Max Rady College of Medicine

Concept: Outmigration or Emigration

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Concept Description

Last Updated: 2022-12-08


    concept/Social Determinants of Health-SDOH-Digital Library-Image.jpg This concept describes how Outmigration or Emigration is operationalized for immigration-related research at MCHP. The concept includes the following sections:

    Definition: generally, outmigration means to leave a jurisdiction where one resides (e.g. Manitoba) to settle, permanently or temporarily in another jurisdiction within a country (e.g. another Canadian province) or outside the country. For the purposes of MCHP research, we define outmigration as a move out of Manitoba to settle permanently or temporarily in another Canadian province, or another country.

Data Sources


    In the deliverable The Diversity of Immigrants to Manitoba, Migration Dynamics and Basic Healthcare Service Use by Urquia et al. (2020) the outmigration rate was calculated as the percent of individuals whose healthcare coverage was cancelled for over 360 days with a reason for cancellation due to a move out of province or those individuals coded as "Cannot Locate" among all those with healthcare coverage. See the glossary terms Cancellation of Healthcare Coverage and Coverage End Date for more information.

    The following describes the basic algorithm in developing the methodology for this concept. It summarizes the SAS® code example that is provided in the SAS code and formats section below.

    1. create the immigrant cohort file from the IRCC crosswalk file for all immigrants found in Manitoba and sort by the unique IRCC identification number (IDNO);
    2. create a landing file containing the arrival and landing dates from the two IRCC legacy and current landing files;
    3. sort the landing file, and then merge with the immigrant cohort file using the unique IRCC identification number (IDNO);
    4. sort the landing file by scrambled PHIN and landing date to identify and retain the earliest landing record per scrambled PHIN;
    5. create a registry_coverage file using the MCHP REGCOV macro with a parameter for gapdays=360. Sort this file by scrambled PHIN, coverage start date and coverage end date;
    6. merge the landing file with the registry_coverage file to identify coverage episodes during or after landing;
    7. keep one record per individual, categorizing the reason for leaving and those that can be classified as outmigration, based on the value of the reason for healthcare cancellation code variable (CANCCODE) for the first coverage episode during or after landing;
    8. produce output tables summarizing outmigration counts by landing year and reason for cancellation.

Research Findings

Cautions / Limitations

    The following limitations were identified during development of this concept:

    • Those individuals who could not be located have likely moved out of the province, but we do not have the data to determine this.

SAS code and formats 

Related concepts 

Related terms 


  • Urquia M, Walld R, Prior H, Detillieux G, Eze N, Koseva I. The Diversity of Immigrants to Manitoba, Migration Dynamics and Basic Healthcare Service Use. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2020. [Report] [Summary] [Additional Materials] (View)
  • Urquia ML, Walld R, Wanigaratne S, Eze ND, Azimaee M, McDonald JT, Guttmann A. Linking national immigration data to provincial repositories: The case of Canada. Int J Popul Data Sci 2021;6(1):1412. [Abstract] (View)

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Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine,
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences,
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