National Council of Welfare

Conseil national du bien-être social

PROFILES OF WELFARE: MYTHS AND REALITIES

A Report by the National Council of Welfare Spring 1998



TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                Page

  
TEN QUICK QUESTIONS ABOUT PEOPLE ON WELFARE ..........................  1  

ANSWERS TO TEN QUICK QUESTIONS ABOUT PEOPLE ON WELFARE ...............  2  

I.      METHODOLOGY AND DEFINITIONS...................................  4  

II.     FAMILY TYPE AND FAMILY SIZE...................................  8  

III.    REASONS FOR ASSISTANCE........................................ 14  

IV.     LENGTH OF CURRENT SPELL ON WELFARE............................ 23  

V.      YOUNG, OLD AND IN-BETWEEN..................................... 32  

VI.     LEVEL OF EDUCATION............................................ 40  

VII.    OTHER SOURCES OF INCOME....................................... 46  

VIII.   HOUSING....................................................... 53  

CONCLUSION............................................................ 60  

APPENDIX: PROVINCIAL AND TERRITORIAL STATISTICS....................... 63  

INDEX TO GRAPHS AND TABLES............................................ 77  


TEN QUICK QUESTIONS ABOUT WELFARE



     Before reading this report, take a minute to test your knowledge about welfare.
The answers appear on the back of this page, along with the appropriate references to data
in the text.
Which of the following statements about welfare and welfare recipients are true?

1.   Most people on welfare are young people who should be out working.

2.   The welfare rolls have fallen significantly since Canada started coming out of the
last recession in 1991. 3. Unmarried teenagers make up most of the single-parent mothers on welfare. 4. Long-term dependence on welfare is rare in Canada. 5. Almost all the people on welfare are adults. 6. Disability is not a major reason for people relying on welfare. 7. Many single-parent mothers have lots of kids in order to boost their welfare cheques. 8. Most people on welfare don't really have it so bad, because they get a break on
their housing costs by living in subsidized housing. 9. Most people on welfare also have income from part-time work or Employment
Insurance or government pensions. 10. People who are well educated almost never wind up on welfare.

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ANSWERS TO TEN QUICK QUESTIONS ABOUT WELFARE


     All of the statements about welfare and welfare recipients on the preceding page are
false. Here is the truth of the matter, with page references to more detailed information in the
text. The percentages in the answers below refer to cases in the welfare database used in
this report. 1. Only four percent of the heads of welfare cases in March 1997 were under age 20,
and another 12 percent were between 20 and 25. (Table 8, page 36) 2. Welfare caseloads continued climbing after the recession ended because of continuing
high unemployment. The first decline in total caseloads was in 1995. (Table 1, page 10) 3. Only three percent of the single parents on welfare in March 1997 were under age
20. (Graph I, page 34) 4. Fifty-four percent of the welfare cases in March 1997 had been on welfare continuously
for 25 months or more. (Graph F, page 24) 5. Dependent children under 18 accounted for nearly 1.1 million of the people on welfare
in March 1997. (Table 9, page 37) 6. Twenty-seven percent of the heads of welfare cases in March 1997 had a disability as
a reason for being on welfare. (Graph C, page 15) 7. Nearly half of all single-parent families on welfare in March 1997 had only one child
and another 31 percent had only two children. (Graph J, page 39) 8. Only seven percent of the welfare cases in March 1997 were in subsidized housing.
(Graph O, page 53) 9. Only 29 percent of the welfare cases in March 1997 had outside income from work,
government pensions, support payments, EI or other sources. (Graph M, page 46)

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10.  Education does not offer absolute protection from welfare.  Eleven percent of the heads
of welfare cases in March 1997 had attended some form of post-secondary education.
(Graph K, page 41) If you got seven or more answers correct, pat yourself on the back, but keep on reading.
If you missed more than two or three answers, you definitely should read on. The questions and answers in the quiz are related to myths, misconceptions and
stereotypes about welfare and people on welfare. All these forms of misinformation stand in the
way of understanding one of Canada's most important social programs, and they make it even
more difficult to get public support for welfare reform in the best sense of the word. The National Council of Welfare hopes that this report will dispel many of the myths
about welfare and leave in their place a more realistic picture of the millions of Canadians
who turn to welfare when they exhaust all other sources of income.

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I. METHODOLOGY AND DEFINITIONS


   For a number of years, the Social Program Information and Analysis Directorate of
Human Resources Development Canada and its predecessors at Health and Welfare Canada have
worked with provincial and territorial officials to assemble descriptive and statistical infor-
mation on welfare programs. The National Council of Welfare has drawn on this store of
knowledge on numerous occasions as background information in its published reports. Several years ago, governments took a major step forward in a co-operative venture
informally known as the social assistance profile project. The purpose of the project was to
assemble a database of welfare statistics that was more or less standard for all provinces.
The statistics included information on welfare cases by family type, family size, age group
of the head of each case, reasons for assistance, the number of months spent on welfare,
housing arrangements, levels of education of the head of case, and sources of income aside from
welfare. The first data were collected for March 1990, and subsequent data were collected
for March 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997. The National Council of Welfare has long been concerned about the minimal amount of
reliable and up-to-date information about social programs that is readily available to ordinary
Canadians. It subsequently sought and received permission from officials of all provincial
and territorial governments to have access to the database for research purposes. This report is the end result of all these efforts. The National Council of Welfare greatly
appreciates the work of the federal, provincial and territorial officials who collect and ana-
lyze information about welfare. We hope our report will add to public knowledge about welfare
in Canada and will dispel many of the myths about welfare and welfare recipients. The basic unit of analysis for most ofProfiles of Welfare: Myths and Realities is the
welfare case, as opposed to the individual welfare recipient. A welfare case consists of an
unattached person on welfare or a family on welfare. Unattached people are defined as people
living by themselves or in households where they are not related to other members by blood or
marriage. Families are couples, married or living common law, or single parents and include

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dependent children or other dependent relatives.  A family's entitlement to welfare is based on
family needs and family income. Except in cases of disability, it is rare for one member of a
family to be on welfare and live in the same household with members of the family who are
not on welfare. Welfare recipients are the individuals who rely on welfare for income support. A family
of four on welfare, for example, represents one welfare case and four individual welfare
recipients. There is limited information in this report about individual welfare recipients
except for a few pages about children and seniors in Chapter V and some of the statistics in
the appendix. Unattached persons and families can also be grouped into family types, such as
unattached men, unattached women, couples without children, couples with children, and single-
parent families. The family types used in this report are not identical to the family types used
in Poverty Profile and most other publications of the National Council of Welfare. In the
welfare system, a single-parent mother could be a mother of any age with dependent children
of any age. In Poverty Profile, the category is limited to single-parent mothers under age
65 with children under age 18. Much of the information about welfare caseloads by family type has been in the public
domain for some time and it is repeated in Chapter II of this report for the convenience of
readers and researchers. The same holds true for the historical information on welfare,
poverty and unemployment found in the appendix. The social assistance profile project database contains a wealth of information on welfare,
but it is not without its limitations. Some of the data sets are available for all or most
provinces for March of each of the six years. Other sets have sizable gaps, either in terms
of the years represented or the number of provinces contributing data. Readers will note
that the tables and graphs in this report refer to "95 percent samples" or "82 percent samples."
That means that the data in the particular graph covered 95 percent or 82 percent of the total
estimated national caseload of 1,494,800 as of March 1997.

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   Yukon, and the Northwest Territories did not supply data to the database for 1997, and
New Brunswick did not supply data for some of the categories. Together, the three jurisdictions
account for less than three percent of the total national caseload. There are also gaps in the information provided by Nova Scotia, Ontario and Manitoba,
the three provinces that have had two-tier welfare systems for all or most of the last 30 years.
Nova Scotia and Manitoba have provided information on provincial welfare programs and not
on welfare programs run by municipal governments. There were an estimated 17,400 cases of
municipal welfare in Nova Scotia and about 16,400 cases of municipal welfare in Manitoba as
of March 1997. Municipal caseloads in the two provinces make up just over two percent of
the national caseload. Most of the samples used in the text are 95 percent samples. That means the samples
include all jurisdictions except New Brunswick, Yukon, the Northwest Territories and
municipal welfare data in Nova Scotia and Manitoba. In Ontario, the third province with a two-tier system in 1997, the database includes all
provincial welfare cases and 85 percent of the cases on municipal welfare. The National Council
of Welfare "grossed up" the municipal data to 100 percent. Generally speaking, the variables in the database relating to demographic characteristics
are consistent in all welfare systems in Canada. Other variables, such as reason for assistance
and education, vary greatly from one province to another. Reason for assistance is one of the most frequent variables used in cross-tabulations in
the database, but the data have to be interpreted with great care. Even reasons for assistance
such as employment or disability do not mean the same thing in all provinces. For example,
some provinces categorize most single-parent families in a job-related category, while others
consider single parenthood by itself as a reason for assistance, not just a family type. Definitions of disability and whether a disabling condition is temporary or permanent
vary greatly from province to province. Alberta has a provincially run program independent of
the welfare system known as Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped, and several other

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provinces are pursuing the idea of splitting off programs for people with disabilities from
the welfare system. Some provinces have reasons for assistance in their welfare programs that are related
to age, or they report large numbers of welfare cases in unspecified "other" categories. Most of the data supplied by the provinces was collected for March in each of the years
in the database. A bit of the data from Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba was collected in some
other month for some of the years. In all cases, the data represent a snapshot of the welfare
caseload at a given point in time. They do not show how the welfare caseload changes
from month to month, and they do not track movements on or off welfare. Despite all these limitations, the database is by far the best source of statistical
information on welfare that has been developed in recent years. The National Council of
Welfare hopes that welfare officials across the country will continue providing information on
a regular basis and that future versions of the database will add even more to our knowledge
of one of Canada's most important and least understood social programs.

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II. FAMILY TYPE AND FAMILY SIZE


   The chances of people having to rely on welfare at some point in their lives vary greatly
by family type. The three most common family types on welfare are unattached men,
unattached women, and families headed by single-parent mothers. In both good times and
bad, these three family types are overrepresented on the welfare rolls. Each welfare case consists of one or more individuals on welfare. By definition, all the
welfare cases made up of unattached men and women consist of one person each. Welfare cases
made up of families tend to be relatively small. The stereotype of welfare families with
hordes of children is not even close to the truth.

