Income trends in Canada, 1976-2006

Income Trends in Canada is an extensive collection of income statistics, covering topics such as income distribution, income tax, government transfers, and low income. The data are drawn from two household surveys: the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) and the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). Data since 1996 are taken from SLID, while historical data prior to 1996 are drawn from the SCF. In addition to provincial detail, many of the tables present estimates for the 15 largest Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs), as listed below under Geographic Coverage. Note that sample size limitations and sampling variability, estimates for urban areas are less reliable and are subject to larger errors than provincial and national estimates. Given the variability of the annual estimates, users are cautioned against drawing conclusions from single year-to-year comparisons alone.

Alternative title
Income historical review (former title)
Data creator
Statistics Canada. Income Statistics Division
Date of creation
2008 Apr 28th
Ottawa, Ont.: Communications Canada. Depository Services Program
Date of distribution
2008 Jul 14th
Geographic coverage

Canada, provinces, and 15 CMAs: Halifax, Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa-Gatineau, Toronto, St.-Catharines-Niagara, Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Windsor, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Victoria.

Time period
Extent of file
43 data files (Beyond 20/20 format; number of logical records varies; full titles in Notes) and accompanying documentation

Data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) undertook major changes this year. Four years were added to the historical data from 1976 to 1979. Also, SCF data was adapted as much as possible to concepts of the SLID. Some concepts were almost identical between the two surveys, such as income data for which changes were minimal. However, other concepts differed and thus some variables were modified. For example, the SCF head of family was replaced with the SLID major income earner. As a result, variables related to family characteristics were affected by this change. For further information about the transformation of SCF data and on its impacts on estimates see section Notes and definitions - Comparisons between data up to 1995 and data since 1996.

Selected data from historical editions are also available on CD-ROM at the Map & Data Library (see below for CD numbers).

Access status
Access conditions and restrictions

Openly available via the Statistics Canada open license

CD number
1082 (1980-1996)
1083 (1980-1997)
1084 (1980-1997 revised)
1085 (1980-1998)
1086 (1980-1998 cop2)
1087 (1980-1999)
1088 (1980-2000)
274 (1980-2001)
275 (1980-2001 cop2)
1136 (1980-2002)