Canadian Index of Wellbeing Data Repository (CIWDR) 

How to access data

Did you know that the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) maintains a repository of data collected through the CIW-Community Wellbeing Survey? The data are available free of charge to people interested in advancing knowledge related to wellbeing and quality of life. The data can provide relevant and important insights on both the specific and more holistic aspects of quality of life in Canadian communities. We encourage both academic and community researchers, as well as their students, to make use of this data source.

CIW data sets are stored in Dataverse, a secure online data storage and management system operated by Scholar’s Portal in partnership with academic libraries in Canada.  Stored in the CIW Dataverse are data for each of our Community Wellbeing Surveys that can be downloaded into SPSS, Stata, Tab Delimited, S Plus, or R.  The metadata for each individual survey provides a description of the study, geographic coverage, data collection dates, and other useful information. We also include community-specific survey documentation such as a codebook, the original survey, and related materials that may be useful when conducting secondary data analysis. In addition to community-specific surveys, we also store a merged file of all Community Wellbeing Survey data.

As part of an agreement with our community partners and in conjunction with the University of Waterloo Office of Research, researchers interested in using the Community Wellbeing Survey data are asked to read the CIW Data Use Guidelines, and return signed CIW Data Use Agreement and Data Request Application forms. Both forms are available from Dr. Bryan Smale, CIW Director (  Once the signed forms are received, researchers register with Dataverse by creating a free account, and then access to survey materials can be granted.

CIW Community Wellbeing Survey data have been used for a variety of purposes including academic research for journal articles and conference presentations, and graduate student theses. Community organization such as municipalities, Health Units, and Community Foundations have also used the data to provide deeper insights into local issues in order to more effectively target programs and services.

Future plans include expanding the data repository to include data and documentation from studies of wellbeing in Canada conducted by other researchers who wish to make their data available for secondary analysis. For further information about accessing or contributing wellbeing data to the CIW repository, please contact Dr. Bryan Smale, CIW Director (