Statistics by subject – Income, pensions, spending and wealth

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  • Articles and reports: 75-001-X200810613212
    Description:

    Buoyed by rising incomes coupled with stable inflation and low interest rates, Canadians went on a spending spree between 1999 and 2005. However, much of the increased spending was financed through credit, as the personal savings rate slumped and per capita debt jumped. This paper divides families into seven cohorts, based on the year of birth of the major income recipient, and compares family assets and debts in 2005 with the situation in 1999 to provide a rough life-cycle portrait of Canadian families.

    Release date: 2008-09-24

  • Journals and periodicals: 75-511-X
    Description:

    This book is designed to contribute to the foundation of basic information that leaders and researchers will need when they begin to devote much more time and resources to the institutional adjustments that the up-coming wave of retirements among baby boomers will require. Its contents deal with aspects of retirement that have been outside the main focus in the research literature, but which will likely receive much greater attention in the future. These aspects include social issues arising from the emergence of a large number of people who form a substantial proportion of the adult population and whose length of time in retirement will be as long as that of a generation, roughly 25 years; women's retirement; family dynamics and retirement; and retirement processes among people with no career job as conventionally defined. A large part of the book is devoted to scientific papers that are based upon Statistics Canada's data and which require substantial innovations of useful concepts and data series that serve to illustrate the potentials of our data.

    Release date: 2008-09-08

  • Articles and reports: 11F0019M2008312
    Description:

    Remittances "the money immigrants send to family members in their country of origin" are now centre stage in development and immigrant research. Yet, in spite of this interest, research on the characteristics of remittance senders in Canada remains quite limited, in large part because of the absence of household survey data. More broadly, studies of remittance senders in Canada and elsewhere often focus on immigrants from only one or two source countries and, consequently, do not provide a broad cross-national perspective on the issue. This study addresses these gaps by using the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada to document the incidence of remitting and the amounts remitted by immigrants from a wide range of countries. Using a common set of concepts and methods, we find that the incidence of remitting by the 2000 to 2001 landing cohort ranges from less than 10% to 60% across immigrants from different countries, while the average annual amounts remitted range from about $500 to almost $3,000. Turning to the factors associated with remitting, the financial and family characteristics are consistently significant among immigrants from all world regions. In contrast, other factors, such as gender and education, are associated with remitting among immigrants from some regions but not from others.

    Release date: 2008-07-23

  • Articles and reports: 13-605-X200800210641
    Description:

    There has been growing interest in the state of the pension system in Canada, particularly as the baby-boom generation enters retirement age. Pension assets comprise a large portion of personal net worth. In response to the demand for more detailed information on this issue, Statistics Canada has developed a Pension Satellite Account (PSA). The Pension Satellite Account covers the entire universe of the retirement regime in Canada which includes government-sponsored social security, employer-sponsored pension plans and voluntary individual retirement savings plans. In this preliminary release, a time series of pension assets by type from 1990 to 2007 is published as a supplement to the National Balance Sheet.

    Release date: 2008-06-24

  • Articles and reports: 75-001-X200810513209
    Description:

    The general view is that teenage childbearing will have long-term negative effects on the well-being of the mother-- she may have more difficulty completing high school, which means she may be less likely to pursue postsecondary education and acquire skills for better jobs. Since low-skilled jobs tend to pay less, teenage mothers would have a higher likelihood of living in low income. This study looks at women aged 30 to 39 to determine whether teenage childbearing is related to lower long-term socioeconomic characteristics, with the focus on educational attainment, labour force participation, and living in low income.

    Release date: 2008-06-18

  • Articles and reports: 75-001-X200810413208
    Description:

    Throughout much of the last century, older couples faced only one retirement decision -- the husband's. However, the dramatic rise and sustained participation of women in the paid labour force since the 1970s transformed the retirement transitions of married couples; increasingly, couples had to make two decisions and balance the preferences and constraints of partners who both made substantial contributions to household income. This article looks at the extent to which spouses synchronize the timing of their retirements, the factors associated with taking one or another pathway into retirement and changes in patterns of retirement through the 1990s.

    Release date: 2008-06-18

  • Articles and reports: 75-001-X200810513210
    Description:

    There was almost no change in the proportion of children under age 18 living in a low-income family from 1989 to 2004, despite government interventions and a strong economy since the 1990/1992 recession. In addition, the disparity between well-off and low-income children increased, the economic situation of families of well-off children having improved. Family situation and parents, insufficient employment had the greatest influence on children's vulnerability to low income. It is a changing phenomenon, as few children remain in low income for several consecutive years.