  

GRAPH A



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   Graph A on the previous page shows welfare cases by family type in March 1997 for all
jurisdictions except Yukon and the Northwest Territories. The graph is also missing information
from municipal welfare programs in Nova Scotia and Manitoba. Overall, the graph covers
1,452,779 cases or 97 percent of the estimated total national caseload as of March 1997. Single-parent mothers and their children accounted for 388,426 welfare cases or 27
percent of the welfare cases in Graph A, unattached women represented 21 percent of the total,
and unattached men represented 34 percent. The National Council of Welfare's annual
publication Poverty Profile shows that single-parent mothers and unattached women and men are
among the family types most likely to be poor, so it is not surprising that they are also
among the most likely to be on welfare. All three family types are overrepresented on the welfare rolls compared to their numbers
in the population at large. Single-parent mothers made up 27 percent of the welfare cases in
Graph A, but single-parent mothers in the population at large accounted for only six percent of
all family types under 65. Unattached women were 21 percent of welfare cases, but only 12
percent of all family types under 65. Unattached men were 34 percent of welfare cases and
17 percent of all family types under 65. One of the other intriguing differences in the graph is the fact that the number of
unattached men on welfare is significantly higher than the number of unattached women on
welfare. A look at the figures for the entire adult population under 65 shows a similar
difference in the number of unattached men and women. Obviously, some unattached men are
the fathers of the children of single-parent mothers. The men are living on their own, while
the women are living with the children. The distribution of welfare cases by family type did not change much in the years after
the first figures were collected in 1990. Even though the welfare rolls swelled substantially
in the wake of the recession of 1990-91, the proportions of different family types on welfare
never changed more than a percentage point or two from one year to another. Table 1 gives the details from March 1990 through March 1997. The figures cover all
ten provinces, plus the two territories, and were compiled by officials of Human Resources
Development Canada using information in addition to the information in the database. Only four

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family types were estimated year after year: unattached persons, couples without children,
single-parent families and couples with children. The totals for each year also include a
handful of welfare cases that do not fit into one of the four standard categories.

TABLE 1 ESTIMATED WELFARE CASES BY FAMILY TYPE, ALL PROVINCES AND TERRITORIES, MARCH 1990-MARCH 1997


  

Unattached Persons

Couples without Children

Single Parents

Couples with Children

Total Cases

March 1990 597,800-57% 55,800-5% 309,400-29% 93,000-9% 1,056,000-100%
March 1991 710,000-57% 62,400-5% 349,400-28% 117,200-9% 1,239,000-100%
March 1992 840,900-57% 72,900-5% 408,200-28% 149,000-10% 1,471,900-100%
March 1993 924,500-57% 80,500-5% 441,500-27% 169,700-10% 1,616,200-100%
March 1994 948,700-57% 81,700-5% 465,600-28% 179,900-1% 1,675,900-100%
March 1995 928,300-56% 79,900-5% 472,500-28% 178,600-11% 1,659,200-100%
March 1996 869,300-55% 80,800-5% 454,500-29% 177,400-11% 1,582,000-100%
March 1997 822,600-55% 77,500-5% 429,600-29% 165,000-11% 1,494,800-100%


   The number of welfare cases made up of unattached persons, for example, was estimated
to be 597,800 or 57 percent of the total of 1,056,000 welfare cases in March 1990. The number

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rose sharply over the next several years before peaking in March 1994, but the percentage
of cases remained more or less the same from one year to the next. The statistics for the other three family types followed the same pattern. As the recession
took its toll, all family types were at greater risk of falling onto welfare. As the economy
recovered from the recession, the risk of falling onto welfare declined for all family types. Table 2 on the next page shows variations in family type by province using data for
March 1997 from the social assistance profile project. The total of 1,452,779 cases shown in
the table represents 97 percent of the estimated national total of 1,494,800 cases in Table 1. The most glaring variations are in Nova Scotia and Manitoba, two provinces which have
two-tier welfare systems. Under two-tier systems, provincial caseloads are made up of longer-
term recipients, notably single-parent families and people with disabilities, and municipal
caseloads are mostly short-term cases where the unattached person on welfare or the head of
the family is considered to be employable. Two of the rows in the table are labelled Nova Scotia Provincial and Manitoba Provincial
to set them off from the other provinces. If municipal welfare statistics had been included,
the percentages in Nova Scotia and Manitoba would likely have been much closer to the percentage
totals shown in the bottom row of the table. Ontario is also a two-tier welfare province, but it was able to provide statistics on most
municipal welfare caseloads. The municipal figures that were provided were "grossed up"
in the database to approximate the total caseload. The table shows a number of smaller variations from province to province that relate to
differences in the local economy, differences in welfare policy and demographic differences.
The government of Alberta, for example, made a decision in 1993 to discourage young single
people from applying for welfare and to steer them to other possibilities. That probably
explains in large part why the percentage of unattached persons on welfare in Alberta is well
below average.

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TABLE 2 WELFARE CASES BY FAMILY TYPE, 97 PERCENT SAMPLE, MARCH 1997


    

Unattached Persons

Couples without Children

Single Parents

Couples with Children

Total Cases

Newfoundland 17,386-48% 3,575-10% 7,985-22% 6,820-19% 35,886-100%
Prince Edward Island 2,992-53% 262-5% 1,640-29% 714-13% 5,614-100%
Nova Scotia Provincial 11,991-39% 902-3% 16,252-52% 1,864-6% 31,042-100%
New Brunswick 17,115-47% 2,944-8% 11,192-31% 4,926-14% 36,177-100%
Quebec 299,511-64% 25,947-6% 98,111-21% 46,806-10% 470,375-100%
Ontario 273,588-47% 28,816-5% 201,900-35% 73,491-13% 577,795-100%
Manitoba Provincial 11,554-46% 816-3% 12,119-48% 799-3% 25,431-100%
Saskatchewan 21,063-54% 1,618-4% 12,157-31% 4,286-11% 39,124-100%
Alberta 17,534-44% 1,997-5% 15,684-39% 4,878-12% 40,093-100%
British Columbia 121,256-63% 8,136-4% 48,760-25% 13,090-7% 191,242-100%
Totals 793,990-55% 75,013-5% 425,800-29% 157,675-11% 1,452,779-100%
NOYE: The statistics for Nova Scotia and Manitoba do not include municipal welfare cases.


The statistics in the database on family type are also broken down by the number of
people in each welfare case. The breakdown by family size is shown in Graph B. The sample

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does not include New Brunswick cases or municipal welfare cases in Nova Scotia and Manitoba.
The graph represents 95 percent or 1,416,602 of the estimated total of 1,494,800 cases. By definition, all the people on welfare classified as unattached persons fall into the one-
person category in Graph B. That category represented 55 percent of the cases on welfare. The
two-person households in the graph consisted of couples without children or single parents with
one child. The three-person households were single parents with two children or couples
with one child, and so on. What is most striking about the graph is that 95 percent of the welfare cases consisted
of four persons or less. Only five percent of all welfare cases had five or more people. Among
other things, that meant that most of the families with children on welfare were also
small, as we will see in a later chapter of this report.

      

GRAPH B

               


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III. REASONS FOR ASSISTANCE



   People go on welfare for many reasons, but two common reasons are related to jobs
or disabilities. Lack of work is the largest single reason people are on welfare, and it
probably accounts for more than half of all welfare cases. Disability is the second most com-
mon reason and is a factor in perhaps one-quarter of all cases. Single parenthood is considered
a distinct reason for assistance by some provincial governments, but not by others. Reasons for assistance vary greatly by family type. Couples with children and unattached
people are more likely to have job-related reasons for being on welfare. Couples without
children are more likely to be on welfare by reason of disability. Reasons for assistance also change with age. Cases headed by younger people tend to
have job-related reasons for assistance. Disability is the leading reason for assistance for
cases headed by people 50 and older. Age itself is considered a reason for assistance for some
older people by some provincial governments. Because of the differences in definitions from one province to another, the statistics on
reasons for assistance must be used with caution. Some provinces have done away with most
of the traditional reasons for assistance. They view the heads of most of their welfare cases
as capable of joining the work force sooner or later, and they classify cases according to the
amount of effort it will take for them to reach that goal. Data from these provinces has to be
rearranged into the categories used in the welfare database, and the fit is not always a good
one. The latest available statistics on reasons for assistance are shown in Graph C on the next
page. It shows that 45 percent of the welfare cases in March 1997 were job-related, 27 percent
were related to disabilities, 14 percent gave single parenthood as the reason for assistance,
and the remaining 14 percent had "other" reasons for assistance. New Brunswick cases and
municipal welfare cases in Nova Scotia and Manitoba were not included. Overall, the graph
covers 95 percent of the total estimated caseload of 1,494,800 as of March 1997.

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GRAPH C


   One of the biggest inconsistencies is the way welfare programs classify single parents.
Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Manitoba regard single parenthood as a reason for
assistance by itself. Most other provinces classify all or most single parents in a job-related
category, although none of them really expects all single parents in all circumstances to be
in the paid labour force. Since most single parents are women, the reasons for assistance attributed to single
parents are one of the main differences between the sexes in the welfare statistics. Graph D on
the next page gives the details. The graph has separate pies for cases headed by men and
women for all provinces except New Brunswick and British Columbia and municipal welfare in
Nova Scotia and Manitoba as of March 1997. The two pies together cover 82 percent of
the total national caseload.

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GRAPH D-1



      

GRAPH D-2


The pie on the left, representing unattached men on welfare and families headed by men,
shows 52 percent of the welfare cases headed by men had job-related reasons for assistance.
Single-parent fathers on welfare accounted for another two percent of cases. The combined
total for the two categories was 54 percent. The pie on the right, representing unattached women and families headed by women,
shows 28 percent of the cases were headed by single-parent mothers and 28 percent of the cases
were job-related. The two categories add up to 56 percent - close to the combined total of
54 percent for men. British Columbia was unable to provide a breakdown of heads of cases by sex for March 1997,
but it had a similar distribution of reasons for assistance in earlier years. In March 1994,
for example, there were 127,270 welfare cases in British Columbia that were categorized as job-

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related and another 52,059 cases categorized as single-parent cases for a total of 179,329
cases. The single parent category was discontinued, and the job-related category rose to 188,915
cases in 1995. The increase from 179,329 to 188,915 was about the same as the overall increase
in welfare cases from one year to the next. Aside from the differences in job-related reasons for assistance and single parenthood,
there were differences in definitions of disability from province to province. Some provinces
have special welfare programs for people with disabilities, such as the Financial Support
Program in Quebec, which is clearly set apart from the Work and Employment Incentives Program
for welfare cases where disability is not a factor. The lines between programs for able-
bodied and disabled welfare recipients are less clear in some other provinces. Similarly, the
period of time a person has to be incapacitated to qualify as disabled differs from province to
province. The minimum period ranges from 90 days under provincial welfare in Manitoba to
six months in Newfoundland to one year in New Brunswick. Table 3 on the next page shows the number of welfare cases by province in March 1997
for each of the three main categories described above and for a fourth category that covers all
other reasons. Many of the miscellaneous reasons for assistance are not specified in the
database. The table also gives the percentage of the total caseload in each province for each
of the four categories. The total represents 95 percent of the total estimated welfare caseload
of 1,494,800 in March 1997. The table does not show any job-related welfare cases in Nova Scotia. That is because
the province was not able to provide a breakdown of its municipal welfare cases. If the
municipal cases were included, the job-related percentages would probably have been close
to average. New Brunswick did not provide figures for March 1997, but a year earlier it classified
55 percent of its welfare cases as job-related and 45 percent as disability-related. The other category in Quebec refers primarily to couples in "mixed" categories under the
Work and Employment Incentives Program. The program classifies welfare recipients according
to their willingness or ability to look for work or participate in work-related programs. The

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mixed category applies where one spouse falls into one category and the other spouse into
a different category.

