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Canadian Seniors and the Low Income Measure


  • Michael R. Veall


About 6 percent of seniors in Canada have family incomes below the Low Income Measure (LIM), a definition of relative poverty that sets the line at 50 percent of the median household income adjusted for family size. The Canadian senior below-LIM rate has fallen sharply in the last 35 years and is low compared to that in other countries, to the general Canadian population, and to Canadian families with children. Canadian income tax data show that below-LIM seniors are overrepresented among recent immigrants, females, the unmarried, and those supporting dependent children (possibly grandchildren). Age does not appear to be of great importance. While there are no uncontestable cases for additional targeting of transfer income, there is a strong argument for assistance to the small number of seniors with dependent children.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael R. Veall, 2008. "Canadian Seniors and the Low Income Measure," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(s1), pages 47-58, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:34:y:2008:i:s1:p:47-58

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Statistics Canada, 2004. "Rising Income Inequality in the 1990s: An Exploration of Three Data Sources," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004219e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    2. Thomas F. Crossley & Krishna Pendakur, 2002. "Consumption Inequality," Department of Economics Working Papers 2002-09, McMaster University.
    3. Marc Frenette & David A. Green & Kevin Milligan, 2007. "The tale of the tails: Canadian income inequality in the 1980s and 1990s," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 734-764, August.
    4. Lars Osberg, 2001. "Poverty Among Senior Citizens: A Canadian Success Story," The State of Economics in Canada: Festschrift in Honour of David Slater,in: Patrick Grady & Andrew Sharpe (ed.), The State of Economics in Canada: Festschrift in Honour of David Slater, pages 151-181 Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    5. Kevin Milligan, 2008. "The Evolution of Elderly Poverty in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(s1), pages 79-94, November.
    6. Krishna Pendakur, 2001. "Consumption Poverty in Canada, 1969 to 1998," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 27(2), pages 125-149, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marchand, J. & Smeeding, T., 2016. "Poverty and Aging," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
      • Marchand, Joseph & Smeeding, Timothy, 2016. "Poverty and Aging," Working Papers 2016-11, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 20 Nov 2016.
    2. Tammy Schirle, 2013. "Senior Poverty in Canada: A Decomposition Analysis," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 39(4), pages 517-540, December.

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