Max Rady College of Medicine

Term: Country of Birth

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Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2022-12-08


concept/Social Determinants of Health-SDOH-Digital Library-Image.jpg The country in which an immigrant was born. It should be distinguished from "country of last permanent residence" and "country of citizenship".

Country of birth is a variable that can be found in both the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Permanent Resident Database data files, but the variable name is different in each file, as follows:

    IRCC File Name
    Variable Name

  • Country of birth is used synonymous to "country of origin" in the literature. However, there is no variable in the IRCC databases named "country of origin". Users need to specify whether they will use country of birth, country of last permanent residence, or country of citizenship (all three variables are available in the IRCC data). Country of origin is an ambiguous term with no correspondence in the data and therefore it should be avoided.
  • Country of birth denotes the country where an individual was born and labelling of race, culture or ethnicity should not be used or inferred without a strong rationale.
  • As with most numeric codes used in the LEGACY LANDING and LANDING files, the codes used in each file have different values and have their own unique formats to convert codes to country names.

Related concepts 

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  • Urquia ML, Moineddin R, Jha P, O'Campo PJ, McKenzie K, Glazier RH, Henry DA, Ray JG. Sex ratios at birth after induced abortion. CMAJ 2016;188(9):E18-190. [Abstract] (View)

Term used in 

  • Ewesesan R, Chartier MJ, Nickel NC, Wall-Wieler E, Urquia ML. Psychosocial and behavioral health indicators among immigrant and non-immigrant recent mothers. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2022;22(1):612. [Abstract] (View)
  • 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,
Room 408-727 McDermot Ave.
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P5 Canada