TABLE 3 WELFARE CASES BY REASON FOR ASSISTANCE, 95 PERCENT SAMPLE, MARCH 1997


      

Job-Related

Disability

Single Parent

Other Reasons

All Reasons

Newfoundland 12,303-34% 8,719-24% 7,519-21% 7,345-20% 35,886-100%
Prince Edward Island 2,599-46% 2,247-40% 0-0% 768-14% 5,614-100%
Nova Scotia Provincial 0-0% 17,230-56% 13,284-43% 528-2% 31,042-100%
New Brunswick Data Not Available
Quebec 260,458-55% 109,975-23% 0-0% 99,942-21% 470,375-100%
Ontario 168,164-29% 190,394-33% 160,731-28% 58,505-10% 577,795-100%
Manitoba Provincial 1,203-5% 11,956-47% 11,631-46% 641-3% 25,431-100%
Saskatchewan 14,351-37% 11,870-30% 759-2% 12,144-31% 39,124-100%
Alberta 23,898-60% 8,902-22% 0-0% 7,293-18% 40,093-100%
British Columbia 153,650-80% 26,595-14% 0-0% 10,997-6% 191,242-100%
Totals 636,626-45% 387,889-27% 193,923-14% 198,164-14% 1,416,602-100%

        

NOTE: The statistics for Nova Scotia and Manitoba do not include municipal welfare cases.


        


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The other category in Ontario includes a large number of single parents. Many of
the rest of the people in the other category are people 55 and older. The small percentage of job-related cases in Manitoba is due to the absence of data
on municipal welfare caseloads. The category for other reasons in Alberta includes a number of people who are
considered to be temporary additions to the welfare rolls. Many of these people have health
problems or family responsibilities of one kind or another. The disability total is noticeably
lower than in most other provinces, because Alberta has a program called Assured Support for
the Severely Handicapped that is separate from welfare. A total of 20,796 people received
AISH benefits in March 1997 in addition to the welfare cases related to disability. In British Columbia, the job-related category is made up of all the cases that fall under
Basic Income Assistance, and the disability category is made up of GAIN (Guaranteed Available
Income for Need) for the Handicapped. The other category includes some people ages 60 to 65
and some people 65 and older who receive GAIN for Seniors. None of these categories is
a perfect match with the categories used elsewhere. In addition to the variations from province to province, there are also important variations
in reasons for assistance by family type and age. Graph E on the next page shows reasons for assistance according to family type. Among
couples with children on welfare, job-related reasons for assistance accounted for 70 percent of
total cases, and disability accounted for another 19 percent. Single parenthood and job-related
reasons for assistance made up most of the pie for single-parent families on welfare. Disability
was a more important reason for assistance among unattached persons on welfare and couples
without children. Disability represented the reason for assistance for 38 percent of
the unattached persons on welfare and 42 percent of the couples without children.

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GRAPH E1

GRAPH E2

GRAPH E3

GRAPH E4



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TABLE 4

WELFARE CASES BY AGE GROUP AND REASON FOR ASSISTANCE, 95 PERCENT SAMPLE, MARCH 1997

Job-Related

Disability

Single Parent

Other Reasons

Totals by Age Group

Under 20 27,687-49% 5,260-9% 7,377-13% 16,203-29% 56,528-100%
20-24 96,880-57% 20,520-12% 29,890-18% 23,082-14% 5,614-100%
25-29 98,108-53% 27,862-15% 37,183-20% 22,249-12% 185,402-100%
30-34 106,479-50% 40,903-19% 41,770-20% 22,178-10% 211,331-100%
35-39 102,172-49% 48,896-24% 38,157-18% 18,212-9% 207,437-100%
40-44 82,311-49% 50,451-30% 23,071-14% 12,041-7% 167,874-100%
45-49 61,180-47% 49,667-38% 10,742-8% 7,875-6% 129,464-100%
50-54 42,757-41% 50,301-49% 4,141-4% 6,267-6% 103,465-100%
55-59 16,321-18% 50,078-56% 1,392-2% 21,471-24% 89,261-100%
60-64 2,214-3% 39,805-53% 177-0% 32,237-43% 74,432-100%
65 and Older 515-2% 4,145-20% 22-0% 16,342-78% 21,024-100%
Totals 636,626-45% 387,889-27% 193,923-14% 198,164-14% 1,416,602-100%


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   All three of the main reasons for people going on welfare - job-related reasons, disability
and single parenthood - vary sharply with the age of the heads of welfare cases. Table 4
on the previous page gives the details. Job-related reasons for assistance fall dramatically among older people on welfare. In
the age group 20 through 24, there were 96,880 cases in March 1997 with job-related reasons
for assistance or 57 percent of the welfare cases in that age group. In the age group 60
through 64, there were only 2,214 cases with job-related reasons or three percent of the cases. Just the reverse was true of disability as a reason for assistance. Unattached people on
welfare or heads of welfare cases with disabilities represented 20,520 cases or 12 percent of
the total in the age group 20 through 24. The figures were up dramatically to 50,078 cases
or 56 percent of the cases in the age group 55 through 59. One reason for the increase is
that the risk of disability and ill health increases with age. Another reason for the increase
is due to the cumulative nature of the welfare caseload. It includes people who were perma-
nently disabled
in their 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s and remained on welfare in the years that followed. Finally, single parenthood as a reason for assistance is obviously related to the prime
child-bearing years for women. The number of welfare cases citing single parenthood as
the reason for assistance starts declining sharply among single parents in their 40s.

-23-

 

IV. LENGTH OF CURRENT SPELL ON WELFARE


   Two of the big gaps in our knowledge of Canada's social safety nets are how often
people rely on welfare and the length of each "spell" on welfare. A younger, able-bodied person
might wind up on welfare for a few months at a stretch every few years when jobs are harder
to get. An older person with chronic disabilities might find that welfare is the only realistic
source of income year after year. Tracing patterns of welfare use over the course of a person's life is difficult to do,
especially as the composition of family members changes and people move from one province
to another. The welfare database uses the next best alternative by reporting data on the length
of a person's current spell on welfare or the amount of time the person had been on welfare
continuously as of the time the data were collected. At the one end of the scale are people whose current period of time on welfare was three
months or less. Some of them were undoubtedly on welfare for the first time in their lives,
while others had relied on welfare sometime in previous years as well. At the other end of the
scale are people whose current spell on welfare was for more than two years. Many of these
people were no doubt out of the paid labour force for many years, but the database does not
record spells of welfare for specific periods of time longer than two years. The database shows very few differences in spells on welfare from one family type to
the next, but there are huge differences when spells on welfare are compared to reasons for
assistance. Cases with job-related reasons for assistance tend to have short spells on welfare,
while welfare cases arising from disabilities tend to last longer. The database also shows a rise in long-term cases in the years after 1990. Shorter-term
cases appear to rise in bad economic times and fall in good times. However, the longer-term
cases have been rising more or less steadily since 1990. The reasons for this are not
altogether clear, but the pattern is very alarming. Graph F shows the distribution of welfare cases by the length of time they were on
welfare as of March 1997. The total cases in the graph cover 95 percent of the estimated

-24-


national total of 1,494,800 cases. Fifty-four percent of the cases in the graph had been on
welfare for 25 months or more. Another 14 percent had been on welfare for 13 to 24 months.

        

GRAPH F


        

Unknown = 3,066 0,2% and 0-3 Months = 177,670 12,5%


   The percentage of short-term cases probably would have been a bit higher if the database
included data from municipal welfare programs in Nova Scotia and Manitoba. Municipal
welfare rolls are made up primarily of able-bodied people who would normally be in the
paid labour force. Their current spells on welfare would normally be relatively short. Quebec is the only province which has published statistics on the total amount of time
people spent on welfare as well as the length of their current spells on welfare. Graph G on the
next page compares the data from March 1997 with the total time spent on welfare over
the period from January 1975 to September 1995.

-25-

 


        

GRAPH G1



        

GRAPH G2



-26-


   The pie in the top half of the graph shows Quebec had a higher than average percentage
of welfare cases where the current spell was 25 months or more. The March 1997 figure for
Quebec was 64 percent, compared to the national average of 54 percent in Graph F. The
percentage of welfare cases where the current spell was no more than six months was 14 percent
in Quebec compared to the national average of 21 percent. The pie in the bottom half of the graph reveals a different pattern when the measure used
is the total time spent on welfare over a period of 20 years. The five white slices of the pie
represent 25 months or more on welfare just as the single white slice in the pie at the top. As
of September 1995, 18 percent of all cases had been on welfare for periods of time adding up
to between two and four years, 13 percent were on welfare for four to six years, nine percent
for six to eight years, seven percent for eight to ten years and 31 percent for ten years or
more. The five white slices add up to 78 percent of the total Quebec caseload. Among cases on welfare for short periods of time only, six percent were on welfare for
a total of under six months sometime during the previous 20 years, compared to 14 percent
with a current spell on welfare of under six months. The differences between the pies are not surprising in light of the cumulative nature of
many of the cases on welfare by reason of disability. People with severe disabilities and no
other means of support aside from welfare would probably be on welfare year after year, not
just for a year or two. The proportion of long-term disability cases would grow year after
year as new people came onto the welfare roles. The statistics on current spells on welfare are almost identical for all four family types,
but there are striking differences when it comes to spells on welfare and reasons for assistan-
ce. People on welfare who are looking for work tend to have shorter rather than longer spells on
welfare. People with disabilities and single parents tend to have longer spells on welfare.
Table 5 on the next page shows the March 1997 data. The total of 1,416,602 represents
95 percent of the estimated national total of 1,494,800. The columns of the table show the major reasons for assistance broken down by the length
of the current spell on welfare. In all cases, the largest single group was on welfare for

-27-


25 months or more, but the relative size of this group varied greatly with the reason
for assistance. Forty-four percent of the job-related welfare cases, for example, had current spells on
welfare of 12 months or less. The overwhelming majority of cases related to disability and 58
percent of the cases where single parenthood was given as the reason for assistance had current
spells of 25 months or more.

