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May 2004
Vol. 5, no. 5

Perspectives on Labour and Income

Low income in census metropolitan areas
Andrew Heisz and Logan McLeod

  • During the 1990s, the low-income rate for all census metropolitan areas combined rose slightly, from 17.2% to 17.7%. The largest rise was in Vancouver, where the rate increased from 15.8% to 19.1%.
  • Three groups—recent immigrants, Aboriginal people and lone-parent families—were more likely than others to live in low-income neighbourhoods. In 2000, 11.7% of Aboriginal people lived in low-income neighbourhoods, as did 9.7% of recent immigrants, and 8.7% of lone-parent families. This compares with 4.4% of CMA residents overall.
  • Recent immigrants in particular saw a rise in their low-income rate. The rate reached 35% in 2000 (nearly twice the overall CMA average), compared with 23.1% in 1980.

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Andrew Heisz is with the Business and Labour Market Analysis Division. He can be reached at 951-3748. Logan McLeod is with the Health Statistics Division. He can be reached at 951-4800. They can be reached at

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