Edmonton CMA

Living Wage


Low Income Cut-Off (LICO)

The Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), also known as Metro Edmonton and the Edmonton Region, is a grouping of census subdivisions comprising the City of Edmonton and those surrounding municipalities with which it is closely integrated. Altogether, it includes 35 census subdivisions.

For the year 2018, the Edmonton Social Planning Council calculated a living wage of $16.48 per hour for a two-parent family with two children. This is the hourly wage a typical family of four with both parents working full-time for the entire year requires to live in economic stability and maintain a modest standard of living. The living wage is calculated using detailed financial accounting based on actual Edmonton living costs with government transfers added in, and EI and CPP premiums and federal and provincial income taxes deducted.

Low income cut-off (LICO) is an income threshold below which a family will likely devote a larger share of its income on the necessities of food, shelter and clothing than the average family. It is commonly used by Statistics Canada

National Household Survey

Poverty Line or After Tax Low Income Measure

T1 Family File (T1FF)

Market Basket Measure

Used in 2011 in Canada in place of the long-form census questionnaire, the voluntary National Household Survey (NHS) provides information about the demographic, social and economic characteristics of people living in Canada as well as the housing units in which they live. The information from the survey provides data to support federal, provincial, territorial and local government planning and program delivery. The NHS was replaced by the reinstated mandatory long form census.

The After-Tax Low Income Measure (AT LIM) is the international standard used to measure poverty and deprivation and prior to the adoption of the Market Basket Measure in 2018, represented the standard most widely used in Canada. Using LIM, those with after-tax incomes 50% or below the national after-tax median income, adjusted for family size, are considered to be living in low income. After-Tax LIM is calculated after federal and provincial income taxes have been paid and income transfers received. The 2015 low income thresholds are $18,213 for a single adult, $30,962 for a lone-parent family with two children under age 16 and $36,426 for a two-parent family with two children under the age 16.

Data on the prevalence of low income is from the Annual Income Estimates for Census Families and Individuals (T1 Family File) or T1FF for short. Starting with the 2000 tax year, the T1FF standard tables are available on CANSIM down to the Edmonton CMA level of geography. T1FF data is taken from tax records. It is considerably more accurate than the previous small sample income surveys used to calculate poverty rates.

Declared as Canada’s official poverty line in 2018, this measure of low income is based on the cost of a specific basket of goods and services representing a modest, basic standard of living, which is currently under review (expected revision 2020.) The threshold represents the costs of specified qualities and quantities of food, clothing, footwear, transportation, shelter and other expenses for a reference family of two adults and two children. The MBM basket is priced for 50 different geographic areas - 19 specific communities and 31 population centre size and province combinations.