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    Income and low income in Québec in 2019: latest data and 25-year trends

    Notice of release

    Montréal, February 23, 2022. - In 2019, the median after-tax income in Québec was $32,700 for individuals and $59,800 for households. By comparison, in 1996, it was $20,900 for individuals and $42,800 for households. The proportion of the population living in low income based on the Low Income Measure (LIM) has remained stable since 1996 at 11% for individuals and 16% for households.

    These results are taken from the analysis Le revenu et le faible revenu au Québec en 2019 : les plus récentes données et les tendances, released today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec, which provides an overall picture of the economic situation of households and individuals in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic and describes the trends observed over the past 25 years.

    Highlights

    Improvement in the situation of women

    • In 2019 in Québec, the median after-tax income for women was $29,300, compared to $36,600 for men, a gap of $7,300 (20%). This gap is down significantly from 1996, when it was almost 40%.
    • Between 1996 and 2019, the low-income rate for women who head households of two or more people declined noticeably, from 20% to 10%.
    • Despite this progress, women remain more represented in the lower income brackets. In 2019, the proportion of women in the bottom after-tax income bracket was 22%, while the proportion of men was 17%.

    Decline in low-income rate among children under 16

    • The proportion of children living in low-income households has declined over time. In 1996, 16% of children under 16 lived in a low income household, compared to 8% in 2019.

    Single people less well-off than households of two or more

    • In 2019, the median after-tax income was $30,800 for people living alone and $79,000 for households with two or more people, a gap that has widened since 1996.
    • In 2019, 32% of single-person households were low-income based on the LIM, up from 26% in 1996. In comparison, only 8% of households with two or more people were low-income based on the LIM in 2019.

    Deterioration in the situation of people aged 65 and over

    • In 2019, people aged 65 and over had a median after-tax income of $25,500, one of the lowest by age category.
    • For people in that age category, the rate of low income as measured by the LIM has been steadily increasing: from 4% in 1996 to 16% in 2019.

    The full analysis presents results broken down by other characteristics of individuals (immigration status and education) as well as by different types of income (market income and total income). It is accompanied by the annual update of statistical tables on income, low income, and income inequality for 2019.

    For more information

    Read the report (PDF, 1.35 MB)

    View the data tables:

    Median income across Québec (in French only)

    Low income as measured by the Low Income Measure (LIM) (in French only)

    Low income according to the Market Basket Measure (MBM) (in French only)

    Income inequality according to distribution by income group

     

    Low Income Measure (LIM) Definition

    A unit is considered low-income as measured by the LIM if its household income, adjusted for household size, is below the threshold. The threshold is half of the median household income for individuals of all ages.

    To calculate the thresholds, the ISQ uses the Québec median income, while Statistics Canada uses the Canadian median income.

     

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