First Nation and Inuit Community Well-Being : Describing Historical Trends (1981-2006)

Author: Strategic Research and Analysis Directorate
Date: April 2010

First Nation and Inuit Community Well-Being : Describing Historical
Trends (1981-2006)
   (148 Kb, 27 pages)

PowerPoint Version

 




Strategic Research and Analysis Directorate
April 2010

Content of Presentation

  • Overview of the Methodology

  • Historical Trends of Well-Being in First Nations, Inuit and Other Canadian Communities (1981-2006)

  • Regional Variations and disparities of First Nation and Inuit well-being (2006)

  • Disparities in Well-Being between First Nations and Inuit Communities

Overview of the Methodology

A Brief Description

  • The Community Well-Being (CWB) Index was developed to help measure the quality of life of First Nations and Inuit communities in Canada relative to other communities and over time.

  • This tool uses Statistics Canada's Census of Population data to produce "well-being" scores for individual communities based on four indicators:

    • Education (High School Plus; University);
    • Labour Force (Participation, Employment);
    • Income (Total per Capita); and,
    • Housing (Quantity: defined on the basis of overcrowding, Quality: defined based on the need for major repairs).

One of Many Ways of Measuring Well-Being

  • The components included in the CWB are certainly not a complete list of all dimensions of well-being.

  • The CWB is limited to four components (education, labour force, income and housing) primarily because not all dimensions of well-being are measured by the Canadian Census of Population.

  • The CWB Index represents only one of many ways of measuring well-being. While this index contributes to the understanding of well-being in First Nations and Inuit communities, it does not define well-being.

Definition of Communities

  • The CWB is calculated for all Canadian communities with a population of at least 65 individuals.

  • For the purposes of the CWB Index, communities are defined in terms of Census subdivisions (CSDs). CSDs are municipalities or their equivalent (e.g., Indian reserves, Indian settlements). They are classified as First Nations, Inuit or other Canadian communities so that well-being in these different types of communities can be compared.

Methodological considerations

  • Some communities defined as Inuit or First Nations may contain important non-Aboriginal populations.

    • Respective well-being of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations may differ within a given community.

  • Similarly, significant Aboriginal populations exist within some areas defined as Other Canadian Communities.

    • At the current time, the CWB does not allow to look at urban Aboriginal well-being.

Changes to Methodology

  • This new release of the CWB index is different from the original CWB previously released in 2004 because of changes to the methods of calculation, leading to a revision of all Aboriginal and non-aboriginal community scores.

  • These revisions to the CWB methodology were made necessary because of changes introduced by Statistics Canada to the Education questions on the 2006 census of Population.

Best to Use to the 2010 CWB Release

  • It is strongly recommended to use the new series of CWB scores since :

    • It includes 2006 data; and,

    • Its revised methodology will be the basis of all future CWB analyses produced at INAC.

You can learn more about the CWB methodology.

Historical Trends of Well-Being in First Nations, Inuit and Other Canadian Communities (1981-2006)

Average CWB Scores, 1981-2006

From 1981 to 1996, significant progress of the CWB of First Nation and Inuit communities, which has resulted in reduction of the well-being gap relative to other Canadian communities.

Since 2001, there has been little or no progress with the CWB of First Nation and Inuit communities.

 Statistics Canada, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population

Source: Statistics Canada, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population.

Education Component Score, 1981-2006

Educational attainment has been increasing since 1981, but more rapidly in other Canadian Communities since 2001.

The large jump in "High School Plus" in other Canadian Communities may in part be attributed to how education data were collected and/or processed in 2006.

Statistics Canada, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population.

Source: Statistics Canada, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population.

Labour Force Component Score, 1981-2006

Labour force activity has increased in all types of Canadian communities since 1981 at almost the same pace.

 Statistics Canada, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population

Source: Statistics Canada, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population.

Income Component Score, 1981-2006

Generally, income has been increasing since 1981 at a similar pace for First Nations and Other Canadian communities.

Recent increases in Inuit communities have occured at a faster rate.

Statistics Canada, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population

Source: Statistics Canada, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population.

Housing Component Score, 1981-2006

The housing score of other Canadian communities has been fairly stable since 1981.

