Debt and assets among senior Canadian families

Using data from the Survey of Financial Security (SFS), this article looks at changes in debt, assets and net worth among senior Canadian families over the period from 1999 to 2016. It also examines changes in the debt-to income ratio and the debt to-asset ratio of senior families with debt.

This study finds that the proportion of senior families with debt increased from 27% to 42% between 1999 and 2016. 



Mortgage and Consumer Credit Trends Report

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) publishes a quarterly report on Canadian trends relating to mortgage debt and consumer borrowing. Find out the level of Canadian household indebtedness, and emerging trends in outstanding debt balances in different urban areas and by age group. 



Financial Expectations and Household Debt

This Economic Insights article quantifies the degree to which families who expect their financial situation to get better in the next two years have, all else equal, more debt than comparable families.

The study shows that even after a large set of socioeconomic characteristics is controlled for, families who expect their financial situation to improve in the near future have significantly more debt and generally higher debt-to-income ratios than other families.



Debt and assets among senior Canadian families, 1999 to 2016

These results are from the new study "Debt and assets among senior Canadian families." released in April 2018. The study examines changes in debt, assets and net worth among Canadian families whose major income earner was 65 years of age or older.

In recent years, household debt has increased. The level of debt and value of assets are especially important for the financial security of seniors. Because income typically declines during the retirement years, seniors often need accumulated assets to finance their consumption, especially if they do not benefit from a private pension plan. Debt can also be particularly problematic for seniors as repayment can be more difficult on a reduced income.



Indebtedness and Wealth Among Canadian Households

Understanding the health of the balance sheets of Canadian households is a complex issue that continues to generate considerable discussion. A new Statistics Canada study contributes to these discussions by highlighting the extent to which national measures of indebtedness and wealth mask significant variation across the country. The study is largely based on results from the 2016 Survey of Financial Security (SFS), which allow for a detailed profile by census metropolitan area (CMA) and by income groups.



Spotlight on Canadians and Debt: Who’s Vulnerable

Debt-to-income ratios in Canada have continue to rise since the 2008-2009 recession, especially in urban centres where housing prices have increased over the last few years.

This infographic from Statistics Canada shows where debt-to-income ratios are highest across Canada. 



Microdata on household vulnerability in Canada: 1999 to 2014


This paper contributes to the literature on the state of household finances in Canada by constructing new indicators using Canadian microdata based on Canadian and international literature. Using data from the Survey of Financial Security (1999, 2005 and 2012), and also the Canadian Financial Capability Survey (2008 and 2014), it reports on 10 separate indicators of household financial vulnerability. Using logistic regression, it also models selected household characteristics that appear to serve as protective or risk factors for each measure of financial vulnerability. The goal is not to dispute analysis of aggregate data from macroeconomic sources, but instead to complement it, contributing to a more nuanced picture of trends and the current state of household finances in Canada




Financial Empowerment: Improving financial outcomes for low-income households

Financial Empowerment is a new approach to poverty reduction that focuses on improving the financial security of low-income people. It is an evidence-driven set of interventions that have proven successful at both eliminating systemic barriers to the full financial inclusion of low-income people and providing enabling supports that help them to acquire and practice the financial skills and behaviours that tangibly improve their financial outcomes and build their financial security. The Financial Empowerment approach focuses on community level strategies that encompass five main types of interventions that have been identified as both necessary for low-income households to improve their financial outcomes, and effective at helping them to do so.


Financial Empowerment is a new approach to poverty reduction that focuses on improving the financial security of low-income people. It is an evidence-driven set of interventions that have proven successful at both eliminating systemic barriers to the full financial inclusion of low-income people and providing enabling supports that help them to acquire and practice the financial skills and behaviours that tangibly improve their financial outcomes and build their financial security. The Financial Empowerment approach focuses on community level strategies that encompass five main types of interventions that have been identified as both necessary for low-income households to improve their financial outcomes, and effective at helping them to do so.





Financial Empowerment is a new approach to poverty reduction that focuses on improving the financial security of low-income people. It is an evidence-driven set of interventions that have proven successful at both eliminating systemic barriers to the full financial inclusion of low-income people and providing enabling supports that help them to acquire and practice the financial skills and behaviours that tangibly improve their financial outcomes and build their financial security. The Financial Empowerment approach focuses on community level strategies that encompass five main types of interventions that have been identified as both necessary for low-income households to improve their financial outcomes, and effective at helping them to do so.




The Tenuous Segment: 29 Million Coping, with Little Buffer for Financial Hurdles