- In 2012, 17% of Canadian adults aged 16 to 65 had a literacy score corresponding to level 1 and below, meaning that they could only find single pieces of information in shorts texts or only had a basic vocabulary. About 13% were in the two highest categories of literacy skills (level 4 and level 5).
- The median household income for individuals who were in the lowest category of literacy proficiency (level 1 and below) was $49,700, compared with $84,600 among those who were in the two highest categories (level 4 and level 5).
- Among individuals in the lowest category of literacy proficiency in 2012, 29% were in a low-income household (households whose income is below the after-tax Low Income Measure), compared with approximately 8% for those in the two highest categories.
- After controlling for other characteristics known to increase the risk of low income, individuals who were in the lowest level of literacy proficiency continued to have a low-income rate higher than individuals who were in the highest levels. The magnitude of the difference, however, was smaller (12 percentage points instead of 21).
- Differences in skill level also help explain part of the higher incidence of low income among certain groups, including groups with low educational attainment and recent immigrants.