Data tables, 2016 Census

Family MBM Low-income Status (5), Economic Family Structure (9), Family Size of Economic Family (5), Ages of Economic Family Members (18) and Number of Earners in the Economic Family (6) for Economic Families in Private Households of Canada, Provinces and Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2016 Census - 25% Sample Data

Data table

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This table details family mbm low-income status , economic family structure , family size of economic family , ages of economic family members and number of earners in the economic family for economic families in private households in Canada
Data quality
Economic family structure (9) Family MBM low-income status (5)
Total - Family MBM low-income statusFootnote 1 Low-income status - not applicableFootnote 2 Low-income status - applicable In low income Not in low income
Total - Economic family structureFootnote 3 9,689,855 116,780 9,573,070 933,205 8,639,870
Couple economic families 8,070,935 81,475 7,989,460 536,655 7,452,805
Couple economic families without children or other relatives 3,706,400 25,585 3,680,815 216,730 3,464,085
Couple economic families with children 4,225,850 53,120 4,172,735 313,165 3,859,565
Couple economic families with other relatives only 138,675 2,770 135,910 6,760 129,155
Lone-parent economic families 1,477,190 32,205 1,444,985 369,175 1,075,815
Male lone-parent economic families 315,540 8,315 307,220 56,975 250,250
Female lone-parent economic families 1,161,650 23,885 1,137,765 312,205 825,560
Other economic families 141,730 3,105 138,630 27,370 111,255


Symbol ..

not available for a specific reference period


Symbol ...

not applicable


Symbol x

suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act


Symbol F

too unreliable to be published



Footnote 1

Market Basket Measure (MBM) -
Market Basket Measure refers to the measure of low income based on the cost of a specific basket of goods and services representing a modest, basic standard of living developed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The threshold represents the costs of specified qualities and quantities of food, clothing, footwear, transportation, shelter and other expenses for a reference family of two adults and two children. The square root of economic family size is the equivalence scale used to adjust the MBM thresholds for other family sizes.

The MBM basket (2011-base) is priced for 50 different geographic areas - 19 specific communities and 31 population centre size and province combinations. The MBM recognises the potential differences in the cost of the basket between similar-sized communities in different provinces and between different geographical regions within provinces. These thresholds are presented in Table 4.5 Market Basket Measure (MBM) thresholds for economic families and persons not in economic families, 2015, Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016.

The income measure used to compare against the MBM thresholds is the disposal income for the MBM. When the disposable income for the MBM of an economic family member or a person not in economic family falls below the threshold applicable to the person, the person is considered to be in low income according to MBM. Since the MBM threshold and disposable income are unique within each economic family, low-income status based on MBM can also be reported for economic families.

Low-income status - The income situation of the statistical unit in relation to a specific low-income line in a reference year. Statistical units with income that is below the low-income line are considered to be in low income.

For the 2016 Census, the reference period is the calendar year 2015 for all income variables.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

The low-income concepts are not applied in the territories and in certain areas based on census subdivision type (such as Indian reserves). The existence of substantial in-kind transfers (such as subsidized housing and First Nations band housing) and sizeable barter economies or consumption from own production (such as product from hunting, farming or fishing) could make the interpretation of low-income statistics more difficult in these situations.

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Footnote 3

For more information, refer to the Census Dictionary: Economic family; Economic family structure.

Return to footnote 3 referrer

The way that economic families are classified by economic family structure depends on who is selected as the economic family reference person. For the 2016 Census, the criteria for determining who is the economic family reference person changed slightly. Data appearing in this table for 2011, 2006 or 2001, as the case may be, have been updated to reflect the 2016 procedures in order to provide comparable data for all years shown. For more information, refer to the Families Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2016.

Return to footnote 3 referrer

Source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Population, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-400-X2016149.

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