TABLE 5 WELFARE CASES BY LENGTH OF CURRENT SPELL ON WELFARE AND REASON FOR ASSISTANCE, 95 PERCENT SAMPLE, MARCH 1997


        

Job-Related

Disability

Single Parent

Other Reasons

All Reasons

0-3 Months 120,343-19% 16,627-4% 20,701-11% 20,000-10% 177,670-13%
4-6 Months 77,626-12% 13,127-3% 13,080-7% 15,960-8% 119,794-8%
7-12 Months 85,471-13% 20,537-5% 18,010-9% 20,143-10% 144,162-10%
13-24 Months 101,607-16% 39,057-10% 28,025-14% 31,699-16% 200,388-14%
25+ Months 251,258-39% 296,903-77% 113,185-58% 110,177-56% 771,522-54%
Unknown 320-0% 1,638-0% 923-0% 185-0% 3,066-0%
Totals 636,626-100% 387,889-100% 193,923-100% 198,164-100% 1,416,602-100%


-28-


TABLE 6 WELFARE CASES BY CURRENT SPELLS ON WELFARE, MARCH 1990 TO MARCH 1997


          

March 1990

March 1992

March 1994

March 1995

March 1996

March 1997

% Change, 1990-1997

0-3 Months 152,111 24% 238,643 25% 210,024 19% 198,048 18% 156,696 15% 143,287 15% -5.8%
4-6 Months 69,100 11% 131,643 14% 123,987 11% 114,667 11% 98,277 10% 88,024 9% 27.4%
7-12 Months 70,597 11% 136,935 14% 143,098 13% 132,916 12% 120,786 12% 99,617 11% 41.1%
13-24 Months 81,606 13% 142,446 15% 186,337 17% 175,234 16% 159,933 16% 139,477 15% 70.9%
25+ Months 260,809 41% 305,968 32% 430,091 39% 461,336 42% 472,833 46% 472,763 50% 81.3%
Totals In Table 634,581 100% 961,767 100% 1,098,385 100% 1,086,545 100% 1,019,440 100% 946,225 100% 49.1%
Estimated National Totals 1,056,000 1,471,900 1,675,900 1,659,200 1,582,000 1,494,800 41.5%
Sample Size Shown in Table 60% 65% 66% 65% 64% 63%

            

NOTE: The table does not include New Brunswick or Quebec or municipal welfare cases in Nova Scotia and Manitoba.



-29-


   The database also shows a trend to longer spells on welfare in recent years, presumably
because of the difficulties in finding work in the aftermath of the last recession. Table 6 on
the previous page shows current spells on welfare in eight provinces from March 1990 through
March 1997. Quebec was excluded from the graph because data on current spells were not
available for all six years, and New Brunswick did not provide data for any of the six years.
The estimated total caseloads and the sample sizes are shown in the final rows for reference. The number of welfare cases with current spells of 25 months or more rose from 260,809
cases in March 1990 to 472,763 cases in March 1997. That represented an increase of 81.3
percent, much higher than the overall rise in caseloads of 49.1 percent in the eight provinces. The number of cases with spells of 13 through 24 months went up from 81,606 cases in 1990 and
peaked at 186,337 cases in March 1994 before declining to 139,477 in March 1997. The shorter-term spells on welfare peaked in 1992 or 1994 and fell through March 1997.
The number of current spells of three months or less dropped sharply from 238,643 cases in
March 1992 to 143,287 cases in March 1997. The 1997 figure was 5.8 percent lower than
the comparable number of cases at the beginning of the recession in 1990. Finally, there are significant differences in spells on welfare when the statistics are
broken down by province as in Table 7 on the next page. The differences from one province
to the next are starkest in the first and fifth columns, representing the shortest and longest
spells on welfare. The range of cases with current spells on welfare of three months or less went from four
percent of cases in Newfoundland to 28 percent of cases in Alberta. The percentage of welfare
cases with current spells of 25 months or more was highest in Newfoundland at 76 percent
and lowest in Alberta at 25 percent. The figures for Newfoundland and Alberta have changed very little since 1990 and
apparently have little to do with the hard times that followed the last recession or changes
in welfare policy by governments of the two provinces.

-30-

        

TABLE 7 WELFARE CASES BY LENGTH OF CURRENT SPELL ON WELFARE AS OF MARCH 1997, 95 PERCENT SAMPLE


            

0-3 Months

4-6 Months

7-12 Months

13-24 Months

25+ Months

Totals

Newfoundland 1,422-4% 1,252-3% 2,081-6% 3,857-11% 27,274-76% 35,886-100%
Prince Edward Island 704-13% 587-10% 574-10% 771-14% 2,978-53% 5,614-100%
Nova Scotia Provincial 3,299-11% 1,691-5% 1,342-4% 4,345-14% 18,405-59% 31,042-100%
New Brunswick Data Not Available
Quebec 34,383-7% 31,770-7% 44,545-9% 60,911-13% 298,759-64% 470,375-100%
Ontario 86,594-15% 48,580-8% 59,562-10% 86,708-15% 295,252-51% 577,795-100%
Manitoba Provincial 1,783-7% 1,836-7% 2,555-10% 3,497-14% 15,760-62% 25,431-100%
Saskatchewan 6,248-16% 3,777-10% 4,626-12% 5,628-14% 18,845-48% 39,124-100%
Alberta 11,351-28% 7,808-19% 5,299-13% 5,640-14% 9,995-25% 40,093-100%
British Columbia 31,886-17% 22,493-12% 23,578-12% 29,031-15% 84,254-44% 191,242-100%
Totals 177,670-13% 119,794-8% 144,162-10% 200,388-14% 771,522-54% 1,416,602-100%

              

NOTE: The statistics for Nova Scotia and Manitoba do not include municipal welfare cases.


              


-31-

Newfoundland has long had very high rates of unemployment, and that might explain
why its welfare caseload is so heavily laden with long-term welfare cases. Alberta has a
program separate from welfare called Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped.
One reason for the small proportion of long-term cases is that many people with severe disabili-
ties who would be on the welfare rolls elsewhere in Canada rely on AISH in Alberta. The AISH
caseload was 20,796 as of March 1997, far more than the number of Albertans with current
spells on welfare of 25 months or more. The percentages of short-term welfare cases would likely be higher in Nova Scotia
and Manitoba if municipal welfare cases were included in the figures.

-32-

V. YOUNG, OLD AND IN-BETWEEN

One of the sad realities of Canada in the 1990s is the large number of children living in
welfare families. Nearly 1.1 million children under the age of 18 - about 15 percent of all
children or one of every seven children - were on welfare as of March 1997. Most of the
families with children on welfare were headed by single parents, and most of the families
had only one or two children. On the other hand, very few seniors have to rely on welfare because of income security
programs that are run by the federal government. Many low-income people 65 and older receive
the Guaranteed Income Supplement and the Old Age Security pension rather than welfare.
Some low-income people 60 to 65 qualify for Spouse's Allowances. That leaves the people in the age groups in between. There are striking variations in the
age groups of adults on welfare according to their family types. Many of the parents who head
welfare families are under the age of 50. Many of the couples on welfare who have no children
at home are over the age of 50. Unattached people tend to be more evenly distributed over
the entire range of age groups. Graph H on the next page shows the distribution of welfare cases in March 1997 by the
age group of the head of the family or unattached person on welfare. The cases in the graph
represent 95 percent of the estimated national caseload of 1,494,800 cases. New Brunswick
welfare cases and municipal cases in Nova Scotia and Manitoba are not included. People between the ages of 20 and 60 made up 89 percent of unattached people or heads
of households on welfare. Only four percent were under age 20, and only seven percent
were 60 or older.

-33-

GRAPH H

UNDER 20 YEARS = 56,528 4% AND 60 YEARS AND OLDER = 95,457 7%

The distribution of cases by age group differs noticeably for households with and without
children, as shown in Graph I on the next page. The two pies in the top half of the graph show welfare cases made up of couples with
children and single-parent families. The slices of the pies for families headed by parents
between the ages of 50 and 60 were combined with the slices of the pies for parents 60 and
older because there were so few parents on welfare over age 60. A total of 87 percent of the couples with children on welfare included parents in their
20s, 30s or 40s, and 91 percent of the single parents were also in their 20s, 30s, or 40s. That
should come as no surprise, because most parents have children when they are in their 20s and
30s, and most children are still at home when their parents are in their 40s. What may come
as a surprise is the fact that teenage single parents made up only three percent of all
single parents on welfare.

-34-

GRAPH I1

GRAPH I2

GRAPH I3

GRAPH I4



-35-

The distribution is different for the unattached people and couples without children shown
in the two pies in the bottom half of the graph. The distribution of unattached persons on
welfare tends to be more even in the middle age groups compared to the distribution of families
with children on welfare. The distribution of couples without children is heavily weighted in
favour of older couples. Fifty-seven percent of the pie for the childless couples on welfare
was made up of couples where the head of the family was at least 50 years old. The two white
slices of the pie representing heads of cases 50 to 60 and 60 and older are huge compared to
the white slices of the pies for the two types of families with children. The distribution by age is roughly similar from province to province, as shown in
Table 8 on the next page. The grand total is the same as in Graph H, but the figures are
broken down by five-year rather than ten-year age groups. For the provinces combined, 76 percent of the cases were headed by people in their 20s,
30s or 40s. Only four percent of case heads were under 20 and only one percent were 65
or older. Seniors are unlikely to wind up on welfare because of the federal government's benefits
for seniors and the supplementary benefits for older people provided by some provincial and
territorial governments. Only 21,024 cases in March 1997 were headed by people 65 or older.
Presumably, some of these people were recent immigrants or refugees 65 or older who did
not qualify for the federal benefits paid to the vast majority of seniors.

