Poverty – The 1% Solution
Statistics Canada provides free of charge a very rich set of data on income issues, including low income (aka poverty) in 20/20 format.
Here you can find data on the incidence of low income by four different measures; by family type; and by quite detailed geography. (You have to play around with the active dimension to get at all of the data. Clicking “show all” will indicate the total menu under a dimension.)
The data include statistics on the depth of low income ie the degree to which the incomes of a particular group in low income fall short of the relevant poverty line.
One measure provided is the shortfall of incomes of those in low income compared to the total income of the whole group.
One rather striking triple factoid is this.
In 2008, the incidence of low income for all persons in Canada measured by the LICO After Tax measure was 9.4%, and the average gap or income shortfall relative to the LICO AT line was 33%. That gap in turn is equivalent to 1% of the after tax income of all Canadians.
In short, we could eliminate poverty by shifting just 1% of our collective income to the almost one in ten Canadians living in low income.
Now just why is that so difficult to do?
(By the way, the 1% figure is the same if you prefer the Market Basket Measure of low income to the LICO line.)