Database Credentialed Access

Canadian Community Health Survey Public Use Microdata File (CCHS-PUMF)

Yulric Sequeira

Published: Feb. 2, 2024. Version: 1.0 <View latest version>

When using this resource, please cite: (show more options)
Sequeira, Y. (2024). Canadian Community Health Survey Public Use Microdata File (CCHS-PUMF) (version 1.0). Health Data Nexus.


The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) is a nationwide project initiated by Statistics Canada, aimed at collecting information related to health status, healthcare utilization, and health determinants among the Canadian population. The survey's primary objective is to provide data for public health planning and decision-making to improve the health and well-being of Canadians. Employing a large, representative sample, the CCHS covers a wide array of topics including chronic health conditions, mental health, and lifestyle factors influencing health such as diet, physical activity, and smoking habits.


The CCHS has the following objectives:

  • Support health surveillance programs by providing health data at the national, provincial, and intra-provincial level;
  • Provide a single data source for health research on small populations and rare characteristic;
  • Timely release of information easily accessible to a diverse community of users;
  • Create a flexible survey instrument that includes a rapid response option to address emerging issues related to the health of the population;


The survey has a multistage, stratified cluster design that represents approximately 98% of the Canadian population aged 12 years and over and attained an average response rate of 79% over the study period. The CCHS is conducted through telephone and in-person interviews, and all responses are self-reported. Responses are weighted to represent the participant's contribution to the total population. For additional details on how survey data was collected, please consult the published methodology.

Data Description

The data consists of multiple CSV files one for each cycle of the CCHS from 2001 to 2018. Each column in the CSV file represents a variable in the dataset. For the full documentation on all the variables included within each cycle of the CCHS can be found on the Statistics Canada website. Broad categories of variables include:

  • Demographic/identity information
  • Health status (physical and mental)
  • Physical activity
  • Nutritional information
  • Health care service access/indicators

Usage Notes

The cchsflow package provides a beginner friendly entryway into this dataset. The package provides code that harmonizes variables from the different cycles of the CCHS into a single variable that can be used in a study. Refer to the cchsflow documentation for more information.

The data dictionaries and other documentation on the different cycles of the CCHS can be found in the cchsflow OSF repository

Release Notes

v1.0 is the initial release of the dataset.


The dataset was collected by Statistics Canada per organizational data ethics principles.


CCHS data is accessed and adapted in accordance to the Statistics Canada Open License Agreement.

Source from Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey 2001 to 2018 PUMF, accessed March 2022. Reproduced and distributed on an “as is” basis with the permission of Statistics Canada.

Adapted from Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Surveys 2001 to 2018 PUMF, accessed March 2022. This does not constitute an endorsement by Statistics Canada of this product.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


  1. Manuel D, Bennett C, Yusuf W, Sequeira Y, Vyuha R, Candeliere J, Schramm DC, Wellman M, Chen K, Thomson M. “cchsflow - An R package for the harmonization of variables across the survey cycles.” OSF. 2019. doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/HKUY3.


Access Policy:
Only credentialed users who sign the DUA can access the files.

License (for files):
Statistics Canada Open License

Data Use Agreement:
T-CAIREM Data Use Agreement

Required training:
TCPS 2: CORE 2022

Corresponding Author
You must be logged in to view the contact information.
  • 1.0 - Feb. 2, 2024
  • 1.1 - April 24, 2024