The data linkage process

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Population Data BC (PopData) performs linkage on intake of a new data set from a Data Provider, where approved. New data sets are received from Data Providers throughout the year and incorporated into PopData’s holdings on an ongoing basis.

PopData uses personal identifiers and mathematical linkage techniques to link records belonging to the same individual across files and over time. 

The Population Directory

The “Population Directory” is a PopData maintained data table that includes all the individuals about whom PopData has information.  This includes personal information such as name, address, date of birth, and other relevant identifying information, as well as a consistent, encrypted identifier (a “Linkage ID”) that uniquely identifies each individual.

The Population Directory has been built with Medical Services Plan (MSP) Registration & Premium Billing (R&PB) data going back to 1985 and is updated upon receipt of each new R&PB file. The Population Directory captures all changes (e.g. a postal code history) and name permutations (such as maiden name/married name).  The Population Directory covers most of the BC population and is the basis for record linkages.


Page last revised: November 4, 2014