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Poverty Lines

March 12, 2004

The Low income measures (LIMs) are published by Statistics Canada, and are based on family size and a percentage of median adjusted family income. Families with incomes below these levels are considered to be living in low income.

Before-Tax Low income measures (LIMs) by family type, 2001
  Number of children
Number of adults 0 1 2 3 4 5
1 $15,470 $21,658 $24,752 $29,393 $34,034 $38,675
2 $21,658 $26,299 $30,940 $35,581 $40,222 $44,863
3 $27,846 $32,487 $37,128 $41,769 $46,410  
4 $34,034 $38,675 $43,316      
5 $40,222 $44,863        
6 $46,410          

After-Tax Low income measures (LIMs) by family type, 2001
  Number of children
Number of adults 0 1 2 3 4 5
1 $13,243 $18,540 $21,189 $25,162 $29,135 $33,108
2 $18,540 $22,513 $26,486 $30,459 $34,432 $38,405
3 $23,837 $27,810 $31,783 $35,756 $39,729  
4 $29,135 $33,108 $37,080      
5 $34,432 $38,405        
6 $39,729          

Source: Prepared by the Canadian Council on Social Development using Statistics Canada's Low Income Measures (LIMs), from Low income cut-offs from 1994-2003 and low income measures from 1992-2001 Catalogue # 75F0002MIE No. 002 March 2004.

How are LIMs calculated?

The procedure is as follows:

(i) Determine the "adjusted size" of each family. (The first person is counted as 1.0 and the second person is counted as 0.4, regardless of age. Additional adults count as 0.4 and additional children count as 0.3.);

(ii) calculate "adjusted family income" for each family by dividing family income by "adjusted family size";

(iii) determine the median "adjusted family income" that is the "adjusted family income", such that half of all families will be above it and half below;

(iv) the LIM for a family of one person is 50% of the median "adjusted family income," and the LIMs for other kinds of families are equal to this value times their "adjusted family size";

(v) repeat the calculation for each year for which LIMs are to be established.

After-tax LIMS

As with LICOs, the derivation of each set of cutoffs is done independently. There is no simple relationship, such as the average amount of taxes payable, which distinguishes the two levels. Instead, the entire calucalation of cutoffs is done twice - both on a before-tax basis and on an after-tax basis.

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Tel: (613) 236-8977, Fax: (613) 236-2750, Web: www.ccsd.ca, Email: council@ccsd.ca