The Nova Scotia data presented here are from the 2016 Census of Population.
In 2016, there were 171,820 seniors, age 65 and over not living in institutions. Another 11,595 seniors lived in institutions such as nursing homes and hospitals. Data for the following is based on those seniors not living in institutions.
Over 106,000 were ages 65 to 74, 50,000 were ages 75 to 84 and just under 16,000 were ages 85 and over.
In 2016, almost 47,000 (27%) seniors lived alone. 97,000 (56%) were couples living together and just over 28,000 (17%) were couples or single seniors living with either relatives or non-relatives. For persons aged 65-74, 63% were couples and 22% lived alone. This changed dramatically to 27% and 48% respectively for those who were 85 and over. For those living alone, often with low incomes and reduced mobility and transportation problems, social isolation is an issue with health and well-being implications.
In 2016, almost 80% of Nova Scotia seniors owned their own home and almost 20% lived in rented accommodations. The share of renters increased from 18% for those ages 65 to 74 to 27% for those ages 85 and over. Those with a mortgage decreased from 25% for those ages 65 to 74 to 11% for those ages 85 and over. Only 5.5% of people ages 85 and over lived in subsidized housing.
Less than 4% of seniors lived in condominiums.
Seniors 65 and over estimated the average value of their dwellings to be almost $440,000 while those 85 years of age or more estimated the value to be slightly over $450,000. The average value of all dwellings in Nova Scotia is $230,400. Seventy-eight percent of people aged 65 to 74 reported that their housing was adequate, suitable and affordable compared to 70% for those aged 85 and over. Ninety-one percent of seniors lived in accommodations with two or more bedrooms and 22% had 4 or more bedrooms. These numbers were only slightly less for those 85 years of age and over.
In 2015, the average income of people 65 years of age and over was $36,075 compared to $41,430 for all ages. The after-tax amount for both numbers would likely reduce the differential. Comparable after-tax amounts do not seem to be readily available.
The After Tax Low Income Measure (LIM-AT) is a well recognized widely accepted measure of poverty. Based on this measure, 31,075 seniors, about 18%, lived with low incomes.
Forty-one percent of seniors’ income came from OAS and CPP, while almost 33% came from private pension plans. Less than 2% of income came from RRSPs. Employment income provided a little over 12% of income and investments another 8%.
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 111-0035 – Characteristics of seniors, taxfilers and dependents, seniors with income by source of income and age groups, annual (dollars unless otherwise noted), CANSIM
Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Population, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-400-X2016234