Thursday, May 7, 2015

CCHS 2012 - Middle East Immigrants


I have a student who is looking for a variable that matches a question in the CCHS 2012 Questionnaire. She is looking to identify immigrants from the Middle East and is specifically interested in SDC_Q4C which asks if the respondent belongs to one or more of the racial or cultural groups on the list. I couldn’t find this variable or a similar variable anywhere in the dataset and most other responses to cultural questions only have responses of White or Visible Minority.

I’m getting the impression that the only variable that describe cultural origin is SDCGCGT, Cultural or racial origin, and it does not necessarily specify the cultural group or relate to immigration. SDCFIMM, immigration flag, only seems to answer yes or no and doesn’t specify a region. Am I correct assuming we can’t isolate data on immigrants from specific areas in CCHS 2012?


Questions that are asked on a survey questionnaire are not necessary reflected on the Public version of the microdata file.

Each Public Use Microdata File (PUMF) is based on a corresponding master data file. The modifications performed by Statistics Canada before the PUMF is released ensure that the risk of breaching confidentiality has been removed. Since the results of any analysis performed do not have to be scrutinized before they are released, the file is considered "public."

Modifications made to master files to convert them to PUMFs may include: collapsing of variables (e.g., age groups instead of individual years of age); collapsing variables into one variable (e.g., multiple language questions collapsed into one language variable for analysis); suppressing variables (although the variable is part of the master file, it will not show up in the public file); and removing outliers (removing cases that are extremes - often used with income).DLI Survival Guide: <>

The variables related to the SDC module of the questionnaire that are present on the public microdata file are:

2012: Annual Component
SDC: Socio-demographic characteristics
Country of birth - Canada/other
Knowledge of official languages
First official language spoken - (D)
Owned, Rented
Language(s) spoken at home
Immigrant - (F)
Length/time in Canada since imm. - (D,G)
Cultural or racial origin - (D, G)
Variable SDCGCGT: Cultural or racial origin - (D, G) , as you noted, is a derived variable from -


Based on SDC_7A, SDC_7B, SDC_7C, SDC_7D, SDC_7E, SDC_7F, SDC_7G, SDC_7H, SDC_7I, SDC_7J, SDC_7K, SDC_7L, SDC_7M, SDC_43A, SDC_43B, SDC_43C, SDC_43D, SDC_43E, SDC_43F, SDC_43G, SDC_43H, SDC_43I, SDC_43J, SDC_43K, SDC_43L, SDC_43M.

I checked the metadata for the masterfile available in Nesstar <> and noted the following variables were available on the masterfile.
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access to the masterfiles is through the Research Data Centre
For more information:

or your researcher can request a custom tab:

Custom tabulations for all Health Statistics Division Surveys are also available on a cost recovery basis. For more information, contact Health Statistics Division Client Services Unit at