Measuring low income and Canada’s Official Poverty Line

Posted on January 20, 2019 in Social Security Policy Context

Source: – English/Consultation
January 20, 2019

Consultation objectives

Market Basket Measures program identifier

From October 15, 2018 to January 31, 2019, Statistics Canada is conducting a consultation to gather input from Canadians to help validate how we are measuring poverty.

Recently, the Government of Canada announced that the Market Basket Measure (MBM) will be used as Canada’s Official Poverty Line. Statistics Canada is currently conducting a comprehensive review of the MBM.

The MBM is a measure of low income which is based on the cost of a basket of goods and services that individuals and families require to meet their basic needs and achieve a modest standard of living. Wherever individuals and families are living across the country, if they cannot afford the cost of this basket of goods and services in their particular community, they will be considered to be living below Canada’s Official Poverty Line.

By participating in this consultation, you will be supporting Statistics Canada’s ability to accurately measure low income and poverty.

How to get involved

To see current estimates of how much money a family needs for items like food, clothing, shelter and transportation, and to let us know whether you think these figures are too low, too high or “about right”, please check out Market Basket Measure, Canada’s Official Poverty Line.

Note: The purpose of this survey is to help validate the methodology of the MBM, which is currently available for the provinces only. Statistics Canada is working with partners in the territories to develop a territorial MBM, but it is not yet ready for validation. For this reason, questions related to the costs of the basket are not available for respondents interested in the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut.

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