Monday, June 09, 2014

How goose the Numbers: household income

There are several ways to goose the income numbers.  One way I have already mentioned.  Make the long form census voluntary.  People will naturally enough want to compare to the new data with the odd thinking they are making an apples to apples comparison.   Only you will know they are comparing apples and oranges.   Again, “Brian Murphy, special advisor with Statistics Canada’s income division, cautioned not to read too much into the large jump in income from 2005.  “It’s a brand new survey,” he said. “I’d be looking for these long-term trends in other data sources. It’s really important for income statistics to hold the methodology constant.”  Another way is to switch from talking about median income to talking about household income.   The number of women entering the workforce has risen steadily and with that household income has also risen.   Also Canadians are getting married ever later in life.  As income levels tend to rise throughout ones twenties and into one’s 30s, the decision to delay marriage longer is also driving up family income levels.    

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