Statscan, a publicly traded company that collects and analyzes data, announced on Wednesday it would be the sole provider of the new publicly available data on income and wealth.
The company will be one of five private companies that will be part of the data-driven new public services database called the Income and Wealth Survey.
It is expected to generate $2.4 billion in revenue by 2020, according to Statscan.
Statisticscan is the second-largest provider of data for financial institutions after the Canadian Bankers Association.
The survey was launched in 2015 by the Ontario government.
It will be the first comprehensive public service statistics database in Canada.
The data will be available in an Excel spreadsheet.
It was created to provide Canadians with a sense of how their money is being spent and to assist them in managing their own finances.
Statistics Canada said the new data will help to provide better information to Canadians about their finances.
“We’re very pleased that Statscan will be able to provide this service to Canadians,” said Statscan President and CEO Robert Sapers.
“It will be a valuable resource for the community as it is designed to be.”
The Statscan survey will be used to track income inequality, which has been one of the key challenges facing Canada.
Since 2014, the number of Canadians living in poverty has risen, and the share of those living in extreme poverty, defined as income below 200 per cent of the median household income, has risen to more than 15 per cent.
In contrast, the share living in middle-income households has dropped from more than half to one-third in the last decade.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a Toronto-based policy advocacy group, said the data will show “how Canada’s wealth is being spread between the top and the bottom.”
“The more income inequality is there, the more likely we’re going to see people in extreme wealth,” said Laura Geddes, the executive director of the group.
“This survey will provide a clearer picture of where that wealth is going and what it’s contributing to in terms of health, wealth, income inequality and the quality of life.”
The census also found that nearly one-quarter of Canadians have been homeless in the past year, up from 19 per cent in 2016.
StatisticsCan is also preparing a report on the causes of homelessness.
It said that more than one in four Canadians report experiencing homelessness at some point in their lives.
“The Census offers a unique opportunity to gather information about homelessness in Canada,” said Chris MacLellan, president of Statscan Canada.
“As Statistics Canada and its partners continue to explore new ways to help Canadians with homelessness, we hope this report will provide valuable insight into the causes and impact of homelessness in the country.”
The new database will be created to complement Statistics Canada’s ongoing research on poverty and income inequality.
In addition to the income and poverty questionnaires, the new survey will include information on the number and composition of homeless shelters in Canada, as well as statistics on the proportion of children living in foster care and the rate of people who are in jail or prison.
Statscan is also working on an updated version of the census’s Canadian Family Survey, which was developed to help gauge the gender balance in Canada and the proportion who are single-parent households.
StatisticsCAN’s data is not meant to replace existing measures of poverty, such as the Canada Poverty Line, the Canada Health Line or the Survey of Income and Program Participation.
But it will be useful in providing information about inequality, MacLeller said.