    Release date: 2008-06-18

  • Articles and reports: 11-621-M2008071
    Description:

    Using data from the monthly Retail Trade Survey this study examines the sales for the year 2007. This annual review describes sales growth and trends by trade groups such as new motor vehicle dealers, supermarkets and general merchandise stores. This study focuses on provincial sales.

    Release date: 2008-05-26

  • Articles and reports: 11F0019M2008309
    Description:

    The deterioration of immigrants' entry earnings in Canada in the past three decades has been well documented. This study provides further insights into the changing fortunes of immigrants by focusing on their earnings inequality and earnings instability. The analysis is based on a flexible econometric model that decomposes earnings inequality into current and long-term components. In addition to constructing earnings inequality and earnings instability profiles for different arrival cohorts, we also examine the underlying causes of earnings inequality, including the impact of foreign education, birthplace and the ability to speak English or French.

    Release date: 2008-04-09

  • Articles and reports: 75-001-X200810213203
    Description:

    A wide variety of assets can be held in registered retirement savings plans ranging from investments with predictable values, like guaranteed investment certificates, to those whose values vary, like stocks of individual companies. Returns to these investments, and therefore income levels in retirement, can vary dramatically, depending on the economic climate and the mix of investments. This article examines the characteristics of families with RRSPs and the allocation of assets within their RRSPs according to the level of predictability of the return on investment.

    Release date: 2008-03-18

  • Articles and reports: 11F0019M2008306
    Description:

    Past research has shown that the Canadian pension system is relatively effective in helping seniors to stay out of poverty. However, the extent to which the pension system enables individuals and families to maintain living standards achieved during their working years after retirement (income security) is less well understood. To help fill this knowledge gap, we employ 20-year longitudinal data to track individuals as they move from age 55 through their retirement years. We use various measures of an individual's family income to study four main issues: change in income levels through retirement; the role that various income sources play in this change; variation in replacement rates through time and between poorer and richer individuals; and, finally, the degree of long-term stability in individual incomes. For workers with average incomes, family income falls after age 60, declines until age 68, and then stabilizes at approximately 80% of the income level they had at age 55. In contrast, low income individuals (those in the bottom income quintile) experience little change in income as they move from age 55 through the retirement years, largely because of the income maintenance effects of the public pension system. They experience high levels of individual income instability in their late 50s and early 60s, but income instability falls dramatically after retirement. Individuals in the top quintile experience substantially larger income declines in retirement so that income inequality within a cohort declines as the cohort ages. More recent groups of retirees are experiencing higher income levels than earlier cohorts, largely because of higher private pensions. Replacement rates have changed little among cohorts, however. Whether recent gains in income levels will persist in future cohorts is unknown since pension coverage has been falling among younger workers.

    Release date: 2008-03-10

  • Articles and reports: 21-006-X2007004
    Description:

    The objective of this paper is to document the characteristics of the rural and urban working poor specifically, those individuals living in a low-income economic family unit in 2003, who were not full-time students and who worked for pay for at least one hour in 2003. We then present some of the factors associated with their situation.

    Release date: 2008-01-14

Reference (20)

Reference (20) (20 of 20 results)

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 62F0026M2009001
    Description:

    This guide presents information of interest to users of data from the Survey of Household Spending, which gathers information on the spending habits, dwelling characteristics and household equipment of Canadian households. The survey covers private households in the 10 provinces. (The territories are surveyed every second year, starting in 1999.)

    This guide includes definitions of survey terms and variables, as well as descriptions of survey methodology and data quality. One section describes the various statistics that can be created using expenditure data (e.g., budget share, market share, aggregates and medians)

    Release date: 2008-12-22

  • Index and guides: 97-563-G2006003
    Description:

    This guide focuses on the following variables: After-tax income, Total income and its components, Income status as well as other related variables from the Income and earnings release.

    Provides information that enables users to effectively use, apply and interpret data from the 2006 Census. Each guide contains definitions and explanations on census concepts, data quality and historical comparability. Additional information will be included for specific variables to help general users better understand the concepts and questions used in the census.

    Release date: 2008-12-04

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-585-X
    Description:

    This product is the dictionary for the Longitudinal Administrative Databank (LAD). The dictionary contains a complete description for each of the income and demographic variables in the LAD, including name, acronym, definition, source, historical availability and historical continuity.

