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The census also provides data on long-term trends in low income rates. However, this trend analysis has to be based on before-tax rather than after-tax LICOs. Before-tax low income rates are generally higher.
The before-tax low income rate was 15.3%, lower than 25 years earlier (17.3%).
During the past 25 years, the before-tax low income rate for children changed very little. In 2005, 19.3% of pre-schoolers and 17.0% of school-age children lived in low income families, compared to 20.0% and 18.7%, respectively, in 1980. Over the same period, however, the before-tax low income rate for seniors aged 65 and over declined substantially, from 29.9% to 14.4%.
Before-tax low income status of children and seniors by age groups, Canada, 1980 and 2005