Data tables, 2016 Census

Low-income Cut-offs (2), Family Low-income Status (5), Economic Family Structure (9), Family Size of Economic Family (5), Ages of Economic Family Members (18), Number of Earners in the Economic Family (6) and Year (2) for Economic Families in Private Households of Canada, Provinces and Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data and 2016 Census - 100% Data

Data table

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This table details low-income cut-offs , family low-income status , economic family structure , family size of economic family , ages of economic family members , number of earners in the economic family and year for economic families in private households in Canada
Data quality
Economic family structure (9) Family low-income status (5)
Total - Family low-income statusFootnote 3 Low-income status - not applicableFootnote 4 Low-income status - applicable In low income Not in low income
Total - Economic family structureFootnote 5 9,688,845 116,795 9,572,045 577,595 8,994,450
Couple economic families 8,066,225 81,410 7,984,810 324,820 7,659,990
Couple economic families without children or other relatives 3,706,215 25,640 3,680,580 119,840 3,560,735
Couple economic families with children 4,222,140 53,020 4,169,125 200,730 3,968,390
Couple economic families with other relatives only 137,870 2,755 135,110 4,245 130,865
Lone-parent economic families 1,481,410 32,280 1,449,135 233,000 1,216,135
Male lone-parent economic families 318,865 8,390 310,480 35,025 275,450
Female lone-parent economic families 1,162,545 23,890 1,138,655 197,975 940,680
Other economic families 141,205 3,105 138,100 19,775 118,325


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

Low-income cut-offs, after tax (LICO-AT) - The Low-income cut-offs, after tax refers to an income threshold, defined using 1992 expenditure data, below which economic families or persons not in economic families would likely have devoted a larger share of their after-tax income than average to the necessities of food, shelter and clothing. More specifically, the thresholds represented income levels at which these families or persons were expected to spend 20 percentage points or more of their after-tax income than average on food, shelter and clothing. These thresholds have been adjusted to current dollars using the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The LICO-AT has 35 cut-offs varying by seven family sizes and five different sizes of area of residence to account for economies of scale and potential differences in cost of living in communities of different sizes. These thresholds are presented in Table 4.3 Low-income cut-offs, after tax (LICO-AT - 1992 base) for economic families and persons not in economic families, 2015, Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016.

When the after-tax income of an economic family member or a person not in an economic family falls below the threshold applicable to the person, the person is considered to be in low income according to LICO-AT. Since the LICO-AT threshold and family income are unique within each economic family, low-income status based on LICO-AT can also be reported for economic families.

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Footnote 2

The reference period for income data from a given census is the calendar year prior to the specified census year.

Specifically, income data from the 2006 and 2016 censuses relate to the calendar year prior to the census year, i.e., 2005 and 2015 respectively. For additional information, refer to the Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016 and the Income Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2016.

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Footnote 3

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.

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Footnote 4

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 5

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

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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.

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Source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Population, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-400-X2016135.

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