Statistics Canada recognizes that researchers require access to microdata at the individual business, household or person level for research purposes. To preserve the privacy and confidentiality of respondents, and to encourage the use of microdata, Statistics Canada offers a wide range of options through a series of online channels, facilities and programs.
Unrestricted access to microdata
Statistics Canada offers Public Use Microdata Files (PUMFs) to institutions and individuals. They are non-aggregated data which are carefully modified and then reviewed to ensure that no individual or business is directly or indirectly identified. These can be accessed directly through the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) or the PUMF Collection for a subscription fee. Individual files can also be requested at no cost.
The Public Use Microdata File (PUMF) Collection is a subscription-based service for institutions that require unlimited access to all anonymized and non-aggregated data in the PUMF collection. They can also be accessed directly from Statistics Canada program areas.
The Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) is a partnership between postsecondary institutions and Statistics Canada to improve access to Canadian data resources, allowing faculty and students unlimited access to numerous public use data and geographical files.
Remote access to microdata
Statistics Canada offers remote access solutions to researchers and users.
Real Time Remote Access system (RTRA) is an online service that allows users to run SAS programs in real-time using data located in a secured location.
Remote Access to Health Survey Data
Remote Access to Health Survey Data allows researchers to apply for remote access to data from the Canadian Community Health Survey and the National Population Health Survey.
Restricted access to microdata
Secure Statistics Canada physical environments are made available to accredited researchers and federal government employees for access to anonymized microdata for research purposes, ensuring that all personal information is removed. Statistics Canada also offers remote access solutions to researchers and users.
Statistics Canada Research Data Centres (RDCs) provide researchers with direct access to a wide range of anonymized surveys, administrative, and integrated data in secure settings across the country for statistical analysis. Staffed by Statistics Canada employees, RDCs are accessible to accredited researchers.
Located in the National Capital Region, the Federal Research Data Centres (FRDC) provide federal government employees with secure environments to access a wide range of anonymized surveys, administrative, and integrated data for complex statistical analysis.
Canadian Centre for Data Development and Economic Research (CDER) provides researchers with direct and indirect access to business and economic anonymized microdata at Statistics Canada headquarters in Ottawa.
Blood, urine and DNA samples (biospecimens) from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), are collected from consenting participants, and are accessible only for approved research initiatives that meet ethical standards. The resulting analyses are made available through the Research Data Centres. Under no circumstances will personal or identifiable data be published.