-36-

TABLE 8

WELFARE CASES BY AGE GROUP OF HEAD OF CASE, 95 PERCENT SAMPLE, MARCH 1997

under 20

20-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-59

60-64

65+

All Ages

Newfoundland 2,003 6% 5,833 16% 5,158 14% 4,921 14% 4,454 12% 3,736 10% 3,059 9% 2,646 7% 2,269 6% 1,583 4% 224 1% 35,886 100%
Prince Edward Island 255 5% 605 11% 672 12% 757 13% 730  13% 592 11% 528  9% 421  7% 395 7% 310 6% 343 6% 5,614 100%
Nova Scotia Provincial 258 1% 3,118 10% 4,064 13% 4,544 15% 4,749 15% 3,847 12% 2,977 10% 2,718 9% 2,398 8% 1,985 6% 384 1% 31,042 100%
New Brunswick Data Not Available
Quebec 15,382 3% 48,899 10% 53,808 11% 65,259 14% 66,355 14% 58,292 12% 48,608 10% 42,738 9% 37,827 8% 29,237 6% 3,970 1% 470,375 100%
Ontario 22,932 4% 70,771 12% 78,411 14% 90,439 16% 87,779 15% 68,050 12% 49,404 9% 36,684 6% 31,048 5% 29,467 5% 12,809 2% 577,795 100%
Manitoba Provincial 1,133 4% 3,749 15% 3,658 14% 3,836 15% 3,633 14% 2,626 10% 2,026 8% 1,548 6% 1,367 5% 1,302 5% 549 2% 25,431 100%
Saskatchewan 2,626 7% 7,039 18% 6,051 15% 5,639 14% 4,882 12% 3,651 9% 2,847 7% 2,400 6% 2,110 5% 1,693 4% 186 0% 39,124 100%
Alberta 1,272 3% 5,138 13% 5,641 14% 6,285 16% 6,257 16% 4,670 12% 3,393 8% 2,827 7% 2,260 6% 1,819 5% 531 1% 40,093 100%
British Columbia 10,667 6% 25,221 13% 27,939 15% 29,651 16% 28,598 15% 22,410 12% 16,622 9% 11,483 6% 9,587 5% 7,036 4% 2,028 1% 191,242 100%
Totals 56,528 4% 170,373 12% 185,402 13% 221,331 15% 207,437 15% 167,874 12% 129,464 9% 103,465 7% 89,261 6% 74,433 5% 21,024 1% 1,146,602 100%

              

NOTE: The statistics for Nova Scotia and Manitoba do not include municipal welfare cases.


              


-37-

Data on children were more difficult to extract from the welfare database, because
some provinces did not provide detailed breakdowns by age group for members of welfare families
under the age of 19. As an alternative, the National Council of Welfare did its own calcula-
tions using the data on family size. We assumed that there was one adult in each single-parent
family and two adults in each two-parent family and that all the other members of the families
were children. The results for March 1997 are shown in Table 9. Because the calculations are
estimates, the figures for each province and the totals were rounded to the nearest thousand.
Because of the rounding, some of the totals appear to be off by 1,000.

TABLE 9 ESTIMATED NUMBER OF CHILDREN ON WELFARE, 97 PERCENT SAMPLE, MARCH 1997

Children in Single-Parent Families

Children in Two-Parent Families

Totals

Newfoundland 12,000 13,000 25,000
Prince Edward Island 3,000 2,000 5,000
Nova Scotia Provincial 30,000 5,000 35,000
New Brunswick 17,000 10,000 27,000
Quebec 156,000 92,000 248,000
Ontario 386,000 158,000 544,000
Manitoba Provincial 22,000 2,000 24,000
Saskatchewan 24,000 10,000 34,000
Alberta 29,000 11,000 40,000
British Columbia 82,000 26,000 108,000
Totals 761,000 329,000 1,090,000

              

NOTE: The statistics for Nova Scotia and Manitoba do not include municipal welfare cases.


              


-38-

The table shows an estimated 1,090,000 children on welfare in March 1997 - 761,000
children in single-parent families and 329,000 children in two-parent families. By way of comparison, there were a total of 1,481,000 children living in poverty or 20.9
percent of all children in 1996, when the last available figures were compiled by Statistics
Canada. Low-wage or "working poor" families with children account for most of the difference
between the number of children on welfare and the number of poor children. However, the welfare database is made up of families with children who were on welfare
during the month of March 1997, and who may not have been on welfare for the other 11
months of the year. The Statistics Canada figures represent families who were poor for the
entire year. Some of them were on welfare the entire year, while some of the parents were
in the paid labour force for all or most of the year. The number of children in two-parent families is deceptively low in Nova Scotia and
Manitoba because of the lack of data from municipal welfare programs. Employable couples
with children are normally on municipal rather than provincial welfare in the two provinces. Graph J on the next page shows the number of welfare families with one, two, three and
four or more children in single-parent families and two-parent families. The two pies in the
graph are proportional to show that the number of single-parent families on welfare is
larger than the number of couples with children on welfare. The numbers are estimates by the National Council of Welfare, so the figures have been
rounded to the nearest thousand. The graph shows 415,000 single-parent families with children
on welfare as of March 1997 and 153,000 two-parent families with children on welfare.
Detailed data were not available from New Brunswick, so the graph covers 95 percent of
the estimated national caseload. Nearly half of the single-parent families on welfare had only one child in the family, 31
percent had two children, 13 percent had three children, and only seven percent of the families
had four or more children. This flies in the face of the myth about single-parent mothers
having oodles of children in order to boost their welfare incomes.

-39-

The pattern was much the same for two-parent families on welfare. Thirty-four percent
of the families had only one child, 35 percent had two children, 19 percent had three children,
and only 12 percent had four or more children.

GRAPH J



-40-

VI. LEVEL OF EDUCATION

One of the more intriguing questions for welfare analysts in recent years is whether large
numbers of able-bodied people are "trapped on welfare" because they lack the education or skills
needed to get decent jobs or whether they wind up on welfare primarily because the economy
is not creating enough jobs. Most provincial governments have come to accept the trapped on welfare explanation and
are placing greater emphasis on enhancing the employability of welfare recipients. A few
provinces have taken extraordinary steps to get welfare recipients to upgrade their education or
participate in training programs to improve their job readiness. Ontario has gone to the extreme
of incorporating "workfare" into its welfare system. Under workfare, able-bodied people could
be forced to do specific jobs as a condition of welfare. Most of the workfare jobs that
are created in the months ahead are expected to be menial or dead-end jobs. The statistics on education in the welfare database are far from conclusive, but they raise
questions about some of these provincial efforts. They suggest that many heads of welfare cases
have enough schooling to get at least a toehold in the work force, and they also suggest that
disability or aging may be bigger problems than lack of education for many welfare recipients. Roughly speaking, heads of cases with a high school education or better tend to have job-
related reasons for being on welfare. People with less than a high school education are more
likely to have a disability as a reason for assistance. The welfare database also shows that low
levels of education are more of a problem in Atlantic Canada than in other parts of the country. The data on education are less complete and less precise than the data in other chapters
of this report. The database is missing information for British Columbia, most of the information for
New Brunswick, municipal welfare cases in Nova Scotia and Manitoba, and provincial welfare
cases in Ontario. A sizable number of cases fell into the "other and unknown" category. The
provincial reports cover no more than 954,652 cases or 64 percent of the estimated national

-41-

caseload of 1,494,800 cases as of March 1997. For some cross-tabulations, the sample
size drops to 43 percent. The figures are less precise because of differences in provincial education systems and
also because of ambiguities in the categories used in the database. Some provinces consider that
"secondary school" starts in Grade 7, while others say it starts in Grade 9. Most provinces
reported whether heads of welfare cases had attended a particular level of school rather
than whether they had completed a particular level. Finally, since education does not determine the size of a person's welfare cheque, welfare
workers may not always ask if the information that they have on education is up to date. People
who are on and off welfare several times over the course of the years, for example, could
complete their education between spells on welfare and never have the change recorded in
their welfare files.

GRAPH K



-42-

Graph K gives an overview of the available data in all provinces except British Columbia.
Thirteen percent of the unattached persons or heads of families had no more than a primary
school education, 59 percent had been to secondary school, and 11 percent had attended a
college, university or technical school at the post-secondary level. The level of education of
the remaining 17 percent of the cases is not known. Some striking differences appear when the data are broken down by province as in
Table 10 on the next page. The four Atlantic provinces had relatively high percentages of
welfare cases where the head had only primary school education and relatively low percentages
of cases where the head had some post-secondary education. In other provinces, welfare cases where the head had been at least to secondary school
were by far the most common.

-43-

TABLE 10 WELFARE CASES BY EDUCATION OF HEAD, 64 PERCENT SAMPLE, MARCH 1997

Primary

Secondary

Post-Secondary

Other & Unknown

All Levels

Newfoundland 12,709-35% 19,054-53% 2,691-7% 1,432-4% 35,886-100%
Prince Edward Island 1,790-32% 2,722-48% 765-12% 337-5% 5,614-100%
Nova Scotia Provincial 12,209-39% 13,421-43% 1,602-5% 3,810-13% 31,042-100%
New Brunswick 18,450-51% 13,603-38% 1,881-5% 2,243-6% 36,177-100%
Quebec 51,239-11% 262,933-56% 50,425-11% 105,778-22% 470,375-100%
Ontario Municipal 7,523-3% 181,659-67% 43,705-16% 38,031-14% 270,918-100%
Manitoba Provincial 4,258-17% 13,233-52% 1,085-4% 6,847-27% 25,431-100%
Saskatchewan 9,817-25% 24,451-62% 1,280-3% 3,576-9% 39,124-100%
Alberta 2,322-6% 28,9177-2% 4,359-11% 4,495-11% 40,093-100%
British Columbia Data Not Available
Totals 120,317-13% 559,993-59% 107,793-11% 166,549-17% 954,652-100%

              

NOTE 1: The statistics for Nova Scotia and Manitoba do not include municipal welfare cases.


              

NOTE 2: The statistics for Ontario include municipal, but not provincial welfare cases.



-44-

The database shows striking differences in the reasons for assistance by level of
education, as shown in Graph L on the next page. The data cover all provinces except New
Brunswick, Ontario and British Columbia and municipal welfare cases in Nova Scotia and
Manitoba. The cases shown in the graph add up to 647,557 or 43 percent of the estimated
national total, and the three pies where the levels of education were reported added up
to 521,282 cases or 35 percent of the national total. The white slices of the pies show that job-related reasons for welfare increased with a
person's level of education. Job-related reasons accounted for 34 percent of the cases where
the head never got past primary school, 60 percent of the cases where the person went to secon-
dary school, and 69 percent of cases where the person attended college or university. Conversely, disability as a reason for assistance declined sharply as the level of education
rose. As shown in the black slices of the pies, disability accounted for 36 percent of the cases
where the head of the household had no more than a primary school education. The comparable
figures were 14 percent for heads of welfare cases who had been to high school and 11 percent
for people who had been to college or university. Even with the gaps and shortcomings in the database, it seems clear that many of the
people on welfare who are poorly educated are people with disabilities. Some of them may face
barriers that are more significant than a lack of schooling, and some of them may not be
good candidates for conventional learning programs. Meanwhile, many of the people who are well educated have job-related reasons for being
on welfare. What they really need is more jobs rather than more schooling.

-45-

GRAPH L1

GRAPH L2

GRAPH L3

GRAPH L4



-46-

VII. OTHER SOURCES OF INCOME

Welfare is the social safety net of last resort, so it should come as no surprise that many
welfare recipients do not have other major sources of income. At the same time, a small
proportion of welfare recipients do get a few dollars from other sources to help make ends meet. Graph M shows the percentage of welfare cases in all provinces except New Brunswick
in March 1997 and municipal welfare programs in Nova Scotia and Manitoba. Overall, the
graph covers 1,416,602 welfare cases or 95 percent of the estimated national caseload
of 1,494,800.

