Percentage of persons in low income based on Low Income Cut-Off (LICO)

What it measures

Dimension: Economic security

This indicator reports the proportion of Canadians who are living below the after-tax Low Income Cut-Off (LICO); a measure that represents income levels at which persons are spending 20% more than average of their after-tax income on food, shelter, and clothing. Largely due to the recession of the early 1990s, the highest percentage of persons living in low income was seen in 1996 (15.2%). Since then, the percentage of persons living below the Low Income Cut-Off has decreased and remained relatively stable since 2009.

Why this matters

Having a low income is associated with many challenges to wellbeing like lower levels of physical and mental health, less access to educational opportunities and poorer living conditions. As such, decreasing numbers of people living below the low income cut-off is a positive indicator of population wellbeing.

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