This article examines the extent to which Canadian families are financially vulnerable to adverse events, such as a sudden loss of income or unexpected bills. Families with low income, or little financial wealth, have fewer resources and are more exposed than others to shocks, such as permanent layoffs, unforeseen expenses, health problems and family break-up. This article first looks at families that have no financial wealth, it then considers the most vulnerable families of all: low-income families with no, or only modest, financial wealth. This helps identify which families are likely to face short-term financial difficulties if sudden unfavourable events were to occur. Data used in this article come from the Assets and Debts Survey of 1984 and the Survey of Financial Security of 1999.
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Source: Consumer Policy Research Database