GRAPH M



-47-

The first five bars of the graph up to the vertical line show individual sources of outside
income, and the two bars to the right of the vertical line show the percentage of cases with
some outside income and the percentage of cases with no outside income. The figures on top of the first five bars add up to 36 percent, but the sixth bar is only
29 percent. The difference is because some people on welfare had more than one individual
source of outside income. Single parents, for example, could be working a few hours a
month and receiving child support payments from a former spouse at the same time. The bar representing transfer payments refers to benefits from a very short list of
government income support programs, including federal pension programs for people 60 and
older, Canada Pension Plan benefits, pensions for war veterans, and workers' compensation.
It does not include the two broadest federal programs, the GST Credit for low-income people
and the Child Tax Benefit for low-income and middle-income families with children. If the GST
Credit and Child Tax Benefit were included, the bar of the graph for transfer payments
would have been at or near 100 percent. Only one percent of the welfare cases were getting Employment Insurance benefits. One
reason the figure was so low is that people would normally have to see their EI benefits run out
completely before they could qualify for welfare. The one percent of cases shown in the graph
could include people who were just exhausting their EI benefits and going on welfare for the
first time. It may also include people who needed help while they waited for their first EI
cheques to come in and people who needed welfare to top up EI payments that were not
enough to live on. The two bars to the right of the vertical line shows that 29 percent of welfare cases had
some form of income aside from welfare, and the other 71 percent had no outside income at all. The proportions and the "mix" of outside incomes are noticeably different when the data
are broken down by family type. Graph N on the next page shows the differences in detail.
The graph covers all provinces except New Brunswick and British Columbia and municipal
welfare programs in Nova Scotia and Manitoba - 1,225,360 cases in all or 82 percent of
the estimated national caseload.

-48-

GRAPH N1

GRAPH N2

GRAPH N3

GRAPH N4



-49-

There were some significant differences in the percentages of welfare cases with no other
outside income. The figure was 52 percent for couples with children, 57 percent for single-
parent families, and 55 percent for couples without children, but it was 82 percent for unatta-
ched persons. Wages were a relatively common source of outside income for couples with children on
welfare. Child support or alimony was the most common source of outside income for single-
parent families on welfare, but wages were a close second. Transfer payments and wages were
the main sources of outside income for the other two family types on welfare, but
both percentages were extremely low for unattached persons.

TABLE 11 SOURCES OF OUTSIDE INCOME BY REASON FOR ASSISTANCE, 82 PERCENT SAMPLE, MARCH 1997

Job-Related

Disability

Single Parent

Other Reasons

Total Cases

Wages 89,053-18% 29,888-8% 42,559-22% 29,917-16% 191,817-16%
Transfert Payments 11,428-2% 66,534-18% 4,371-2% 28,921-15% 111,254-9%
Support Payments 12,860-3% 5,815-2% 49,220-25% 11,871-6% 79,766-7%
Unemployment Insurrance 8,786-2% 1,252-0% 2,415-1% 1,571-1% 14,024-1%
Some Outside Income 120,017-25% 100,980-28% 86,903-45% 64,756-35% 372,655-30%
No Outside Income 362,959-75% 260,316-72% 107,021-55% 122,411-65% 852,707-70%
Totals 482,976-100% 361,296-100% 193,924-100% 187,166-100% 1,225,360-100%


-50-

 
   Some of the differences in outside incomes among the four family types are due to
differing reasons for assistance. Table 11 on the previous page breaks down some of the major
sources of income according to the reasons for being on welfare. As in Graph N, the table
covers 1,225,360 cases or 82 percent of the estimated national total in March 1997. The first four rows of the table show the number and percentage of welfare cases which
received outside income from specific sources. The next two rows show the number
and percentage of cases with some outside income or no outside income. One of the largest figures in the top part of the table is the 89,053 cases with job-related
reasons for being on welfare which reported wage income. Even so, that figure represented
only 18 percent of the 482,976 cases with job-related reasons for assistance. Transfer payments were most important source of outside income for welfare cases
related to disability. They were claimed by 66,534 cases or 18 percent of those with disability
as a reason for assistance. Wages and alimony or child support were both important sources of income for
heads of cases claiming single parenthood as a reason for assistance. The percentage of welfare cases reporting some outside income or no outside income also
varied substantially by province, as shown in Table 12 on the next page. The lowest percentages with some outside income were 20 percent of the cases in
Newfoundland and 24 percent of the cases in Quebec. Both provinces also reported very
low percentages of welfare cases with wage income. The highest percentage of cases with outside income was 51 percent in Saskatchewan.
That figure is misleading, however, because Saskatchewan reported some benefits for families
with children as transfer payments. The 32 percent of cases with transfers is out of line
with the data for other provinces.

-51-


TABLE 12 WELFARE CASES WITH OUTSIDE INCOME, 95 PERCENT SAMPLE, MARCH 1997


            

Wages

Transfert Payments

Support Payments

Employment Insurance

Other Income

Some Outside Income

No Outside Income

Total Cases

Newfoundland 1,126-3% 2,410-7% 2,324-6% 702-2% 1,225-3% 7,023-20% 28,866-80% 35,886-100%
Prince Edward Island 977-17% 818-15% 338-6% 147-3% 321-6% 2,538-45% 3076-55% 5614-100%
Nova Scotia Provincial 3,820-12% 3,311-11% 7,473-24% 146-0% 1,773-6% 11,904-38% 19,138-62% 31,042-100%
New Brunswick Data Not Available
Quebec 38,081-8% 34,945-7% 20,004-4% 5,206-1% 25,398-5% 113,552-24% 356,823-76% 470,375-100%
Ontario 110,789-19% 54,861-9% 44,657-8% 6,086-1% 31,652-5% 198,237-34% 379,557-66% 577,795-100%
Manitoba Provincial 3,768-15% 1,372-5% 1,659-7% 248-1% 436-2% 6,833-27% 18,598-73% 25,341-100%
Saskatchewan 4,985-13% 12,437-32% 1,129-3%% 381-1% 997-3% 20,064-51% 19,060-49% 39,124-100%
Alberta 9,211-23% 1,100-3% 2,182-5% 729-2% 848-2% 12,054-31% 27,589-69% 40,093-100%
British Columbia 18,992-10% 9,382-5% 13,363-7% 2,271-1% 2,246-1% 41,839-22% 149,403-78% 191,242-100%
Totals 191,749-14% 120,636-9% 93,129-7% 15,916-1% 64,896-5% 414,494-29% 1,002,110-71% 1,416,602-100%

              

NOTE: The statistics for Nova Scotia and Manitoba do not include municipal welfare cases.


              


-52-

Finally, the high percentage of support payments in Nova Scotia is due to the fact that
the only data reported were from provincial welfare. If municipal welfare statistics had been
available, the percentage of cases with support payments probably would have been close to the
average shown in the bottom row. However, the figures for Manitoba are close to average even
without municipal caseload statistics. New Brunswick did not provide information to the database for 1997, but the figures for
previous years were in line with the national averages. In March 1996, for example, 14 percent
of New Brunswick's welfare cases had wage income, nine percent had transfer payments, two
percent had support payments, two percent had Employment Insurance benefits and two percent
had other sources of income. Thirty percent of the province's caseload had some form
of outside income, and the remaining 70 percent had no outside income.

-53-

VIII. HOUSING

Housing is one of the biggest financial burdens for people on welfare and for low-income
people in general. Housing that is decent, affordable and suitable to a family's needs is not
always easy to find. Many families on fixed incomes have to scrimp on other essentials to
be able to have better housing. The housing arrangements of people on welfare depend in large part on provincial welfare
and housing policies and to a lesser extent on traditional housing patterns that vary from
one part of the country to another. Home ownership has long been the preference in Atlantic
Canada, and the percentage of welfare cases living in their own homes is higher there than
in other parts of the country.

GRAPH O



-54-

Most of the unattached individuals and families on welfare are renters rather than
homeowners. As Graph O shows, 68 percent of all welfare cases in March 1997 were in rental
housing and seven percent were in subsidized housing, which could be considered a form of
rental housing. The graph covers welfare cases in all provinces except for New Brunswick and
municipal welfare cases in Nova Scotia and Manitoba and represents 95 percent of the estimated
national caseload. The housing arrangements of welfare cases differ noticeably by family type, as shown
in Graph P on the next page. The two pies in the top half of the page represent couples with
children and single-parent families. The categories room and board and living with relatives
were so small that they were included with the "other and unknown" category for the two types
of families with children. In both types of families, rental housing is the most common
arrangement by far. A small portion of families on welfare own their own homes or live in
subsidized housing. Presumably, many of the homeowners were living in their own homes at
the time they went on welfare and it was better for them to stay put and keep paying
their mortgages rather than to move. The two pies in the bottom half of the graph show housing arrangements for unattached
persons and couples without children. Among unattached persons, the two slices of the pie for
room and board and living with relatives are fairly small, but they represented most of
the welfare recipients who were boarding or living with relatives in March 1997. Among couples
without children, 23 percent were homeowners, 69 percent were renters and the rest were
in other arrangements.

-55-

GRAPH P1

GRAPH P2

GRAPH P3

GRAPH P4



-56-

The types of housing for welfare cases vary enormously with the reasons for assistance,
as shown in Table 13. Job-related welfare cases accounted for 50 percent of the renters in the
table and 50 percent of the cases living with relatives. Both figures are noticeably higher than
the 45 percent of job-related cases overall shown in the bottom row of the table. Conversely,
job-related welfare cases made up only 39 percent of the cases in their own homes, 21 percent
of the cases in subsidized housing and two percent of the cases in residential centres.

