Appendix A

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In general terms a dwelling is defined as a set of living quarters. A private dwelling is a separate set of living quarters with a private access. A collective dwelling may be institutional, communal or commercial in nature.


A household is defined as a person or group of persons residing in a dwelling.

Economic family type

"Economic family type" refers to either economic families or unattached individuals. An economic family is defined as a group of two or more persons who live in the same dwelling and are related to each other by blood, marriage, common law or adoption. An unattached individual is a person living either alone or with others to whom he or she is unrelated, such as roommates or a lodger.

Census family type

"Census family type" refers to either census families or persons not in census families. The term "census family" corresponds to what is commonly referred to as a "nuclear family" or "immediate family". In general, it consists of a married couple or common-law couple with or without children, or a lone-parent with a child or children. Furthermore, each child does not have his or her own spouse or child living in the household. A "child" of a parent in a census family must be under the age of 25 and there must be a parent-child relationship (guardian relationships such as aunt or uncle are not sufficient).

Persons "not in census families" are those living alone, living with unrelated individuals, or living with relatives but not in a husband-wife or parent-unmarried child (including guardianship-child) relationship.

By definition, all persons who are members of a census family are also members of the same economic family.

Definition of income

Total income

Total income refers to income from all sources including government transfers before deduction of federal and provincial income taxes. It may also be called income before tax (but after transfers). All sources of income are identified as belonging to either market income or government transfers.

Income tax

Income tax is the sum of federal and provincial income taxes payable (accrued) for the taxation year. Income taxes include taxes on income, capital gains and RRSP withdrawals, after taking into account exemptions, deductions, non-refundable tax credits, and the refundable Quebec abatement. The data are either taken directly from administrative records or estimated based on aggregate data from administrative records, as this yields better results than the amounts reported by interview.

After-tax income

After-tax income is total income, which includes government transfers, less income tax. It may also be called income after tax.

Classification of income

  • Market income
    • Earnings
      • Wages,salaries and commission
      • Self-employment income
        • Farm
        • Non-farm
    • Investment income
    • Retirement pensions
    • Other income
  • (plus) Government transfers
    • Child tax benefits
      • Child tax benefits
      • Universal child care benefit
    • Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan benefits
    • Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement/Spouse's Allowance
    • Employment Insurance benefits
    • Social assistance
    • Workers' compensation
    • GST/HST Credit
    • Provincial/territorial tax credits
    • Other government transfers
  • (equals) Total Income
  • (minus) Income tax
  • (equals) After-tax Income
  • (minus) non-discretionary expenses
  • (equals) Disposable Income


  1. Data quality, concepts and methodology: Notes and definitions, Classification of income.
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