A new Statistics Canada study underscores that having a disability is an important factor that increases the risk of being in low income. Although persons with a disability accounted for approximately 20% of the population aged 25 to 64 in 2014, they make up 41% of the low income population. (Low income is defined as those living in a household earning less than one-half of the median Canadian income).
Using data from the 2014 Longitudinal and International Study of Adults and 2013 Canadian Income Survey, the study examines the relationship between low income and characteristics of people with a disability, including disability type (physical‑sensory, mental‑cognitive, and combined), severity, age of onset of disability, family composition, and other factors such as employment, education, gender, education, immigration status.
Among other key findings:
- Among persons who report a disability, 1 in 4 is in low income, compared with 9% of those without a disability. Low income rates vary by disability type
- Persons with a disability are more likely to be non-employed than those without a disability, and when employed, less likely to work full time. This is particularly true for people with combined disabilities, 26% of whom are employed full time, compared with approximately 50% of those with a physical–sensory or mental cognitive disability and 73% of those without a disability
- Workers with a disability have a lower average employment income than those without a disability — by approximately $23,000
- Lone parents and persons living alone with a disability are more at risk of being in low income
Read the full paper:
Wall, Katherine. 2017 Aug. “Low Income Among Persons With A Disability in Canada.” Insights on Canadian Society. (Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 75-006-X). [pdf]