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Postal Code Conversion File (PCCF)

Using the postal code conversion file

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Alexandra Cooper
Data Services Coordinator

Francine Berish
Geospatial Data Librarian

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What is the PCCF/PCCF+

  • The Postal Code Conversion File (PCCF) provides a link between the six-character postal codes and census geographic areas such as dissemination areas, census tracts and others. The PCCF does not validate postal codes. It also provides latitude and longitude coordinates to support mapping applications. It is available for the 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016 census geographies.
  • There are many situations where using the PCCF or PCCF+ is handy. If you have a dataset that includes addresses and would like to link it to demographic, socioeconomic or neighbourhood characteristics then the PCCF or PCCF+ is a great resource. It allows you to use postal codes to link to Statistics Canada datasets.
  • New versions of the PCCF/PCCF+ are released with each census and aligned with new census geographic areas.
  • PCCF/PCCF+ output includes income quartiles and geographical information (census geographies and lat/long) making it a great tool for mapping and creating linkages with census data.

PCCF versus PCCF+

There are situations where a postal code can span over multiple census geographies.

  • The PCCF file contains a Single Link Indicator (SLI) field to indicate the geographic area with the majority of dwellings assigned to a particular postal code.
  • The PCCF+ is a SAS program using a population weighted random algorithm to increase accuracy where postal codes span over more than one geographic area.


To obtain the PCCF/PCCF+ or for questions, consult the DLI contact at your educational institution.

Postal Codes

A geographic entity created by Canada Post to represent where residents receive mail, not where they live.

Components of a Canadian postal code. First 3 digits are the forward sortation area (FSA) and the last 3 digits are the local delivery unit (LDU).

Source: Denelson83 (talk) (Uploads) [Public domain]

Measuring Health Inequalities - CIHI Guide

  • Area-Level Equity Stratifiers Using PCCF and PCCF+
    This guide summarizes key information and considerations for measuring health inequalities using an area-level approach and Statistics Canada’s Postal CodeOM Conversion File (PCCF) and Postal CodeOM Conversion File Plus (PCCF+) tools.