Median Household Income
Median household income measures the total income (before tax) of all members of a household.
Why This Matters
Household income complements the low-income cut-offs-after tax (LICO-AT) and market basket measure (MBM) indicators in illustrating families’ abilities to meet their basic needs. LICO-AT and MBM both measure how many individuals fall below the low-income threshold, while household income demonstrates the distribution of income levels throughout the City of Winnipeg. The household income indicator does not define any particular income level as “low income.” Rather, it allows for a simple comparison of the number of households at different income levels.
Household income is connected to Basic Needs and the Economy. Although income in itself does not necessarily equate to greater well-being, higher levels of household income tend to allow for greater expenditures on goods and services to fulfill basic needs and improve well-being. Households with higher incomes are able to spend more on education, health, entertainment, recreation, transportation, and other goods and services than households with lower incomes.
Measurement and Limitations
Statistics Canada defines a household as a person or a group of persons who live in the same residence (Statistics Canada, 2010). It includes a single family, two or more families, a group of unrelated people, or a person living alone. Household income combines all of their incomes without deducting taxes or other expenditures.
This indicator identifies the number of households at different income levels, as well as the median income. The median income is the income level where half of households in the area have incomes above that amount and half have incomes below that amount. Median income is considered to be a better indicator than mean, or average, income because it is not affected by unusually high or low incomes (i.e., outliers).
Household income is useful for making relative comparisons of the number of households at different income levels; however it does not provide any absolute measure of “low income” or “poverty.”
Data for this indicator was obtained from Statistics Canada. Neighbourhood and Community Characterization Area level data was obtained through the Winnipeg Data Consortium/Community Social Data Strategy (http://www.ccsd.ca/subsites/socialdata/home.html).
This data is updated as it becomes available.
Statistics Canada. (2010). 2006 Census Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/ref/dict/pdf/92-566-eng.pdf
Median Household Income Sustainable Development Goals
1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Extreme poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 1990. While this is a remarkable achievement, one in five people in developing regions still live on less than $1.90 a day, and there are millions more who make little more than this daily amount, plus many people risk slipping back into poverty.
Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.
Related Median Household Income Targets
By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
The international community has made significant strides towards lifting people out of poverty. The most vulnerable nations – the least developed countries, the landlocked developing countries and the small island developing states – continue to make inroads into poverty reduction. However, inequality still persists and large disparities remain in access to health and education services and other assets.
Additionally, while income inequality between countries may have been reduced, inequality within countries has risen. There is growing consensus that economic growth is not sufﬁcient to reduce poverty if it is not inclusive and if it does not involve the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental.
To reduce inequality, policies should be universal in principle paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations.
Related Median Household Income Targets
By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average