Measuring Poverty: A Brief Update of Statistics

Report
Measuring Poverty
A Brief Update of Data Available
through Statistics Canada
Planning and Policy Support
December 10, 2013
Topics
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Statistics Canada and Measuring Poverty
London’s numbers
Threshold amounts
Definitions
Pros and Cons
Current availability
Recommended reading
Statistics Canada & Measuring Poverty
• “Statistics Canada does not define 'poor' nor
does it estimate the number of poor families
and individuals in Canada.”
• Early 1960’s to today - published low-income
statistics – key dimension of poverty – low
income = at-risk of poverty
Source: Statistics Canada. Income Research Paper Series. Low Income Lines 2011-2012.
Catalogue no. 75F0002M — No. 002. Modified June 27, 2013.
London’s Numbers
% of People Below Low Income
Lines: London CMA, 2011
20
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
% of People Below LIM:
London, 2010
16.8
16.7
16.6
16.5
16.4
16.3
LICO
LICO LIM (after MBM
(after tax) (before
tax)
tax)
Source: Statistics Canada CANSIM table 202-0802. Data
must be used with caution.
16.2
NHS
Taxfiler
Source: Statistics Canada NHS Community Profile and
Small Area Administrative Data provided through the
Community Data Program.
The Thresholds
$50,000
$45,440
$45,000
$37,843
$40,000
$35,000
$39,860
$32,131
$31,335
$28,185
$30,000
$25,353
$23,799
$22,720
$25,000
$20,366 $19,930
$20,170
$20,000
$16,513 $16,829
$15,000
$33,657
$10,000
$5,000
$0
single
2 person
Source: Statistics Canada. Low Income Lines 2011-2012
4 person
before tax LICO
after tax LICO
before tax LIM
after tax LIM
MBM
Measure #1 – Low Income Cut Off
• First published in 1967; current thresholds based on 1992
spending patterns
• If family income below LICO, then likely to be spending
more than the average on food, shelter, clothing
• Mixed consumption/equity measure
Measure #2 – Market Basket Measure
• Dates back to 2000
• Measure of consumption
• Cost of nutritious diet, shelter, public transit, clothing and footwear,
other necessary goods and services
• If family income below the MBM line, unlikely to be able to afford
all items
Measure #3 – Low Income Measure
• Used by Province to track progress
• Measure of equity
• Household considered poor if income is 50%
below the median
50% have income below the median
Poor =
having
income
50%
below the
LIM
50% have
income
above the
median
Median household income
Before Tax or After Tax?
• Before Tax – historic – does not take into
account tax transfers and credits – Campaign
2000
• After Tax – 2006 Census – preferred by Stats
Can as takes into account tax transfers and
credits
• Looking at both allows us to see impact of tax
measures
Pros and Cons
Pros
Cons
LICO
History
Adjusts for family size
Adjusts for community size
Expenditure assumptions not being
updated
LIM
Used by Province to track progress Community size and regional
differences not accounted for
MBM
Adjusts for family size, regional
differences
Clarity
Debate as to contents of basket
Current Status of Data Availability for
London
Data source
# below LICO
# below LIM
# below MBM
Geography
Timing
Trend
NHS by request City
Census
Not to be
compared to
previous years
Taxfiler CANSIM
CMA
Annual, 2 to 3
year lag
Yes
NHS online
City
Census
None
Taxfiler –
Community
Data Program
City
Annual, 2 to 3
year lag
Yes
Taxfiler CANSIM
CMA
Annual, 2 to 3
year lag
Yes
Taxfiler CANSIM
CMA
Annual, 2 to 3
year lag
Yes
A Final Thought
• “… low-income statistics are not intended to
provide an indication of the success or failure
of specific programs designed to assist the
poor.”
Source: Statistics Canada. Income Research Paper Series. Low Income Lines 2011-2012. Catalogue no.
75F0002M — No. 002. Modified June 27, 2013.
Recommended Reading
• Cutting Through the Fog by John Stapleton
http://metcalffoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/cuttingthrough-the-fog.pdf
• Poverty. Where Do We Draw the Line by Chris Sarlo
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraserca/Content/research-news/research/publications/Poverty-where-dowe-draw-the-line.pdf
• A Measure of Poverty in Canada. A Guide to the Debate About
Poverty Lines by Greg DeGroot-Maggetti
http://action.web.ca/home/cpj/attach/A_measure_of_poverty.pdf
• Research & Policy Development Poverty Links
http://www.london.ca/About-London/community-statistics/socialissues/Pages/Poverty.aspx

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