Low Income Measures
The low income measures (LIMs) were developed by Statistics Canada in the 1990s. They, along with the low income cut-offs (LICOs) and the market basket measure (MBM), were created in order to measure and track the low income population of Canada. With low income measures, individuals are classified as being in low income if their income falls below fifty percent of the median adjusted household income. The median income is adjusted in order to reflect the differing financial needs of households based on the number of its members. The low income measures are a useful tool to compare low income populations between countries as they do not rely on an arbitrary standard of what constitutes the threshold for poverty. Statistics Canada insists that the low income measures are not meant to be representative of a poverty rate. The department has no measure which they define as a measurement of poverty in Canada.
Latest data and trends
In 2021, 2.32 million people were living in low income families in Canada. This figure has been fluctuating over the years, both in absolute numbers and in proportion over the total population. More women than men were living in low income families in 2021, though the number of men in low income has risen at twice the rate as that of women. One of the more drastic changes has been the rise in the number of single individuals living in low income, increasing by more than 60 percent since 2000.