The overall housing score of First Nation and Inuit communities has declined between 2001 and 2006, particularly in Inuit communities.

 Statistics Canada, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population

Source: Statistics Canada, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population.

Housing Quantity, 1981-2006

According to census statistics on crowding in First Nations, housing quantity has improved significantly since 1981.

Inuit communities have experienced a similar upward trend in the 1981-2001 period followed by a marked decline from 2001 to 2006.

Statistics Canada, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population

Source: Statistics Canada, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population.

Within the housing component of the CWB index, housing quantity is assessed by looking at the proportion of the population living in a dwelling that is NOT crowded based on the number of people per room.


Housing Quality, 1981-2006

The Housing Quality element of the CWB index has decreased in First Nation and Inuit communities, while remaining stable in other Canadian communities.

Statistics Canada, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population

Source: Statistics Canada, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population.

Within the housing component of the CWB index, housing quality is assessed by looking at the proportion of the population living in a dwelling NOT requiring major repair.


Regional Variations and disparities of First Nation and Inuit well-being (2006)

Average CWB Scores by Region, 2006

In 2006, First Nation communities showing the lowest CWB scores were located in the Prairies, where the largest segment of the Aboriginal population an the highest proportion of the population is located.

Highest scores are found in the Atlantic region and the North.

Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Average CWB Scores by Region, 2006

Well-being of Inuit and First Nations communities is comparable in Quebec and in the Atlantic region but slightly lower for Inuit in the Territories.

Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Disparities in Well-Being between First Nations and Inuit Communities

Distribution of Communities by CWB Level, 2006

First Nation communities show large disparities across the CWB scale.

Among the "bottom 100" Canadian communities, 96 were First Nations.

One First Nation community ranked among the "top 100" Canadian communities in 2006.

Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Distribution of Communities by CWB Level, 2006

Fewer Inuit communities than First Nations fall at the low end of the CWB continuum.

Still, Inuit communities show greater disparities than other Canadian communities across the CWB scale.

Two of the top 10 Aboriginal communities are Inuit communities.

Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Changes to CWB Scores, 1991-2006

Changes to CWB Scores, 1991-2006

Between 2001 and 2006, about a third of First Nation and Inuit communities experienced a decline in their CWB index score, compared to only one in ten for other Canadian communities.

Summary

  • The Community Well-Being (CWB) Index is a method of assessing socio-economic well-being in First Nation and Inuit communities, and facilitate comparisons to other Canadian communities. It combines census data on education, labour force, income and housing into a well-being "score" (from 0 to 100). The components included in the CWB are certainly not a complete list of all dimensions of well-being.

  • The CWB Index represents only one of many ways of measuring well-being.

  • The CWB index was first released in 2004.

  • The 2006 CWB index is now available, including revisions to the historical time series (1981-2001).

  • The situation has changed significantly since the release of the 2001 CWB index.

    • There has been little or no progress with the overall CWB score of First Nation and Inuit communities between 2001 and 2006.

    • The education component of the CWB has increased in First Nation and Inuit communities between 2001 and 2006.

    • The housing component has declined in First Nation (major repairs) and Inuit(major repairs, crowding) communities between 2001 and 2006.

First Nation and Inuit Community Well-Being (CWB), 2001-2006

Components
of CWB

First Nation
Communities

Inuit
Communities

Education Increasing Increasing
Labour Force Increasing Decreasing
Income Stable Increasing
Housing Decreasing Decreasing

 

  • The level of disparity observed in First Nations and Inuit communities is relatively stable, but remains significantly greater that that observed with other Canadian communities.

    • In 2006, 95% of other Canadian communities score within a CWB range of 23 points (from 64 to 87), while the same proportion of First Nations spread over a range of 38 points (from 39 to 77). In comparison, 95% Inuit communities 33 points (from 48 to 81).

    • Among the "bottom 100" Canadian communities, 96 were First Nations and one is Inuit in 2006. Only one First Nation community ranked among the "top 100" Canadian communities.

    • Two of the top 10 Aboriginal communities are Inuit communities.

Range of Community Well-Being (CWB) Score in 2006
(Excluding outliers)

Range of Community Well-Being (CWB) Score in 2006 (Excluding outliers)