    The following is a partial list of LAD variables: age, sex, marital status, family type, number and age of children, total income, wages and salaries, self-employment, Employment Insurance, Old Age Security, Canada and Quebec Pension Plans, social assistance, investment income, rental income, alimony, registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) income and contributions, low-income status, full-time education deduction, provincial refundable tax credits, goods and service tax (GST) credits, Canada Child Tax Benefits, selected immigration variables, and Tax Free Savings (TFSA) information.

    Release date: 2008-11-25

  • Technical products: 75F0002M1992009
    Description:

    There are many issues to consider when developing and conducting a survey. Length, complexity and timing of the survey are all factors that may influence potential respondents' likelihood to participate in a survey. One important issue that affects this decision is the extent to which a questionnaire appears to be an invasion of privacy. Information on income and finances is one type of information that many people are reluctant to share but that is important for policy and research purposes.

    Collecting such information for the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) has proven difficult, and has resulted in higher than average non-response rate for a supplemental survey to the Labour Force Survey. Given the similarity between the SCF and an upcoming survey, the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID), it is important to examine the reasons behind the SCF's higher non-response rate and obtain suggestions for increasing response rate and gaining commitment from respondents to the 6-year SLID.

    Statistics Canada asked Price Waterhouse to conduct focus groups and in-depth interviews with respondents and non-respondents to the SCF. The objectives of these focus groups and in-depth interviews were to explore reasons for response and non-response, issues of privacy and confidentiality and understanding of the terms used in the survey, and to test reactions to the appearance of a draft SLID package.

    Release date: 2008-10-21

  • Technical products: 75F0002M199201A
    Description:

    Starting in 1994, the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) will follow individuals and families for at least six years, tracking their labour market experiences, changes in income and family circumstances. An initial proposal for the content of SLID, entitled Content of the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics : Discussion Paper, was distributed in February 1992.

    That paper served as a background document for consultation wit h interested users. The content underwent significant change during this process. Based upon the revised content, a large-scale test of SLID will be conducted in February and May 1993.

    This document outlines the current demographic and labour content, leading into the test.

    Release date: 2008-10-21

  • Technical products: 75F0002M2008006
    Description:

    Comparisons of low income between regions may have impacts on policy choices. However, it is often argued that rankings of distributions are not robust and that they are also quite sensitive to methods of defining low income. This paper avoids these problems by using a stochastic dominance approach to compare regional low income profiles in Canada without arbitrarily specifying a low-income line. This analysis is carried out for the 10 provinces using the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics for 2000. Robustness of the results is also verified with respect to different choices of spatial price deflators and equivalence scales. The extent to which the findings are sensitive to the choice of an absolute or a relative concept of low income is also examined. We show that, in most cases, dominance relations can be determined and regional low income can be ordered for a wide range of low-income lines. We also show that dominance results are robust to the choice of equivalence scales, while rank reversal occurs when alternative cost-of-living deflators are used. Switching from an absolute to a relative low-income concept only affects low-income rankings for Ontario, Quebec and the Prairie provinces, but not in the case of other provinces. Nevertheless, for all scales, we find that low income is greatest in British Columbia.

    Release date: 2008-10-09

  • Technical products: 75-512-X
    Description:

    This book provides technical documentation of variables, methodologies and extended lists of references used in developing the research findings reported in "New Frontiers of Research on Retirement". It will be used around the world by researchers and teachers, as well as by students preparing theses related to patterns of transition to retirement. This documentation is important because a large part of book is devoted to scientific papers that are based upon Statistics Canada's data and which require substantial innovations of useful concepts and data.

    Release date: 2008-09-08

  • Technical products: 75F0002M2008004
    Description:

    Low income cut-offs (LICOs) are income thresholds, determined by analysing family expenditure data, below which families will devote a larger share of income to the necessities of food, shelter and clothing than the average family would. To reflect differences in the costs of necessities among different community and family sizes, LICOs are defined for five categories of community size and seven of family size.

    Low income Measures (LIMs), on the other hand, are strictly relative measures of low income, set at 50% of adjusted median family income. These measures are categorized according to the number of adults and children present in families, reflecting the economies of scale inherent in family size and composition. This publication incorporates a detailed description of the methods used to arrive at both measurements. It also explains how base years are defined and how LICOs are updated using the Consumer Price Index.

    Release date: 2008-06-04

  • Technical products: 75F0002M2008003
    Description:

    The Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) is a longitudinal survey which collects information related to the standard of living of individuals and their families. By interviewing the same people over a period of six years, changes and the causes of these changes can be monitored.

