Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Adjusted after-tax income

Release date: November 17, 2021Updated on: July 13, 2022


Adjusted after-tax income refers to after-tax income of the statistical unit that is adjusted for economies of scale. The adjustment factor, also known as the equivalence scale, is the square root of the number of persons in the statistical unit. The adjusted after-tax income is calculated by dividing the after-tax income by this adjustment factor. The adjustment made to income addresses the fact that individuals living together can share resources and the marginal increase in need decreases as the number of individuals sharing resources increases.

For the 2021 Census, the reference period for income data is the calendar year 2020, unless otherwise specified.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 and 2016 (100% data); 2011Footnote 1 (30% sample).

Reported for

Private households

Economic families and persons not in economic families in private households

Question number(s)

Variable derived based on administrative tax and benefit records received from the Canada Revenue Agency.


Not applicable


See also after-tax income.

Adjusted after-tax incomes of households are used to determine the thresholds for Low-income measure, after tax (LIM-AT).

The adjusted after-tax incomes of households concept is also one of the income concepts used to generate the Gini index, which is one of the popular inequality measures. See Appendix 2.3 Derived statistics.

Adjusted after-tax incomes of economic families and persons not in economic families are used to derive the economic family after-tax income decile group. For persons not in an economic family, the adjusted after-tax income is equivalent to the after-tax income as the adjustment factor is equal to 1.

A similar variable existed for economic families and persons not in economic families in the 2006 Census. In that version, income was adjusted using an equivalence scale that was based on economic family composition.

For additional information about data collection method, coverage, reference period, concepts, data quality and intercensal comparability of the income data, refer to the Income Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021.


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