Adjusted after-tax income of private household

Status: This standard was approved as a recommended standard on March 21, 2016.


Adjusted after-tax income refers to after-tax income of the statistical unit that is adjusted for economies of scale. The adjustment factor, also known as the equivalence scale, is the square root of the number of persons in the statistical unit. The adjusted after-tax income is calculated by dividing the after-tax income by this adjustment factor. The adjustment made to income addresses the fact that individuals living together can share resources and the marginal increase in need decreases as the number of individuals sharing resources increases.

Private household refers to a person or group of persons who occupy the same dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada or abroad. The household universe is divided into two sub-universes on the basis of whether the household is occupying a collective dwelling or a private dwelling. The latter is a private household.


Adjusting income facilitates the comparison of income of different household sizes, as the adjustment factors address the lower relative needs of additional members, as compared to a single person.

Adjusted income can be used to calculate statistics or to form deciles, quintiles and quartiles groups.

Low-income thresholds for various low-income measures are established using various types of income adjusted for household size. Refer to 'low-income status of private household' and 'low-income status of person' in the Additional information section for details.


  • 'Amount of income' is expressed in Canadian dollars. The data presentation should specify any adjustments made, including whether the unit of measure is current dollars or constant dollars. Amount of income can range from the lowest negative number on the file to the maximum positive number on the file. October 15, 2012 to current

Additional information


Relation to previous version

  • Adjusted after-tax income of private household March 21, 2016 to current

    This is the current standard.

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