About Income Data

Choosing a Source

There a several sources of information, with differing methodologies and outputs. What you choose to use will depend on the following

  • Detail you need: demographic, geographic, industrial, occupational or other
  • Acceptable release frequency: monthly, annual, five-year census, one time
  • Observed metric: hourly wages, weekly, monthly, annual, before-tax, after-tax or other
  • Recipient(s): individual, family, household

Find more information about the methodologies and outputs from the Statistics Canada website:

Another source of tax-based data:

Measuring Income

Income is measured in several surveys, and is also derived from income tax returns. There are a variety of ways of measuring income, some more suitable than others, depending on the use to be made of the data. When looking at economic well-being, household or family income may be more suitable than individual income. For example, one partner in a couple may primarily stay home looking after children and may have a low income, while the other partner could be in the labour force and making significant income. The former person is not necessarily poor.