In 2011, 8.8 percent of all Canadians were below the low income cut-off. The low-income cut-off is the income below which a family has to spend a significantly larger proportion of its income on basic goods than the average family.
The poverty rate has improved in recent years: in 2009, the rate of Canadians below the low-income cut-off was 9.5 percent, and in 2010, it was 9 percent. However, the poverty rate for single individuals has risen in the same time period from 26.9 percent in 2009 and 2010 to 27.7 percent in 2011. In 2011, females under 65 years old had a poverty rate of 36 percent.