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Total income

Part A - Short definition:

Total of income from all sources, including employment income, income from government programs, pension income, investment income and any other money income.

Part B - Detailed definition:

Total income refers to monetary receipts from certain sources, before income taxes and deductions, during a calendar year 2010. It includes employment income from wages, salaries, tips, commissions and net income from self-employment (for both unincorporated farm and non-farm activities); income from government sources, such as social assistance, child benefits, employment insurance, Old Age Security pension, Canada or Quebec pension plan benefits and disability income; income from employer and personal pension sources, such as private pensions and payments from annuities and RRIFs; income from investment sources, such as dividends and interest on bonds, accounts, GIC's and mutual funds; and other regular cash income, such as child support payments received, spousal support payments (alimony) received and scholarships. The monetary receipts included are those that tend to be of a regular and recurring nature. It excludes one-time receipts, such as: lottery winnings, gambling winnings, cash inheritances, lump sum insurance settlements, capital gains and RRSP withdrawals. Capital gains are excluded because they are not by their nature regular and recurring. It is further assumed that they are less likely to be fully spent in the period in which they are received, unlike income that is regular and recurring. Also excluded are employer's contributions to registered pension plans, Canada and Quebec pension plans, and employment insurance. Finally, voluntary inter-household transfers, imputed rent, goods and services produced for barter, and goods produced for own consumption are excluded from this total income definition.

Reported in:


Reported for:

Population aged 15 years and over in private households

Question number(s):

Derived variable. Questions 54 and 55


Positive or negative dollar value or nil


Respondents were asked a direct question on their total income including capital gains or losses. As the concept excludes capital gains or losses, total income was derived excluding these amounts. For persons allowing access to their income tax data, the total income was derived from amounts reported on their 2010 income tax and benefit returns and administrative Canada Child Tax Benefit files.

For records with information from administrative data, some taxable in-kind benefits may be involuntarily included and some non-taxable sources of income may be involuntarily excluded. For more information on the quality of the data, please refer to the appropriate section in the Income Reference Guide.

This definition is conceptually equivalent to that on the 2006 Census. The population covered however are different. In the 2006 Census, the universe also included persons aged 15 years and over living in collective non-institutional dwellings.

See also After-tax income

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