Health Status of Canadians 2016: Report of the Chief Public Health Officer - What is influencing our health? - Income
What is influencing our health?
For this section, low income is considered as any income that is less than half of a country's average income, calculated after taxes and transfers.Footnote 2,Footnote 8 Income influences people's health and is an important predictor of health outcomes, such as life expectancy and risk for some diseases.Footnote 3-7
The proportion of Canadians living in low income has fluctuated from 13% in 1976 to 11% in 1989 and back to 13% in 2014.Footnote 8 The gap between those with the highest and lowest incomes has been growing (see Figure 2)Footnote 9.
In the past, men were less likely to have a low income than women. More recently, men and women were equally likely to have a low income.Footnote 2
The proportion of older Canadians who have a low income has decreased from 31% in 1976 to 13% in 2013. Other age groups have seen a slight increase.Footnote 2
Data on income in Indigenous populations are not directly comparable to the data described above. Comparable data show that Indigenous populations, particularly First Nations at just over 30%, were more likely to have a low income than non-Indigenous populations at just under 15% (see Figure 3)Footnote 10.
In 2013, the proportion of people living with a low income was highest in the United States at just under 18% and lowest in France at 8%. Canada ranked in the middle of G7 countries at just under 13% (see Figure 4)Footnote 11.
Notes to the reader
- Indigenous populations consist of First Nations, Métis and Inuit.
- The data on Indigenous populations have not been adjusted for their high cost of living, meaning gaps may not accurately represent reality.
- G7 countries include seven of the world's industrialized countries, namely the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada, that form an informal discussion group and economic partnership.
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