    A preliminary interview of background information is collected for all respondents aged 16 and over, who enter the SLID sample. Preliminary interviews are conducted for new household members during their first labour and income interview after they join the household. A labour and income interview is collected each year for all respondents 16 years of age and over.

    The purpose of this document is to present the questions, possible responses and question flows for the 2007 preliminary, labour and income questionnaire (for the 2006 reference year).

    Release date: 2008-05-30

  • Index and guides: 97-563-P2006003
    Description:

    This guide focuses on the following variables: After-tax income, Total income and its components, Income status as well as other related variables from the Income and earnings release.

    Provides information that enables users to effectively use, apply and interpret data from the 2006 Census. Each guide contains definitions and explanations on census concepts. Additional information will be included for specific variables to help general users better understand the concepts and questions used in the census.

    Release date: 2008-05-01

  • Technical products: 75F0002M1992006
    Description:

    Labour force status will be an important analytical variable for many users of SLID data. The document discusses the issues involved in deriving this variable, and details the approach to be adopted.

    Briefly, a value will be assigned for every one-week period, with three possibilities: employed, unemployed and not in the labour force. To a large extent, concepts used in the Canadian Labour Force Survey will be used. Since there are several situations where a straightforward approach to the classification is not possible, additional information will be available to data users who wish to adjust the definitions used.

    Release date: 2008-02-29

  • Technical products: 75F0002M1992007
    Description:

    A Preliminary Interview will be conducted on the first panel of SLID, in January 1993, as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey. The first panel is made up of about 20,000 households that are rotating out of the Labour Force Survey in January and February, 1993.

    The purpose of this document is to provide a description of the purpose of the SLID Preliminary Interview and the question wordings to be used.

    Release date: 2008-02-29

  • Technical products: 75F0002M1992008
    Description:

    This paper, as part of the design development process for the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID), examines the implications for data quality of accepting proxy responses. While it is apparent that rules that minimize proxy responses add to data collection costs, a review of the existing evidence suggests the effects of proxy reporting on data quality are less clear. The general conclusions of this review are that proxy respondents tended to underestimate participation in government income support programs, be subject to higher item non-response rates and lower rates of personal and household interviews, offer more consistent responses to sensitive subject matter and have greater difficulty in reporting detail and events of short duration. As a result of shortcomings in the design of the research into this question, the evidence is not conclusive. While there is no firm basis for the rejection of proxy responses, the maintenance of some control over proxy responses would be a reasonable strategy.

    Release date: 2008-02-29

  • Technical products: 75F0002M1992005
    Description:

    In recent years a considerable amount of attention has been focused on what is known as the "seam" problem in surveys having a longitudinal design. This refers to the fact that the number of transitions or changes in status observed across the seam when the data for two consecutive reference periods are juxtaposed is considerably larger (so metimes, an order of magnitude larger) than the average number observed in the data reported for a single reference period.

    Response errors are the most probable cause of seam biases. For characteristics such as employment status or income recipiency, errors can be due to omissions or to misplacing events in time. However, standard explanations for response errors based on "forgetting theory" are not supported by the data. Results concerning proxy effects are mixed but generally show no clear association.

    Dependent interviewing (i.e., feeding back to respondents responses provided on a previous interview) would appear the most appropriate strategy for dealing with seam effects. However, not all feedback techniques will necessarily work. A comparison of two such techniques, one which failed to eliminate seam effects (SIPP) and one which was successful (LMAS) and which has also been successfully tested by SIPP, attempts to identify the key features required.

    The paper argues in closing that dependent interviewing should not be viewed as a necessary evil that is required for reducing seam biases but as an integral part of the interview process in longitudinal surveys.

    Release date: 2008-02-29

  • Technical products: 75F0002M1992001
    Description:

    Starting in 1994, the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) will follow individuals and families for at least six years, tracking their labour market experiences, changes in income and family circumstances. An initial proposal for the content of SLID, entitled "Content of the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics : Discussion Paper", was distributed in February 1992.

    That paper served as a background document for consultation with and a review by interested users. The content underwent significant change during this process. Based upon the revised content, a large-scale test of SLID will be conducted in February and May 1993.

    The present document outlines the income and wealth content to be tested in May 1993. This document is really a continuation of SLID Research Paper Series 92-01A, which outlines the demographic and labour content used in the January /February 1993 test.

