Social Well-Being Tracker
Our social well-being indicators are based on social determinants of health. These indicators are the economic and social conditions that shape the health of individuals and communities. Social determinants of health also determine the extent to which a person possesses the physical, social, and personal resources to identify and achieve personal aspirations, satisfy needs, and cope with the environment. Social determinants of health are about the quantity and quality of a variety of resources that a society makes available to its members. Important considerations include both the quality and their distribution amongst the population. 1
We have organized our social well-being indicators into seven main categories: A - Demographics, B - Income (B - Income, has been separated into four subcategories to handle the complexity and volume of data in this indicator) BA - Income and Income Gaps, BB - Poverty, BC - Cost of Living, BD - Government Transfers, C - Employment and Labour, D - Education and Literacy, E - Built Environment, F - Social Inclusion, G - Health and Health Services.
BAIncome & Income GapsIndicators
Income is perhaps the key determinant of a family’s ability to maintain an adequate quality of life. Therefore, it is important to understand how incomes are changing in relation to cost of living.
People with low-incomes or wages are the least able to withstand rising costs or unexpected emergencies. When costs of living rise at a faster rate than incomes, more low- and modest-income families are at risk of poverty.
Family income also affects educational attainment, which in turn impacts lifetime earning potential. For example, low-income youth are less likely to attend university (Frenette, 2007).
Why are Wealth Trends Important?
Wealth, or a family’s net worth, is also an important variable to track. In general, families with a low or negative net worth are at a much greater risk of poverty and homelessness.
There is, however, no available data on wealth distribution at either the provincial or Edmonton level, and the most recent national data is from the year 2016.
Because wealth accumulates over many years, wealth disparities are even greater than income disparities.
How is Edmonton Changing?
The number of tax-filers continues to increase in line with the growth of the adult population in metro Edmonton. A slightly higher proportion of women than men file tax returns. However, a gender gap persists and women continue to have significantly lower incomes than men.
All family types including lone-parents rely mainly on employment as their major source of income. There is also a trend towards a greater reliance on own source income (investments, savings, pensions), reflecting that the tax-filing population is ageing.
Alberta’s minimum wage increased to $15.00 per hour on October 1, 2018 under the NDP government. The real value of the minimum wage, after factoring out inflation, is now at a 40-year high. However, under the UCP government, the minimum wage for youth (persons under the age of 18) was reduced to $13 per hour on June 26, 2019.
Income inequality in Alberta was at an all-time high in 2015, with most of the real income gains going to the top 1% of tax-filers. There have been a number of measures taken by the federal and provincial governments to reduce this inequality, such as increases to the minimum wage, refundable child benefits, and top marginal tax rates. Income inequality decreased in 2018, although the top 1% continued to have much larger real income gains compared to the rest of the population.
BAIncome & Income GapsIndicators
- BA1 Number of Tax-filers, Edmonton CMA
- BA2 Percent female income compared to male, Edmonton CMA
- BA3 Median After-Tax Income by Family Type, Edmonton CMA
- BA4 Median After-Tax Income, Couple Families, by Family Size, Edmonton CMA
- BA5 Median After-Tax Income, Lone-Parent Families, by Family Size, Edmonton CMA
- BA6 Source of Income, Couple Families, Edmonton CMA
- BA7 Source of Income, Lone-Parents, Edmonton CMA
- BA8 Source of Income, Single Adults, Edmonton CMA
- BA9 Real Median After-Tax Income Growth (Edmonton CMA)
- BA10 Value of Alberta Minimum Wage
- BA11 Consumer Insolvency Rate per 1,000 persons aged 18 and over, Edmonton CMA