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Definitions

  1. Private Households "refers to a person or a group of persons (other than foreign residents), who occupy the same dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada. It may consist of a family group (census family) with or without other non-family persons, of two or more families sharing a dwelling, of a group of unrelated persons, or of one person living alone. Household members who are temporarily absent on Census Day (e.g. temporary residents elsewhere) are considered as part of their usual household. For census purposes, every person is a member of one and only one household."
    • Census family "refers to a married couple (with or without children of either or both spouses), a couple living common-law (with or without children of either or both partners) or a lone parent of any marital status, with at least one child living in the same dwelling. A couple may be of opposite or same sex. 'Children' in a census family include grandchildren living with their grandparent(s) but with no parents present."
      -Statistics Canada 2008. 2006 Census Dictionary. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-566-XWE. Ottawa, Ontario. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/ref/dict/azindex-eng.cfm (accessed November 23, 2010).

  2. Median Household Income
    • "The median income of a specified group of …households is that amount which divides their income size distribution in two halves. That is, the incomes of the first half of … households are below the median, while those of the second half are above the median."
      -Statistics Canada 2008. 2006 Census Dictionary. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-566-XWE. Ottawa, Ontario. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/ref/dict/azindex-eng.cfm (accessed November 23, 2010).
  3. Low Income Households are those with incomes below the Statistics Canada "Low Income Cutoff (LICO)" amount. The LICO "cutoffs" are based on Canadian household expenditure surveys (conducted every two years) which have determined that the average Canadian household spends 34.7% of its income on the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing. Under the LICO definition of poverty, a household which is poor is one that must spend 54.7% (an additional 20%) or more of the average household's income on these basics (Ross, Shillington & Lochhead, 1994).

    While the percentage of household income spent on basic needs is a useful measure of relative deprivation, this measure must be taken in context. It cannot be taken to mean that, for example, a four-person household which has an income of $100,000 and which voluntarily spends 60% of its income on food, shelter and clothing is living in poverty. In order to provide a useful measure, a minimum dollar value is established by calculating order to provide a useful measure, a minimum dollar value is established by calculating 54.7% of the average household income, in each of various household sizes, and for each year, taking inflation into account. The Low Income Cutoff Amounts are available for the following years: 1992-2009 (View the report here.)

  4. The Labour Force refers to "all persons 15 years of age and over, excluding institutional residents, who were either employed or unemployed during the week (Sunday to Saturday) prior to Census Day."
    • The unemployment rate "refers to the unemployed labour force expressed as a percentage of the total labour force in the week (Sunday to Saturday) prior to Census Day."
    • Unemployed persons refers to "persons 15 years of age and over, excluding institutional residents, who, during the week (Sunday to Saturday) prior to Census Day, were without paid work and were available for work and either:
      • had actively looked for work in the past four weeks; or
      • were on temporary lay-off and expected to return to their job; or
      • had definite arrangements to start a new job in four weeks or less
  5. The participation rate refers to "the total labour force in the week (Sunday to Saturday) prior to Census Day, expressed as a percentage of the population 15 years of age and over, excluding institutional residents."
    - Statistics Canada 2008. 2006 Census Dictionary. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-566-XWE. Ottawa, Ontario. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/ref/dict/azindex-eng.cfm (accessed November 23, 2010).

  6. Visible Minorities refers to "persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour."
    -Statistics Canada 2008. 2006 Census Dictionary. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-566-XWE. Ottawa, Ontario. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/ref/dict/azindex-eng.cfm (accessed November 23, 2010).