Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Total income decile group

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


The total income deciles divide the population aged 15 years and over into 10 equal-sized groups according to the rank of the total income. Those in the bottom decile group are the ones who fall in the lower 10 percent of the total income distribution. Those in the top decile group are the ones who fall in the highest ten percent of the total income distribution.

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)

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.


In the lowest decile
In the second decile
In the third decile
In the fourth decile
In the fifth decile
In the sixth decile
In the seventh decile
In the eighth decile
In the ninth decile
In the highest decile


Persons without total income are included in the calculation of the deciles cut-points (i.e., the levels of total income that define the decile groups).

Since the deciles cut-points are derived based on data from the 2021 Census of Population short-form questionnaire, the percentage of the sampled population in each decile group may not correspond exactly to 10%.

See also total income.

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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