The Economic Domain

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:

Low Income

Percentage of people living below the low income measure after tax

Working Poor

Percentage of working poor population age 18 to 64

Employment Income

Median employment income

Working Part-Time

Percentage of working part year and/or part-time

Number of Local Jobs

Number of local jobs per 1000 people

Consumer debt

Average non-mortgage consumer debt

Financial Assets

Percentage of families with financial assets

Housing Affordability-Renters

Percentage of renter households spending more than 30% of income on housing

Housing Affordability-Owners

Percentage of owner households spending more than 30% of income on housing

Why this domain matters

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

Maps and Data related to the Economic Domain

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DATA: Ontario Marginalization Index

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DATA: Neighbourhood Financial Health Index

through Prosper Canada, 2016

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REPORT: Place Based Initiatives in the Context of Public Policy and Markets

by Sol Price Centre for Social Innovation et al., 2014.

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REPORT: Housing and Homelessness Reports

by the Alliance to End Homelessness

An annual Progress Report on Ending Homelessness in Ottawa to assess our community’s progress by comparing annual change in a number of areas.

Neighbourhood Equity in Action: Economic Domain

Find out what others are doing to improve economic equity in Ottawa.  Reach out directly to get involved.

The Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa works to inspire action and to inform a community-wide effort to achieve an end to homelessness in Ottawa.

The City of Ottawa Economic Development Services (EDS) will develop a Rural Economic Development Strategy and the four-year Action Plan, which will complement the City’s broader Economic Development Strategy.

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