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June 2001     Vol. 2, no. 6

Low income intensity: urban and rural families

Andrew Heisz

  • Despite an economy-wide expansion, low income intensity rose roughly equally for both rural and urban families between 1993 and 1997. However, the percentage growth was higher in rural areas. Low income intensity grew 13.1% in rural areas, 11.9% in small/medium urban areas, and 8.0% in large urban areas.
  • Associated with the rising low income intensity was little or no increase in market income-despite a generally improving economy-and a decline in total transfer payments, especially Employment Insurance benefits received by low income families.
  • Transfers to families appear to have declined by a similar percentage for both urban and rural low income families. But because rural low income families received a greater fraction of income from transfers, the change affected them more than urban families.


Andrew Heisz is with the Business and Labour Market Analysis Division. He can be reached at (613) 951-3748 or

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