IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Summary Of: Social Assistance Use in Canada: National and Provincial Trends in Incidence, Entry and Exit

  • Irvine, Ian
  • Finnie, Ross
  • Sceviour, Roger

This paper summarizes findings from the research paper entitled Social Assistance Use in Canada: National and Provincial Trends in Incidence, Entry and Exit. For many Canadian families, Social Assistance (SA) usage reflects near-destitution and an exclusion from the social and economic mainstream. For children, it can represent a critical period of disadvantage with potentially lasting effects. While committed to SA, governments worry about cost. Thus, when SA participation rose during the recession of the early 1990s, virtually all provinces instituted changes to reduce SA dependency. Eligibility rules were made tighter, benefit levels cut, and 'snitch' lines introduced. Following these changes, and the economic recovery post-1995, the number of SA-dependent individuals dropped from 3.1 million to under 2 million by 2000, while benefits received fell from $14.3b in 1994 to $10.4b in 2001 (current dollars). This paper maps the cycle of SA dependency, focusing on empirical records of SA entry, exit, and annual participation rates, placing these in the economic and policy context of the 1990s. The paper begins with a description of the database used, sample selection and editing procedures, the unit of analysis, a definition of SA participation, and the measure of entry and exit from SA. It then turns to the economic and policy backdrop of the 1990s, before showing results at the national and provincial levels. We conclude with a summary of main findings.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 2005246e.

in new window

Date of creation: 30 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2005246e
Contact details of provider: Postal: Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Jacob A. Klerman & Steven J. Haider, 2001. "A Stock-Flow Analysis of the Welfare Caseload: Insights from California Economic Conditions," Working Papers 01-02, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2005246e. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Brown)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.