The Income Gap Between Aboriginal Peoples and the Rest of Canada

About the study

This study examined the income disparity between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal Canadians. Using 1996, 2001 and 2006 Statistics Canada Census data, the study analyzed earnings differentials between Aboriginal people and the rest of Canadians by Aboriginal identity (First Nations, Metis or Inuit), location, education, and gender. The study further provided recommendations for policy change.


What can be learned from this study?

• The income gap between Aboriginal people and the rest of Canadians only slightly decreased between 1996 and 2006. The difference was $8,135 in 2006 compared to $9,428 in 1996.

• Aboriginal people residing in urban communities had higher median employment income than those in rural communities.

• First Nations workers living off-reserve earned much more than those living on-reserve. However, the income gap between First Nations workers and non-Aboriginal Canadians remained significant.

• There was a minimal difference in earnings for Aboriginal people who have obtained Bachelor’s degree or higher when compared to non-Aboriginal Canadians with same qualification. However, Aboriginal people with high school education or less experienced significant income disparity.

• Younger Aboriginal people who have attained post-secondary education fared economically better than older Aboriginal people with same qualification.

• Aboriginal women with Bachelor’s degree or higher earned more than non-Aboriginal women with equivalent education in 2006.



What method(s) did the study use?

Analyses of 1996, 2001 and 2006 Statistics Canada Census data