TABLE 13 WELFARE CASES BY HOUSING AND REASON FOR ASSISTANCE, 95 PERCENT SAMPLE, MARCH 1997

Job-Related

Disability

Single Parent

Other Reasons

All Reasons

Own Home 38,059-39% 33,653-35% 11,903-12% 13,458-14% 97,074-100%
Rent 478,474-50% 213,138-22% 144,208-15% 130,033-13% 965,853-100%
Subsidized Housing 20,001-21% 34,684-36% 31,667-33% 10,940-11% 97,291-100%
Room & Board 52,437-41% 56,781-45% 2,921-2% 14,957-12% 127,096-100%
Living with Relatives 39,711-50% 28,036-35% 2,393-3% 10,045-13% 80,185-100%
Residential centres 251-2% 12,287-90% 16-0% 1,132-8% 13,686-100%
Other Housing Unknown 7,691-22% 9,310-26% 817-2% 17,599-50% 35,416-100%
Totals 636,626-45% 387,889-27% 193,923-14% 198,164-14% 1,416,602-100%


-57-

 
   There are striking differences in the column for welfare cases with disability as the
reason for assistance. Disability was cited as the reason for assistance in 27 percent of all
welfare cases, but it accounted for 35 percent of the welfare cases living in their own homes,
36 percent of the cases in subsidized housing, 45 percent of the cases in room and board
arrangements, 35 percent of the cases living with relatives, and 90 percent of the cases living
in residential centres. The only type of housing where people with disabilities on welfare were
under-represented - and then only slightly - was rental housing. Single parents on welfare made proportionately more use of subsidized housing and
were much less likely to board or to live with relatives. Finally, there are interesting variations in the housing arrangements of welfare cases from
one province to another. They are partly due to local or regional housing preferences, partly
a function of the availability of subsidized housing, and partly the result of housing options
that are promoted by provincial welfare officials - such as "encouraging" single people to
make room and board arrangements rather than having their own apartments. Table 14 on the
next page shows the differences in detail. The proportion of homeowners among welfare cases was highest in the Atlantic provinces
- presumably because of the region's long-standing preference for home ownership. The
percentage of welfare cases living in their own homes was well above the average of seven
percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of renters in the Atlantic provinces was well below
the average of 68 percent. The same pattern was evident in the New Brunswick statistics for March 1996. Nineteen
percent of the New Brunswick cases owned their own homes, 49 percent lived in rental housing,
18 percent were in room and board arrangements, 12 percent lived with relatives, and
the remaining two percent were other and unknown. The percentage of welfare cases in rental housing was extremely high in Alberta
and British Columbia. Room and board arrangements were more common in Quebec and Saskatchewan than
in other provinces.

-58-

        

TABLE 14 WELFARE CASES BY TYPE OF HOUSING, 95 PERCENT SAMPLE, MARCH 1997


              

Own Home

Rent

Room & Board

Subsidized Housing

Live with Relatives

Other & Unknown

All Housing Types

Newfoundland 7,210-20% 11,828-33% 1,898-5% 3,211-9% 10,188-28% 1,551-4% 35,886-100%
Prince Edward Island 734-13% 3,060-55% 357-6% 0-0% 664-12% 799-14% 5,614-100%
Nova Scotia Provincial 4,479-14% 17,698-57% 2,128-7% 1,836-6% 0-0% 4,901-16% 31,042-100%
New Brunswick Data Not Available
Quebec 34,526-7% 290,890-62% 68,715-15% 10,674-2% 60,167-13% 5,403-1% 470,375-100%
Ontario 34,383-6% 410,167-71% 41,449-7% 69,223-12% 0-0% 22,571-4% 577,795-100%
Manitoba Provincial 1,059-4% 11,647-46% 424-2% 5,542-22% 2,010-8% 4,749-19% 25,431-100%
Saskatchewan 2,759-7% 22,550-58% 4,479-11% 2,399-6% 3,047-8% 3,890-10% 39,124-100%
Alberta 2,419-6% 33,519-84% 0-0% 4,111-10% 0-0% 44-0% 40,093-100%
British Columbia 9,504-5% 164,494-86% 6,680-3% 0-0% 965-1% 9,599-5% 191,242-100%
Totals 97,073-7% 965,853-68% 126,130-9% 96,996-7% 77,041-5% 53,507-4% 1,416,602-100%

                

NOTE: The statistics for Nova Scotia and Manitoba do not include municipal welfare cases.


                




-59-

The overwhelming majority of welfare cases in subsidized housing were in Ontario:
69,223 out of the total of 96,996. A closer look at the database shows that most of them were
unattached people or single-parent families. This is presumably because of Ontario's policies
on subsidized housing and the availability of subsidized housing to people under 65. Finally, the percentage of welfare cases living with relatives was proportionately the
highest in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. However, a number of the
Manitoba cases listed as other and unknown were young people on welfare with no housing
costs who were living at home with their parents.

-60-

CONCLUSION

Profiles of Welfare: Myths and Realities is a gold mine of new statistical information
about welfare in Canada. The National Council of Welfare is very pleased to be able to put this
information into the public domain with the co-operation of federal and provincial officials.
Every person who reads this report will learn something new. And every person will be
reminded that popular notions about welfare and welfare recipients are sometimes quite
far removed from the truth. There are literally hundreds of observations that could be made from the information in
the social assistance profile project database. In our view, three of the most important
observations are as follows: * There is no such thing as a "typical" welfare case. * Welfare is a vital support for children as well as adults. * Welfare has become a long-term source of income for a surprisingly large number
of Canadians. First and foremost, we hope that the people who read this report will be struck by the
diversity of welfare caseloads in Canada. The welfare rolls are made up of older people as well
as younger people, people with disabilities as well as people who are able-bodied, and people
who are well educated as well as people who are poorly educated. Every chapter of this report
is testimony to the varied backgrounds and circumstances of people on welfare. They differ in
their reasons for assistance, family types and sizes, housing arrangements, length of time on
welfare, and outside sources of income. Stereotypes about welfare are certain to
be inappropriate. Given all the publicity about child poverty in recent months, it should come as no
surprise that more than one million of the people on welfare as of March 1997 were children
under the age of 18. They were on welfare for one simple reason: their parents or guardians
were on welfare.

-61-

Some readers may find this point too obvious to mention, but it is not always obvious
in the development of welfare policies in all provinces. Ontario, for example, did not exempt
families with children when it arbitrarily slashed its welfare rates in October 1995. Other
provinces talk of improving government benefits for children to "take children off welfare"
without acknowledging that it is impossible to do so without taking their parents off welfare
at the same time. Perhaps the most disturbing data in the database was information about the length of
current spells on welfare. As of March 1997, 54 percent of the welfare cases had been on
welfare continuously for 25 months or more. Supplementary data from Quebec suggest that a
sizable number of these cases could be on welfare for many years at a stretch. Given the low
levels of income provided by welfare, it seems unlikely that people would consciously choose
to live on welfare year after year. It is sad to think that governments have been unable to come
up with better ways of managing the economy and creating more job opportunities for the people
who are willing and able to take advantage of them. That brings us to the larger issue raised by this profile of welfare caseloads: What do we
do with all the new information? The National Council of Welfare has never supported the idea
of simply counting poor people and then walking away. The whole point of the exercise has
to be finding better ways of fighting poverty. The welfare database gives us a good snapshot of caseloads in Canada as of March 1997.
It does not tell us, however, precisely how or why the people on welfare got there in the first
instance or predict how and when they might get off welfare in the future. We would hope that social policy analysts both inside and outside government will use
the database as a spur to continue pursuing their own research and developing new policy
options. Among the most urgent options are dealing with the problem of long-term dependency
on welfare, finding more and better jobs for people, improving financial support for single
parents, and promoting government income supports for people with severe disabilities that
are more appropriate than welfare. We would also hope that ordinary Canadians express their support for governments
dealing with these larger issues. Better welfare policies are in the interest of all Canadians,

-62-

because everyone is at risk of falling on welfare at some point in their lives. The numbers
speak for themselves: the estimated 1,494,800 welfare cases as of March 1997 represented an
estimated 2,774,900 individual children, women and men or nearly ten percent of Canada's
population. Losing a job, losing a spouse, and losing good health are some of the reasons that people
go on welfare. The biggest myth of all would be to assume that most of us are immune to any
of these personal tragedies or the many other misfortunes that can lead to reliance on welfare.

-63-

APPENDIX

HISTORICAL PROVINCIAL AND TERRITORIAL STATISTICS

The pages that follow contains historical data for Canada and each province and territory.
Each page consists of a graph showing the trends of recent years and a table with figures for
all or most of the years from 1980 through 1997. The information on the number of welfare recipients and the number of welfare cases was
supplied by Human Resources Development Canada from information obtained from provincial
and territorial officials. There are no caseload statistics for 1980, because there are none
that are fully consistent with the statistics kept in subsequent years. Welfare statistics for
Yukon and the Northwest Territories were published as combined figures prior to 1983,
so there are no separate figures for earlier years. The unemployment statistics are annual averages rounded to the nearest 1,000 that were
calculated by Statistics Canada and published in Historical Labour Force Statistics. The Bureau
does not collect unemployment statistics for the two territories. The unemployment figures
cover Canadians 15 years old or older, including seniors, but the bulk of the labour
force consists of people under the age of 65. The statistics on poor people under 65 were calculated by Statistics Canada using the
Bureau's 1986 base version of its low income cut-offs for each year from 1980 through 1996.
The figures for 1997 will not be published until late in 1998. The National Council of Welfare
and most other social policy research groups regard the low income cut-offs as poverty lines,
even though Statistics Canada does not. The category poor people under 65 was chosen for this
report because welfare is by and large a social safety net for people under 65. Low-income
seniors are normally able to take advantage of federal, provincial and territorial income
support programs for the elderly. Information on the number of welfare cases and the number of individuals on welfare is
collected once a year, normally in March. The figures in the tables are snapshots of welfare at
one point in time and may not reflect caseloads during other months of the year.
The unemployment and poverty statistics cover the entire ye

-64-

GRAPH Q

Welfare Recipients

Welfare Cases

Unemployed People

Poor People Under 65

1980 1,334,000 n/a 900,000 2,894,000
1981 1,418,400 734,300 933,000 2,910,000
1982 1,502,800 788,100 1,363,000 3,303,000
1983 1,832,900 985,000 1,504,000 3,687,000
1984 1,894,900 1,028,500 1,450,000 3,728,000
1985 1,923,300 1,058,000 1,381,000 3,501,000
1986 1,892,900 1,048,900 1,283,000 3,339,000
1987 1,904,900 1,051,700 1,208,000 3,285,000
1988 1,853,000 1,018,400 1,082,000 3,110,000
1989 1,856,100 1,022,100 1,065,000 2,888,000
1990 1,930,100 1,056,000 1,164,000 3,267,000
1991 2,282,200 1,239,000 1,492,000 3,637,000
1992 2,723,000 1,471,900 1,640,000 3,756,000
1993 2,975,000 1,616,200 1,649,900 4,139,000
1994 3,100,200 1,675,900 1,541,000 4,408,000
1995 3,070,900 1,659,200 1,422,000 4,498,000
1996 2,937,100 1,582,000 1,469,000 4,535,000
1997 2,774,900 1,494,800 1,414,000 n/a


-65-



                

GRAPH R


                

Welfare Recipients

Welfare Cases

Unemployed People

Poor People Under 65

1980 48,500 n/a 28,000 119,000
1981 50,400 20,400 30,000 90,000
1982 54,700 22,000 36,000 108,000
1983 51,900 22,900 41,000 139,000
1984 53,300 21,800 46,000 117,000
1985 49,1000 20,900 47,000 113,000
1986 47,000 19,700 44,000 111,000
1987 50,500 21,400 41,000 105,000
1988 47,900 20,300 39,000 83,000
1989 44,800 19,600 38,000 73,000
1990 47,900 21,700 42,000 80,000
1991 51,800 23,500 45,000 91,000
1992 59,800 25,600 49,000 102,000
1993 68,100 32,200 49,000 91,000
1994 67,400 35,400 50,000 102,000
1995 71,300 35,400 44,000 110,000
1996 72,000 36,000 46,000 88,000
1997 71,900 36,000 44,000 n/a


