Max Rady College of Medicine

Concept: Residence

 Printer friendly

Concept Description

Last Updated: 2015-07-22


    This concept describes how residence is defined and operationalized in MCHP research. Residence is simply defined as the location (home or dwelling) that a person is living in at a particular point in time. Residential analyses in MCHP research is usually focused on Manitoba residents, and is usually categorized into geographical areas for comparative purposes.

Residence Over Time

    A person can reside in many different locations over their life time. Residence can be measured at different times and in different ways, such as:

    • residence at a particular point in time, such as birth or death, or during school or in adulthood; or
    • the length of time residing at the same location - see the Residential Persistence concept for more information.

Data Sources for Determining Residence

    The main data source for determining residence is the Manitoba Health Insurance Registry data. Residence is usually defined using two variables available in this data set: postal code and municipal code of the Registration Number (REGNO) / (REGNO_CODE) of the family head. These values are used to determine the residence location at an individual level. For more detailed information on how these two variables are used to determine residence, please see the Residents of Manitoba concept.

    MCHP receives a snapshot of the Health Insurance Registry from Manitoba Health every 6 months and maintains this as part of the Health Insurance Registry dataset in the MCHP Data Repository. Changes in address, postal code and municipal codes can be determined by comparing the current snapshot with the previous snapshot. This historical information from the Manitoba Health Insurance Registry can be used to calculate continuous residence time periods for permanent residents of Manitoba, but also identify in-migration (those not born in Manitoba, but move into the province) and out-migration (those who leave Manitoba, either temporarily or permanently), based on health insurance coverage start and stop (cancellation) dates. In addition, the Registry can help to identify those people from out of province who receive health services within Manitoba, and thus would not be considered residents of Manitoba.

    Over time, a person may reside in many different locations within Manitoba. Again, using the historical information from the Insurance Registry, this type of in-province, residential movement can be investigated. For more information on how MCHP tracks these changes in residence, please see the Residential Mobility concept.

    Other data sources in the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository (Repository) at MCHP that contain postal codes and/or municipal codes can also be used to define residence. However, in most MCHP research, the Manitoba Health Insurance Registry is the main source for defining residence.

    If residence information is required for a project, linkage to the Health Insurance Registry from other data sources (i.e.: Hospital Abstracts data) can be achieved using the scrambled Personal Health Identification Number (PHIN) that is stored in each of the files. This linkage provides access to individual level residence information.

Geographical Measures of Residence


    The following limitations affect how residence can be measured in MCHP administrative data:

    • The Manitoba Health Insurance Registry is only updated twice a year at MCHP. Changes in residence that occur between these periods may not be reflected in the data.
    • Postal codes and municipal codes in the Manitoba Health Insurance Registry reflect the mailing address of the registered family head, which may differ from a person's actual physical residence, especially if they are children.
    • Residents being looked after by the Public Trustee Office will have their address recorded as the Public Trustee Office, but will not be living at this address. For more information on how this affect residence status, read the Public Trustee Office and MCHP Data concept.
    • In some cases, children under Child and Family Services (CFS) care may have their address recorded as the CFS office, but they will not be living at this address.

Related concepts 

Related terms 

Contact us

Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine,
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences,
Room 408-727 McDermot Ave.
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P5 Canada