Nunavut reported the highest rate of low-income households among the three territories in 2019, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

Almost one-fifth of Nunavummiut — 19.4 per cent — exist on low income, more than double the rates of the Northwest Territories (8.8 per cent) and Yukon (8.2 per cent).

Individuals are defined as having low income “if their adjusted after-tax income falls below 50 per cent of the median adjusted after-tax income” of Canadians, according to Statistics Canada.

The 2019 territorial income statistics, released Nov. 12, show that families and unattached individuals living in Nunavut reported median after-tax income of $93,800. That compares to $93,200 in the NWT and $77,800 in Yukon. Those figures were higher than any of the Canadian provinces in 2019, Statistics Canada stated.

The numbers were even higher in the capital cities in Nunavut and the NWT. In Iqaluit, the median after-tax income of families and unattached individuals was $106,100, while in Yellowknife it was $105,700. In Whitehorse, the figure matched the territorial number: $77,800.

However, among Indigenous families and unattached individuals in Nunavut, the median figured dropped to $85,500. In Yukon it was $72,600 and in the NWT it was $65,100 among those living off reserve.

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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