Who's to say I am poor?
You may make a lot of money and still struggle. You may make very little and find making ends meet a breeze. But, there are a few guidelines governments and organizations use to measure what it means to not have enough money.
It’s not what you make, it’s what you spend
Based on 1992 expenditure patterns, the Low Income Cut Off – Income After Tax (LICO-IAT), means you spend 63 per cent or more of your income on food, clothing and shelter.
To put this into perspective, the average Canadian family spends 43 per cent of their income on food, clothing and shelter.
The following 2008 graph illustrates what is considered low-income for various family sizes.
|Size of family||Rural areas||Urban less then 30,000||Urban 30,000 - 99,999||Urban 100,000- 499,999||Urban 500,000 and over|
|7 or more persons||$31,519||$36,072||$40,241||$40,747||$48,181|
Half the average
Another relative measure of poverty is the Low Income Measure – Income After Tax (LIM-IAT).
Simply put, this measure is one half the average income of a Canadian family.
While the numbers change depending on family size, the measure fails to account for differences in location and size of community.
The following table shows the low-income numbers for 2007.
|Size of family||0 children||1 child||2 children||3 children||4 children||5 children|
The local approach
Tuna may not cost the same in Toronto as it does in Winnipeg, so how can a low-income measure work on a national level?
The Market Basket Measure (MBM) is a low-income guide that takes your geography to heart. The MBM derives its numbers from the costs of living in your specific community.
To be poor by MBM standards, your income is not enough to cover the costs of the necessary goods and services in your area.
The following table shows the MBM threshold for a reference family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children) in Manitoba for 2007.
|Size of Community||Total $||Food $||Clothing $||Shelter $||Transportation $||Multiplier|
- An overview - poverty's impact, the challenges and consequences.
- New Canadians -a family discovers that life in Canada is much harder than they'd expected.
- The Working Poor - meet a working professional who can't make ends meet.
- Solutions - finding ways to combat poverty. Desperate times and inspired solutions.
- Accountability - join a round table discussion and post your questions on line.