Administrative systems such as health care registration are of increasing importance in providing information for statistical, research, and policy purposes. There is thus a pressing need to understand better the detailed relationship between population characteristics as recorded in such systems and conventional censuses. This paper explores these issues using the unique Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS). It takes the 2001 Census enumeration as a benchmark and analyses the social, demographic and spatial patterns of mismatch with the health register at individual level. Descriptive comparison is followed by multivariate and multilevel analyses which show that approximately 25% of individuals are reported to be in different addresses and that age, rurality, education, and housing type are all important factors. This level of mismatch appears to be maintained over time, as earlier migrants who update their address details are replaced by others who have not yet done so. In some cases, apparent mismatches seem likely to reflect complex multi-address living arrangements rather than data error.