The NEI Economic Domain illuminates a changing economic landscape at the level of Ottawa neighbourhoods (census tract level).
Ranking Ottawa neighbourhoods on how they fare in access to credit and capital, job opportunities, potential for generating income, and other factors important to living a poverty-free life gives a more robust picture of opportunity and equity than just looking at poverty rates. Through empirically mapping inequity, this NEI domain aims to support decision makers in making evidence-based decisions that can produce a more equitable, stronger, and healthier Ottawa.
The Ottawa NEI Economic domain has 9 indicators:
Percentage of people living below the low income measure after tax
Percentage of working poor population age 18 to 64
Median employment income
Percentage of working part year and/or part-time
Number of local jobs per 1000 people
Average non-mortgage consumer debt
Percentage of families with financial assets
Percentage of renter households spending more than 30% of income on housing
Percentage of owner households spending more than 30% of income on housing
It has been over 10 years since the 2008 recession and the Canadian economy has rebounded but living standards have not. While the after-tax median family income has risen by one third, the most vulnerable Canadians (indigenous, seniors, people with disabilities) are still at an increased risk for poverty 1. The gap between the wealthy and the poor has widened with the average market income of the wealthy growing by 55% compared to the poor who are living on already unlivable average market incomes 2.
The boost in income has not translated to an easier life for many Canadians, as they devote a larger proportion of their net income to meet basic needs. Home ownership is beyond the means of many, especially young Canadians, as housing prices continue to rise. Affordable housing is hard to come by as more Canadians put a growing percentage of their net incomes to cover shelter costs. Over 2 million Canadians are food insecure and struggle to access affordable and nutritious foods. Precarious employment, low-wages, and increased time spent in unemployment (long-term unemployment) are fast becoming every-day realities of a growing proportion of Canadian society 2.
1 Canadian Index of Wellbeing. (2016). How are Canadians really doing? In Report of the Institute of Wellbeing. Retrieved from file:///Users/owner/Desktop/Canadian Index of well-being.pdf
2 Scott, K., Ditor, M., & Frojmovic, M. (2018). Neighbourhood Financial Health Index PROFILE OF Toronto. (January), 1–84. Retrieved from http://nfhi.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/PRO-013_NeighbourhoodFinancialHealth_HighRes_ac11.pdf
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