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Social Policy Simulation Database and Model, version 22.3

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Released: 2016-12-05

The Social Policy Simulation Database and Model (SPSD/M), version 22.3 is now available. This version can be used to study the effects of changes to federal and provincial tax and benefit programs on families and governments from 1997 through 2021.

The SPSD/M is a tool designed to analyze the financial interactions of governments and individuals/families in Canada. It allows estimation of the income redistributive effects or cost implications of changes in the personal taxation (including GST and other commodity taxes) and cash transfer systems. The SPSD/M assists analysts examining the potential effects of changes in taxes, earnings, demographic trends and a wide range of other factors.

Given specified assumptions, the SPSD/M allows analysts to answer "what-if" types of questions. What if there were changes to the taxes Canadians paid or transfers they received—who would gain and who would lose? Would single parent households in a particular province be better off? By how much? How much extra money would federal or provincial governments pay out or collect?

The SPSD/M includes both a database (SPSD) and a model (SPSM). The SPSD is a statistically-representative database of individuals in their family context with enough information on each individual to compute taxes paid to and cash transfers received from federal and provincial governments. It is created by statistically combining data from survey and administrative sources.

The SPSM is a static accounting model which processes each individual and family on the SPSD, calculates transfers and taxes (including income, payroll, and commodity taxes) using legislated or proposed programs and algorithms, and reports on the results. Extensive documentation on both the database and model is included in the SPSD/M.


The Social Policy Simulation Database and Model (SPSD/M) version 22.3 is available on CD-ROM or an Electronic File Transfer (Catalogue number89F0002XCB).

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Chantal Hicks (613-951-5311;, Social Analysis and Modelling Division.

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