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IIROC sponsors neighbourhood financial health index

By The IJ Staff | November 28 2019 02:06PM

A multi-phase research initiative sponsored by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) ranking Canada’s largest urban areas with populations over 100,000 on overall household financial health, released a new report today from Prosper Canada and the Canadian Council on Social Development, entitled Urban Spotlight: Neighbourhood Financial Health Index.

“The report provides important insight into Canadians’ financial health, which is of great value to regulators, policy makers and those working with Canadians to help them make investment decisions,” says IIROC vice president of public affairs and member education services, Lucy Becker.

41 per cent live paycheck-to-paycheck

The report comparing household financial health across Canada’s 35 largest cities found that the average Canadian household saves just 1.7 per cent of their annual income and 41 per cent those who are employed live paycheck-to-paycheck. One in five say they would not be able to manage an emergency expense of $2,000 within 30 days.

At the neighbourhood level, researchers also found that western cities have above average levels of financial health while cities in Quebec and the Maritimes tend to score below the average. Calgary and Edmonton earned top scores by a wide margin, while Saguenay, Sherbrooke and Trois Rivières in Quebec ranked the lowest.

“The (index) includes asset and debt indicators, along with income and neighbourhood poverty (indicators), to offer a more balanced assessment of financial health than income data alone can provide,” say the report’s authors. “A city’s income ranking alone, while important, is not necessarily predictive of how well it ranks on the index overall. In some cases, cities’ rankings are higher than their income ranking, buoyed by the average value of household assets. In other cases, rankings are lower, weighed down by high levels of neighbourhood poverty or household debt.”

To learn more, consult the full report here.

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