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Low-income in Census Metropolitan Areas, 1980-2000

Listed author(s):
  • Heisz, Andrew
  • McLeod, Logan

The report examines income and low income in census metropolitan areas between 1980 and 2000. It examines the situation of families and the neighbourhoods they live in. It also examines the situation of recent immigrants, Aboriginal people and lone-parent family members. Median pre-tax income rose in virtually all Canadian census metropolitan areas (CMAs) over the 1980 to 2000 period. Incomes increased at both the top and bottom of the income distribution, but tended to rise faster at the top. In nearly all cities, income increased faster in the higher income neighbourhoods - measured at the census tract (CT) level - than it did in lower income neighbourhoods. The incidence of low income was at similar levels in 1980 and 2000, but the demographic composition of low income changed, reflecting rising low-income rates among some 'at-risk' groups, as well as demographic changes in the CMA. By 2000, recent immigrants comprised more of the low-income population, and a greater share of the residents in low-income neighbourhoods than they did in 1980. Recent immigrants had much higher low-income rates in 2000 than in 1980. In 2000, Aboriginal people and people in single-parent families had much higher low-income rates than others and were over-represented in low-income neighbourhoods. The share of income that low-income families received from government transfers rose over the period. The location of low-income neighbourhoods changed in some CMAs, reflecting a decline in low-income neighbourhoods in the city centre and a rise in low-income neighbourhoods in more suburban areas. The report examines before-tax income in CMAs using the 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996 and 2001 censuses of Canada.

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Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Trends and Conditions in Census Metropolitan Areas with number 2004001e.

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Date of creation: 07 Apr 2004
Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp7e:2004001e
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  1. Myles, John & Picot, Garnett & Pyper, Wendy, 2000. "Neighbourhood Inequality in Canadian Cities," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2000160e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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