New Measurement System on Poverty Report Released

The Market Basket Measures (MBM) provides a new perspective on low income as it is based on a specific transparent basket of goods and services. The cost of purchasing this basket of goods and services has been determined for 48 different geographical areas in the 10 provinces. The "basket" on which the MBM is based includes five types of expenditures for a reference family of two adults and two children including food, clothing and footwear, shelter, transportation and - other household needs.

The MBM was developed consultation with a Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group of officials on Social Development Research and Information. The MBM is a result of a 1997 request by Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services who asked their officials to work on developing the MBM to complement two Statistics Canada low-income measures - Low Income Cut-offs (LICOs) and the post-tax Low Income Measure (LIM-IAT).

The 2002 figures for the low income cutoffs (LICOs) have been released by Statistics Canada. LICOs are often referred to as "the poverty line". For a list of other years LICOs or other research material on income related material is available through Statistics Canada Income Research Paper Series.