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October 2002     Vol. 3, no. 10

Impact of income on mortality in urban Canada, 1971 to 1996

The gap in life expectancy at birth between the poorest and richest neighbourhoods in Canada's urban areas narrowed substantially from 1971 to 1996, according to a new study that examines the impact of income on mortality. In 1971, the disparity in life expectancy between the 20% of people in urban neighbourhoods with the lowest incomes and the 20% in those with the highest incomes was more than 6 years for men, and nearly 3 years for women. During the next quarter-century, life expectancy improved substantially for all income levels. However, the gains were larger for those in the lowest income neighbourhoods than for those in the highest. Consequently, by 1996, the gap in life expectancy between the lowest and highest income neighbourhoods was down to 5 years for men, and considerably less than 2 years for women.


Financing of small- and medium-sized enterprises, 2000

An entrepreneur's personal savings are twice as important as commercial bank loans in financing the start-up of new businesses, according to data on the capital structure of businesses from the 2000 Survey on Financing of Small and Medium-sized Firms. However, once a business is in operation, commercial bank loans become the single most important source of finance.


The digital divide, 2000

Canada's digital divide - the gap in the rate of Internet use between lower-income and upper-income families - appears to be shrinking slowly, according to a new study. However, most of the improvement is occurring in middle-income and upper-middle income groups. The gap in Internet use persists between people with the lowest incomes and those with the highest. Internet use from home took another big jump in 2001, but the rate of growth eased off, according to the Household Internet Use Survey. More than 5.8 million households, or 49% of all 12 million households, had at least one member that regularly used the Internet from home in 2001, a 23% increase from 2000. This was somewhat less than the gain of 42% from 1999 to 2000.


Evolution of job stability in Canada: Trends and comparisons to US results

Job stability - measured by the proportion of people who worked for the same employer for at least one additional year - increased steadily during the 1990s, more than offsetting declines in the 1980s, according to a new study.In 2001, 80% of employees remained with the same employer at least one more year, compared with 76% in 1980 and 74% in 1989. These years were chosen for this comparison because they each represent a peak year of the business cycle.


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