first part is the interview, which collects information about education, work, health, life events, pensions and finances. For the second part, these data are linked to administrative data like tax, pension plan and immigration data, where applicable. The survey data provided by respondents give context to some of the information from the other data sources.

    What is the purpose of this study?

    The goal of LISA is to help improve education, employment, training, and social services for Canadians. The data collected from your household and other households will provide policy-makers and analysts with statistical information on the decisions made by Canadians that impact their health and social well-being, and what programs and policies might support positive changes in Canadian society.

    Who is surveyed?

    Approximately 12,000 households located in the ten provinces participate in LISA. LISA selects more than one eligible person per household to be interviewed.

    Why and how was my household selected to participate in this study?

    It would be very expensive, and not very practical, to interview every household in Canada. Instead, Statistics Canada uses a statistical method called sampling. It is an established way to determine characteristics of an entire population with the answers from a randomly chosen sample. To ensure that the sample remains an accurate reflection of the population as a whole, study results from all sampled households must be collected.

    When LISA was first started in 2011, telephone numbers were randomly selected from a list of phone numbers we had at Statistics Canada to select people for the study. All households with a telephone in the ten provinces that were on the list had a chance of being selected. During this process, you or members of your household were randomly selected to take part. Because this is a longitudinal study, which is a study that collects information on the same persons over time, you have been automatically selected for a follow-up interview.

    When will the study results be available?

    The results from LISA for 2020 will be available in 2022. You can also consult the "Published data" section for more data and analysis information.

    Who uses the study information and how will this information be used?

    The data from LISA will be used by various levels of government and non-governmental organizations to identify and better understand issues to do with education, work, and well-being that people face every day and how they impact the future of these individuals and their families.

    LISA data will influence which economic and social programs are launched by all levels of government, and will help researchers, schools and universities, employment assistance agencies, and non-governmental organizations better understand the impact of these programs.

    For example, although Statistics Canada obtains information from other surveys about older workers, or young adults and their employment patterns, or entrepreneurs and small businesses, with LISA we can learn why these patterns exist:

    • Do the right tools (education, training) exist to help Canadians obtain the jobs they seek?
    • Who chooses to work in various jobs across Canada, and under what circumstances?
    • Did a government funded program achieve its purpose? If not, how can we improve it?
    • What challenges or gaps exist that hinder a Canadian's ability to go to school/work/retire when they want to do so?
    • What health concerns or life events negatively impact a person's life, and to what extent? Can we recommend adjustments to current policies to accommodate these realities?

    Where can I find more information about the study?

    For more information about LISA, contact us.

    Information about the study is also available on Statistics Canada's website.

  • Block Information on Brochure


    PDF version (PDF, 6.85 MB)

    The Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA)

    LISA is a study that tracks—over time—the relationship between a person's education level, working life and overall well-being. The goal is to help improve access to education and training, employment, and social services for all Canadians.

    Statistics Canada conducts LISA in partnership with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). We are now collecting data for the fifth wave of LISA and we need your help.

    Topics we will cover

    Education, work, health, life events, pensions and finances are some of the topics covered by this study. The data collected can address questions such as the following:

    • How does a person's standard of living change as they move into or out of work, start or end relationships, become parents, or retire?
    • What are the most common child care arrangements among Canadians?
    • What are the most typical types of work schedules among Canadians?
    • Which factors have the greatest impact on retirement age?

    In the fifth wave of LISA, new content will cover the following topics:

    • Homelessness
    • Work schedules

    You are an important part of this study

    When LISA was first conducted, members of your household were randomly selected to take part. Because this is a longitudinal study, which collects information from the same people over time, you have been automatically selected for a follow-up interview.

    Who uses LISA?

    Requests to conduct research with LISA are increasing with each wave

    The breadth and richness of information provided by participants such as yourself allow for research to be conducted on a variety of topics. As a result, research using LISA data is underway and growing. Federal and provincial government analysts, as well as academic researchers throughout the country, are using LISA data more and more to improve the understanding of social phenomena in Canada.

    LISA research is being published

    Researchers are studying the data from previous waves of LISA. Your continuous participation in this study allows research on a variety of topics to be published.

    Published research articles using LISA, by topic
    Topic Percentage
    Demograhpic 4
    Education 14
    Pension coverage 14
    Health 9
    Income 32
    Labour market 27


    • Family type


    • Access to postsecondary education
    • Effect of parent's education

    Pension coverage

    • Employer pension plans
    • Quebec's pension plan


    • Income among persons with disabilities


    • Low-income seniors
    • Savings
    • Economic trends

    Labour market

    • Skill development
    • Part-time
    • employment
    • Aging population
    • Job satisfaction

    Federal government programs and services

    More specifically, researchers at ESDC use LISA data to examine socioeconomic changes among Canadians. The findings can be used to help develop government programs, such as the Canada Student Loans Program and the Canada Education Savings Program.

    Most important sources of funding for postsecondary students, 2016
    Government student loans, including both provincial and federal student loans 18
    Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) 7
    Gifts or inheritances from parents or other relatives that do not have to be repaid 19
    Employment earnings 33
    Other sources 23

    Did you know?

    In 2016,

    • 57.7% of survey participants had a degree or certificate from a CEGEP, college or university
      8.8% increase since 2012
    • 9.0% of employed survey participants worked in a natural or applied sciences occupation
      1.7% increase since 2012
    • 69.3% of survey participants had children (including stepchildren)
      4.5% increase since 2012
    • 17.7% of survey participants lived alone
      4.8% increase since 2012
    • 30.4% of survey participants lived with four people or more
      3.7% decrease since 2012

    Participating is easy

    Although your involvement in this study is voluntary, we are counting on your co-operation. Because your household represents thousands of other Canadian households, each of your answers is extremely important. In the next few weeks, a Statistics Canada interviewer will contact you. Our interviewers carry photo identification cards that prove they work for Statistics Canada and have the authority to collect information under the Statistics Act.

    Your privacy is important to us

    This survey is being conducted under the authority of the Statistics Act, which ensures that the information you provide will be kept confidential. We do not release any information that could identify you or any member of your household.

    For more information about this survey


    Statistics Canada regional offices:

    Atlantic: 1-800-565-1685
    Quebec: 1-800-363-6720
    Ontario: 1-800-387-0714
    Western Region and
    Northern Territories: 1-866-445-4323
    Statistics Canada national enquiries line: 1-800-263-1136
    TTY: 1-800-363-7629
    Email: Statcan.LISA-ELIA.Statcan@statcan.gc.ca

    Thank you for your participation!

  • For more information about this survey (questionnaires, definitions, data sources and methods used): survey number 5144
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