Interpreting low-income statistics for the on-reserve and Territorial populations using Census and National Household Survey data

Articles and reports: 75F0002M2019001


The low-income rate is one of the most observed indicators of well-being, used to track changes in living standards and to identify groups at risk of social exclusion. Statistics Canada does not currently publish low-income rates for the on-reserve and Territorial populations, although other organizations have developed and published their own low-income statistics using Census or National Household Survey (NHS) data. This publication examines the concepts and methodologies underlying low-income indicators with the aim of providing guidance to users who wish to examine low income on reserve or in the Territories using Census or NHS data. It underlines data quality considerations such as incomplete enumeration on reserve. Other caveats include the fact that the low-income measure does not account for differences in the cost of living, and that Statistics Canada’s definition of income excludes many non-cash sources of income.

Issue Number: 2019001
Author(s): Heisz, Andrew
FormatRelease dateMore information
HTMLApril 16, 2019
PDFApril 16, 2019