    Release date: 2008-02-29

  • Technical products: 75F0002M1992002
    Description:

    When a survey respondent is asked to recall various events, it is known that the quality of the responses diminishes as the length of recall increases. On the other hand, increasing the frequency of data collection increases both the costs of collection and the burden on the respondents. The paper examines options which attempt to strike a reasonable balance between these factors. As it relates to this decision, the paper also describes how the sample has been designed to ensure that it remains representative of the target population, both for a given year and over time.

    The conclusion is that, at this time, SLID should collect labour data in January to cover the previous calendar year and to collect income data in May, again to cover the previous calendar year.

    Release date: 2008-02-29

  • Technical products: 75F0002M1992003
    Description:

    As SLID is a longitudinal survey, it is desirable to retain respondents in the sample for as long as possible. However, sample attrition and changes in the popu lation result in the sample becoming less representative of the population as time passes. To balance these factors, the sample for a longitudinal survey may be comprised of panels, with each panel being representative of the target population. Starting with a fixed sample size, the paper examines feasible options for the number of panels in the sample and the length of time which each panel remains in the survey. The rationale for the selected option is reviewed.

    Release date: 2008-02-29

  • Technical products: 75F0002M1992004
    Description:

    The accurate measurement of job search and unemployment has been a recurring problem in retrospective surveys. However, strategies to improve recall in such surveys have not been especially successful. Proposed solutions have included a) reducing the recall period and b) questioning whether the standard operationalization of labour force concepts is appropriate in a retrospective setting.

    One difficulty in arriving at an appropriate line of questioning is that there does not exist a reliable benchmark source indicating what sort of search patterns one should be observing over the year. Current notions of labour force dynamics have been heavily influenced by linked-record gross change data, which for various reasons cannot be considered a reliable source. These data show numerous changes in status from month-to-month and generally paint a picture of labour force participation that suggests little behavioural consistency.

    This study examines data from the Annual Work Patterns Survey (AWPS) and Labour Market Activity Survey (LMAS). It shows that the underreporting of job search in the AWPS (and to a lesser extent in the LMAS) is closely connected to the failure of respondents, in a significant number of cases, to report any job search prior to the start of a job, a problem for which there is a simple questionnaire solution.

    Release date: 2008-02-29

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 62F0026M2008001
    Description:

    This guide presents information of interest to users of data from the Survey of Household Spending, which gathers information on the spending habits, dwelling characteristics and household equipment of Canadian households. The survey covers private households in the 10 provinces. (The territories are surveyed every second year, starting in 1999.)

    This guide includes definitions of survey terms and variables, as well as descriptions of survey methodology and data quality. One section describes the various statistics that can be created using expenditure data (e.g., budget share, market share, aggregates and medians).

    Release date: 2008-02-26

  • Technical products: 75F0002M2008001
    Description:

    Shelter is the biggest expenditure most households make and its affordability can have an impact on the wellbeing of household members. For this reason, housing affordability is closely watched by a wide range of stakeholders - from housing advocates to policy analysts - interested in the welfare of Canadians. Measuring affordability involves comparing housing costs to a household's ability to meet them. One common measure is the shelter-cost-to-income-ratio (STIR). The 30% level is commonly accepted as the upper limit for affordable housing. Housing affordability is also a critical input to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's core housing need indicator which is used by governments to help design, deliver, fund and evaluate social housing programs. This report, jointly authored by Statistics Canada and CMHC, focuses purely on the dynamics of housing affordability, not on core housing need. It examines the likelihood of spending 30% or more of household income on shelter, how often this occurs, whether it is occasional or persistent, and contrasts those spending 30% or more to those spending less. Cross-sectional estimates indicate that around 19% of Canadians lived in households spending more than the affordability benchmark in 2002. Longitudinally however, less than 9% lived in households that spent above the benchmark in each year between 2002 and 2004, while another 19% lived in households spending above the benchmark for either one or two years. The attributes associated with the highest probabilities of living in a household spending above the affordability benchmark were: living alone, being a female lone parent, renting, being an immigrant, or living in Vancouver or Toronto. In addition, those living in households experiencing some kind of transition between 2002 and 2004 period had a higher probability of exceeding the benchmark at least once during the period. Such transitions included renters with a change in rent-subsidy status, those who changed from owner to renter or vice versa, those who changed family type (for example, marrying or divorcing), and those who moved between cities. Notably, those experiencing these transitions did not exceed the benchmark persistently.

    Release date: 2008-01-25

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