PLIDA population and study cohorts

The spine is the central component of the Person-Level Integrated Data Asset (PLIDA) which allows linkage between all other data sets. The Person Linkage Spine (Spine) is based on the combined population from the:

  • Medicare Consumer Directory (MCD – a database of people enrolled in Medicare)
  • Social Security and Related Information (DOMINO – Department of Social Services)
  • Personal Income Tax (PIT – Australian Taxation Office).

In the 2021 PLIDA update, over 36.6 million people (in the person linkage spine) were identified to have been a resident in Australia at any point between January 2006 to November 2021. All people who were identified in the MCD contributed 89.6% of the total PLIDA population in 2021. Of the 32.8 million people identified through the MCD, most were linked to both DOMINO and PIT combined. However, people who were not in the MCD but appeared in PIT dataset contributed an additional 10.0%, and those only found in DOMINO accounted for less than 0.4% of the PLIDA population.

The Version 5 (V5) of the PLIDA person linkage spine was used for this analysis. The V5 spine was the most recent available at the time of analysis and is derived using data from the aforementioned data sets up to 30 June 2021.