Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Market income

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


The sum of employment income (wages, salaries and commissions, net self-employment income from farm or non-farm unincorporated business and/or professional practice), investment income, private retirement income (retirement pensions, superannuation and annuities, including those from registered retirement savings plans [RRSPs] and registered retirement income funds [RRIFs]) and other money income from market sources during the reference period. It is equivalent to total income minus government transfers. It is also referred to as income before transfers and taxes.

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); 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986 and 1981 (20% sample). For availability prior to 1981, refer to Appendix 2.1.

Reported for

Population aged 15 years and over in private households

Question number(s)

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


Positive or negative dollar value or nil


This variable does not include net capital gains or losses which are not part of the standard income definition.

See Remarks under total income.

See also income sources and the detailed definitions for each of the components: employment income, investment income, private retirement income and market income not included elsewhere.

For more information, please refer to Appendix 2.4 Components of income in 2020.

For the 2021 Census, market income is also available for reference year 2019 in order to provide baseline information to assess the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Income for 2019 is presented in 2020 constant dollars.

For more information about the income sources that are available for reference year 2019, data collection method, coverage, reference period, concepts, data quality and intercensal comparability of the income data, please refer to the Income Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021.


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