Estimating wealth distributions using Statistics Canada’s small-area estimation tool


Multiple Data Sources, Data Linkage

Cilanne Boulet (Statistics Canada) (Speaker)
Margaret Wu (Statistics Canada)

In recent years, there has been increased interest in data about the distribution of wealth. To address this need, Statistics Canada is building a series of annual tables integrating macro-level National Accounts data with micro-level survey data on wealth. This product adds a distributional component to Canada’s macroeconomic accounts, thereby giving a more complete picture of the economic well-being of Canadian households.
In the past, Statistics Canada has conducted a survey of wealth only on an occasional basis. One of the major challenges of this project is to find a way to fill the relatively long gaps in the data between survey years. This talk will describe how area-level models bringing together income tax data and survey microdata are being used to address this problem. These models were built using Statistics Canada’s Generalized Estimation System that now includes a series of programs developed to produce small-area estimates. This atypical application is one of a handful of times small-area estimation has contributed to the production of a disseminated product at Statistics Canada.

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