-66-

          


                  

GRAPH S

 

Welfare Recipients

Welfare Cases

Unemployed People

Poor People Under 65

1980 9,400 n/a 6,000 13,000
1981 10,100 4,500 6,000 17,000
1982 11,300 4,900 7,000 16,000
1983 11,300 5,000 7,000 12,000
1984 9,800 4,400 7,000 15,000
1985 9,600 4,300 8,000 14,000
1986 9,200 4,400 8,000 12,000
1987 9,300 4,500 8,000 14,000
1988 8,900 4,400 8,000 13,000
1989 8,300 4,200 9,000 12,000
1990 8,600 4,300 10,000 13,000
1991 10,300 5,100 11,000 15,000
1992 11,800 5,700 12,000 12,000
1993 12,600 6,200 12,000 11,000
1994 13,100 4,400 12,000 13,000
1995 12,400 6,100 10,000 14,000
1996 11,700 5,800 10,000 15,000
1997 11,100 5,600 11,000 n/a


-67-

          


                    

GRAPH T

 

Welfare Recipients

Welfare Cases

Unemployed People

Poor People Under 65

1980 51,200 n/a 35,000 103,000
1981 62,400 27,700 37,000 112,000
1982 64,600 29,200 48,000 128,000
1983 69,000 31,400 49,000 134,000
1984 67,500 32,200 52,000 123,000
1985 73,600 34,300 54,000 120,000
1986 72,100 35,300 53,000 115,000
1987 73,000 35,600 51,000 108,000
1988 73,800 36,600 43,000 98,000
1989 75,600 38,100 42,000 104,000
1990 78,400 39,600 46,000 101,000
1991 86,200 44,000 52,000 117,000
1992 92,600 46,800 56,000 129,000
1993 98,700 50,200 63,000 130,000
1994 104,000 53,100 58,000 145,000
1995 104,000 53,200 53,000 151,000
1996 103,100 52,900 56,000 150,000
1997 93,700 48,400 55,000 n/a


-68-

          


                      

GRAPH U


                      

Welfare Recipients

Welfare Cases

Unemployed People

Poor People Under 65

1980 66,300 n/a 32,000 95,000
1981 67,400 29,600 34,000 115,000
1982 62,700 29,700 41,000 126,000
1983 70,100 35,000 44,000 133,000
1984 68,600 65,100 45,000 127,000
1985 69,100 35,400 47,000 104,000
1986 68,800 35,800 46,000 96,000
1987 73,700 36,400 43,000 103,000
1988 70,600 35,400 40,000 88,000
1989 67,700 34,600 42,000 86,000
1990 67,200 34,800 41,000 90,000
1991 71,900 37,800 43,000 89,000
1992 78,200 41,500 44,000 87,000
1993 78,100 42,100 44,000 90,000
1994 73,500 40,000 44,000 103,000
1995 67,400 36,500 41,000 118,000
1996 67,100 35,500 41,000 107,000
1997 70,600 36,200 46,000 n/a


-69-

          


                        

GRAPH V

 

Welfare Recipients

Welfare Cases

Unemployed People

Poor People Under 65

1980 511,900 n/a 306,000 959,000
1981 532,900 302,300 327,000 949,000
1982 561,900 325,400 428,000 1,038,000
1983 675,800 396,800 441,000 1,080,000
1984 705,900 415,300 412,000 1,165,000
1985 708,700 424,400 390,000 1,072,000
1986 693,900 416,100 365,000 1,048,000
1987 649,600 390,100 349,000 1,024,000
1988 594,000 357,900 325,000 1,048,000
1989 559,300 340,700 324,000 861,000
1990 555,900 343,900 359,000 1,000,000
1991 594,900 366,200 423,000 1,109,000
1992 674,900 413,400 450,000 1,032,000
1993 741,400 450,700 467,000 1,214,000
1994 787,200 473,000 438,000 1,248,000
1995 802,200 479,400 408,000 1,283,000
1996 813,200 483,100 430,000 1,288,000
1997 793,300 470,400 420,000 n/a


-70-

          


                          

GRAPH W

 

Welfare Recipients

Welfare Cases

Unemployed People

Poor People Under 65

1980 354,800 n/a 310,000 903,000
1981 389,800 203,100 305,000 887,000
1982 406,800 214,900 458,000 1,028,000
1983 471,200 253,100 497,000 1,181,000
1984 484,600 261,500 442,000 1,057,000
1985 485,800 264,900 404,000 1,002,000
1986 485,800 266,400 361,000 896,000
1987 518,400 283,400 321,000 880,000
1988 533,500 228,200 272,000 826,000
1989 588,200 314,400 280,000 801,000
1990 675,700 349,200 351,000 962,000
1991 929,900 474,900 538,000 1,128,000
1992 1,184,700 600,800 609,000 1,173,000
1993 1,287,000 656,900 604,000 1,384,000
1994 1,379,300 696,800 547,000 1,376,000
1995 1,344,600 678,400 501,000 1,505,000
1996 1,214,600 611,900 528,000 1,570,000
1997 1,149,000 578,300 502,000 n/a


-71-



                            

GRAPH X

 

Welfare Recipients

Welfare Cases

Unemployed People

Poor People Under 65

1980 45,600 n/a 27,000 128,000
1981 46,900 23,600 30,000 139,000
1982 47,800 24,100 43,000 161,000
1983 55,900 29,000 49,000 154,000
1984 59,200 31,100 44,000 152,000
1985 62,800 33,100 44,000 148,000
1986 62,600 33,000 42,000 157,000
1987 60,600 33,200 41,000 153,000
1988 62,700 34,300 44,000 142,000
1989 63,000 34,500 42,000 146,000
1990 66,900 36,800 41,000 157,000
1991 71,700 39,400 49,000 189,000
1992 80,900 45,600 54,000 174,000
1993 88,000 49,800 52,000 162,000
1994 89,300 50,400 52,000 169,000
1995 85,200 48,000 42,000 167,000
1996 85,800 46,200 43,000 172,000
1997 79,100 41,800 38,000 n/a


-72-



                              

GRAPH Y


                              

Welfare Recipients

Welfare Cases

Unemployed People

Poor People Under 65

1980 41,400 n/a 20,000 87,000
1981 43,800 22,600 21,000 17,000
1982 48,400 23,600 29,000 119,000
1983 59,700 29,500 36,000 141,000
1984 63,700 31,400 39,000 155,000
1985 64,000 31,600 41,000 150,000
1986 62,700 30,800 39,000 164,000
1987 62,100 30,500 37,000 135,000
1988 60,300 29,900 38,000 143,000
1989 57,200 28,000 37,000 135,000
1990 54,100 26,800 35,000 144,000
1991 53,400 26,700 36,000 147,000
1992 60,400 30,500 40,000 148,000
1993 68,200 35,000 40,000 144,000
1994 81,000 40,200 34,000 151,000
1995 82,200 40,400 34,000 147,000
1996 80,600 39,800 33,000 145,000
1997 79,700 39,100 30,000 n/a


-73-



                                

GRAPH Z

 

Welfare Recipients

Welfare Cases

Unemployed People

Poor People Under 65

1980 76,100 n/a 44,000 225,000
1981 78,100 31,500 48,000 191,000
1982 91,700 36,300 98,000 230,000
1983 130,600 51,500 137,000 331,000
1984 117,100 47,000 144,000 373,000
1985 124,100 52,600 131,000 329,000
1986 126,600 57,000 131,000 310,000
1987 150,500 71,200 128,000 357,000
1988 149,800 69,900 109,000 326,000
1989 151,700 71,200 98,000 331,000
1990 148,800 69,300 97,000 336,000
1991 156,600 72,500 117,000 356,000
1992 188,300 89,600 135,000 442,000
1993 196,000 93,600 139,000 407,000
1994 138,500 64,500 126,000 387,000
1995 113,200 54,100 116,000 442,000
1996 105,600 50,500 107,000 402,000
1997 89,800 41,700 93,000 n/a


-74-



                                  

GRAPH Z1


                                  

Welfare Recipients

Welfare Cases

Unemployed People

Poor People Under 65

1980 122,800 n/a 93,000 263,000
1981 128,000 66,300 97,000 294,000
1982 144,900 75,200 176,000 349,000
1983 228,800 127,900 203,000 383,000
1984 257,100 146,000 220,000 443,000
1985 267,600 153,400 215,000 450,000
1986 255,700 147,600 194,000 428,000
1987 247,700 142,300 189,000 407,000
1988 241,100 138,000 166,000 342,000
1989 230,000 133,000 153,000 339,000
1990 216,000 125,700 142,000 385,000
1991 244,000 144,500 176,000 397,000
1992 279,300 167,700 190,000 461,000
1993 323,300 193,800 179,000 506,000
1994 353,500 210,400 180,000 535,000
1995 374,300 221,800 173,000 562,000
1996 369,900 214,700 176,000 596,000
1997 321,300 191,200 175,000 n/a


-75-



                                    

GRAPH Z2

 

Welfare Recipients

Welfare Cases

1980 Figures not
1981 available until
1982 1983
1983 7,300 2,200
1984 7,000 2,100
1985 7,400 2,300
1986 7,100 2,200
1987 8,300 2,600
1988 9,300 3,000
1989 9,400 3,200
1990 9,600 3,400
1991 10,300 3,800
1992 10,400 3,700
1993 11,100 4,300
1994 11,000 4,400
1995 12,000 4,800
1996 11,800 4,600
1997 12,800 4,900


-76-



                                      

GRAPH Z3


                                      

Welfare Recipients

Welfare Cases

1980 Figures Not
1981 available until
1982 1983
1983 1,300 700
1984 1,100 600
1985 1,500 800
1986 1,400 600
1987 1,200 500
1988 1,100 500
1989 900 500
1990 1,000 500
1991 1,200 600
1992 1,700 1,000
1993 2,500 1,400
1994 2,400 1,300
1995 2,100 1,100
1996 1,700 1,000
1997 2,000 1,100


-77-


                                        

INDEX TO GRAPHS AND TABLES





Variable Page Numbers


Family Type                             8, 10, 12, 20, 34, 39, 48, 55

Reasons for Assistance                  15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 27, 45, 49, 56

Provincial Breakdowns                   12, 18, 30, 36, 37, 43, 51, 58

Current Spell on Welfare                24, 25, 27, 28, 30

Education                               41, 43

Other Sources of Income                 46, 48, 49, 51

Housing                                 53, 55, 56, 58

Age                                     21, 33, 34, 36

Children                                37, 39

Family Size                             13, 39


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