Gap Between Rich and Poor Elderly (65 years of age and older) Poverty Rate
Significance• The distribution of income in a society is important for identifying social inequalities.• A large gap between the rich and the poor implies a society is not particularly equitable, while a small gap implies a more fair society.
Core Indicator• The poverty rate is one way to assess how many people are at the lower end of the distribution of income.• The elderly poverty rate is especially relevant because the baby boom generation is aging quickly, which implies that this indicator will affect an increasing share of the population in years to come (approximately ¼ of the population).• Elderly poverty rate will soon be one of the most prominent issues for Canadian society and policy makers.
Three Measures of Poverty• Statistics Canada produces three measures of poverty: – The Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) – The Market Basket Measure (MBM) – The Low Income Measure (LIM)• Each measure is important, as they each tell a slightly different story about elderly poverty in Canada (see following chart).
LIM vs. LICO vs. MBM• LIM is a relative measure of poverty, whereas the MBM and the LICO are absolute measures of poverty.• According to the: – LIM, a family is poor if their income is less than one-half of the median income of an equivalent household. – LICO, a family is poor if they are expected to spend 20% more than the average family on food, shelter and clothing. – MBM, a family is poor if they do not make enough money to meet “creditable” community norms, such as housing transportation, clothing, and other things.
Overall Poverty Decreasing• In general, absolute poverty appears to be decreasing over the long-term35.030.025.020.015.010.0 5.0 0.0 LICO LIM MBM Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 202-0802 (SLID)
Canada’s Major CMAsWhen we look closer at Canada’s largest censusmetropolitan areas (CMAs) the three poverty measures(LIM, LICO & MBM) tell slightly different stories aboutelderly poverty:-LIM indicates that relative elderly poverty increased from7.6% in 2000 to 12.3% in 2010.-LICO shows a decrease of 2.3% from 7.6% in 2000 to 5.5%in 2010.-MBM reveals that elderly poverty has remained relativelystable at 4% in 2010.
Elderly Poverty Rates in Major CMAs based on LIM, After Tax, 2000 and 201015.012.510.0 7.5 5.0 2.5 0.0 2000 2010 Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 111-0015 (CRA)
Elderly Poverty Rates in Major CMAs based on the LICO, After Tax, 2000 and 201020.018.016.014.012.010.0 8.0 6.0 4.0 2.0 0.0 Montréal Vancouver Québec Winnipeg Toronto Hamilton St. Johns Canada Ottawa Halifax Victoria Calgary Edmonton 2000 2010 Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 202-0802 (SLID)
Elderly Poverty Rates in Major CMAs based on the MBM, 2000 and 201012.010.0 8.0 6.0 4.0 2.0 0.0 2000 2010 Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 202-0802 (SLID)
Trouble in Canada’s Three Largest Cities• Regardless of the different stories told by the three different poverty measures, Canada’s three largest cities – Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal – were all well above the national average for measures of absolute elderly poverty rates in 2010.• On the bright side, Alberta is doing well. Both Calgary and Edmonton had exceptionally low elderly poverty rates. This could be due to the booming Albertan economy.