Income Research Paper Series – Research Paper
Revisions to 2006 to 2011 income data

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Release date: December 17, 2015


In December 2014, Statistics Canada released data from the new Canadian Income Survey (CIS), based on income from the 2012 reference year. Information for the 2013 reference year was released in July 2015.

The annual CIS reports on many of the same statistics as the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID), which last reported on income for the 2011 reference year. With the first release of CIS results, Statistics Canada reported that comparisons of CIS and SLID revealed differences in estimates between 2011 and 2012 that were attributable to the two surveys having different methods, rather than a true change in the characteristics of the population.   

To make it possible to compare results from the CIS to earlier years, Statistics Canada released revised estimates for SLID from 2006 to 2011. This note describes the revision, and illustrates how revised income estimates for 2006 to 2011 compare to pre-revision results, as well as to estimates from CIS for 2012 and 2013. It also provides advice to users for comparing these results with those from years prior to 2006. Income estimates before 2006 remain suitable for use with revised estimates from 2006 and onwards for analyzing long term, cyclical trends.

In revising the data, the objective was to make SLID estimates as comparable as possible to the new CIS data for 2012 and onward. Nonetheless, for some characteristics, the data trends could reveal a “break” due to the change in methodology. Such a break may appear as a noticeable upward or downward shift in the data coinciding with the change in methodology. These breaks may be more prevalent in some estimates for small domains such as by family type or region.

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