On Shaky Ground: Stabilizing the Financial Security of Single Women

The economic fragility of single women 45-65 years of age is growing, states AFN’s report, On Shaky Ground: Stabilizing the Financial Security of Single Women, released in collaboration with Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative (CWWG).

This report is the first in a series that builds off AFN’s 2015 publication, Women & Wealth, that explores how the gender wealth gap impacts women.

On Shaky Ground illustrates how the women’s wealth gap is exacerbated by the racial wealth gap and goes far beyond wage inequality. It is compounded by imbalances in the tax code, the structure of employer-based benefits, the Social Security system, and market-based products and services. This new report speaks to how the wealth gap is impacting current generations and threatens the financial security of future generations.




Report on Income and Canadian Financial Consumer Complaints

This report explores the financial services complaint experiences of Canadians at various income levels who used the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI)’s service. The national, not-for-profit organization collected demographic and case data for almost 1,000 closed cases resolved between 2017 to 2019 to create the report. These cases were grouped into three categories:

  • lower-income households (under $60,000);
  • middle-income households ($60,000 to $100,000); and
  • higher-income households (over $100,000).

Key findings include:

  • Lower-income households represent almost 40% of OBSI cases. Lower-income consumers of financial services need and make use of OBSI as an accessible alternative to the legal system.
  • Nearly one-third (30%) of employed complainants live in lower- or middle-income households. Canadians experience economic barriers to accessing legal services regardless of their employment status.
  • Most lower-income complainants are over 60, while most higher-income complainants are under 50. Older Canadians have a particular need for accessible dispute resolution.



Canada’s Forgotten Poor? Putting Singles Living in Deep Poverty on the Policy Radar

This report presents the findings of extensive research about employable singles on social assistance undertaken by Toronto Employment and Social Services, in partnership with the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation. Drawing on data from 69,000 singles who were receiving social assistance in Toronto in 2016, and 51 interviews with randomly selected participants, the report highlights these individuals’ characteristics, their complex needs, and the barriers they face in moving off social assistance and into employment. Complementing the quantitative analysis, the interviews provide important insights into the daily realities of participants’ lives and their journeys on and off assistance.



Low income among persons with a disability in Canada

Persons with a disability face a higher risk of low income compared to the overall population. This report uses data from the 2014 Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) to study the relationship between low income and characteristics of people aged 25 to 64 with a disability, including disability type, severity class, age of onset of disability, family composition, and other risk factors associated with low income. It also examines the composition of the low-income population in relation to disability, and provides information on the relationship between employment and low income for this population.



Results from the Survey of Household Spending, 2017 (Infographic)

This infographic from Statistics Canada summarizes the results of the Survey of Household Spending, 2017, including average annual expenditures by household type. 



Boosting the Earned Income Tax Credit for Singles

By providing a refundable credit at tax time, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is widely viewed as a successful public policy that is both antipoverty and pro-work.  But most of its benefits have gone to workers with children.

Paycheck Plus is a test of a more generous credit for low-income workers without dependent children. The program, which provides a bonus of up to $2,000 at tax time, is being evaluated using a randomized controlled trial in New York City and Atlanta. This report presents findings through three years from New York, where over 6,000 low-income single adults without dependent children enrolled in the study in late 2013.

The findings are consistent with other research on the federal EITC, indicating that an effective work-based safety net program can increase incomes for vulnerable and low-income individuals and families while encouraging and rewarding work.



Changes in wealth across the income distribution, 1999 to 2012

Poverty Trends Scorecard – Fact Sheet Series – Income, Wealth, and Inequality

Pre-Budget Tour: The State of the Middle Class

First Nations, Metis and Inuit Women

Portrait of Homelessness in First Nations Communities in Quebec

Low Income (‘Poverty’) Lines

Towards a Poverty Reduction Strategy

A Policymaker’s Guide to Basic Income

Break the Barriers: Millions in Canada still struggle to get by

Planning for Retirement on a Low Income

An Analysis of the Economic Circumstances of Canadian Seniors

Recent Trends in the Variability of Individual Earnings and Household Income

Social Isolation and Community Connection Backgrounder