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Consumer practices of low income families in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Halifax Geoffrey, Barbara 1968

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CONSUMER PRACTICES OF LOW INCOME FAMILIES IN VANCOUVER WINNIPEG AND HALIFAX, by Barbara Geoffrey Sandra M. Lesyk Donald A. Livingstone June G. Low Sandra Odren Joan M. Voldeng Thesis submitted i n P a r t i a l F u l f i l l m e n t of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK i n the School of Soc i a l Work We accept. ..this thesis as conforming to the required standard The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 1968 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o lumbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and Study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department or by h.i;s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8 , Canada ABSTRACT This i s a study of low income family expenditure patterns i n urban Canada based on data contained i n the National Urban Low Income Family Evaluation study. The structured interview method with open-ended questions as set up i n the NULIFE study offered data gathered between January 1 to A p r i l 15, 1967. Using t h i s data, the relationships between t o t a l family income and expenditures on shelter, food and a l l other expenditures were examined. This data also shows that the r e l a t i o n s h i p between expenditures on shelter, food, and other basic expenses were related to family sizes of one, three, and f i v e person families within Vancouver, Winnipeg and Halifax. Correlation c o e f f i c i e n t s yielded two negative correlations about expenditures on shelter and food, i n f e r r i n g a p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n about expenditures on a l l other expenses. Findings showed a r e l a t i o n s h i p between income and expenditure as follows: as income increases, percentage of expenditure on shelter and food decreases. At the same time, there was an increased percentage of income spent on other categories grouped together. Relationships for d i f f e r e n t family sizes and regions indicated trends between the expenditure on shelter, food, and a l l other basic expenses. Public housing areas within the Winnipeg and Halifax samples influence shelter costs. The one person family had the highest percentage expenditure on shelter i n a l l three c i t i e s , whereas the f i v e person family generally had the highest percentage expenditure on food. The three person family had the highest percentage expenditure on a l l ABSTRACT (continued) other basic expenses. The Vancouver sample generally had the highest income. With a s l i g h t l y lower income than Vancouver, the Winnipeg sample had the lowest percentage expenditure on shelter and the highest on a l l other basic expenses. Halifax, with the lowest income had the highest percentage expenditure on shelter, generally the highest on food, and the lowest percentage expenditure on a l l other basic expenses. This project has li m i t e d value due to the fact that the computer did not produce data such as age and composition of family units which might have yielded more detailed information. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT We are indebted to Mrs. P. Tanabe our Research Advisor for her advice and guidance i n the preparation of thi s project. CONSUMER PRACTICES OF LOW INCOME FAMILIES IN VANCOUVER WINNIPEG AND HALIFAX TABLE OF CONTENTS Page No. Chapter I: The NULIFE Study: A Background 1 Outline 1 Methods of C o l l e c t i n g Data 2 Chapter I I : Problem Formulation and Hypotheses — . 4 Review of the Literature 4 Purpose of the Study 5 Hypotheses 7 Chapter I I I : Study Design 9 Introduction 9 Possible Sources of Error 9 Plan of Data Analysis 11 Chapter IV. Study Findings 14 Hypotheses one two and three 14 Hypothesis four 16 Hypothesis f i v e 17 Hypothesis s i x 18 Chapter V: Discussion 20 Chapter VI: Conclusion 26 Bibliography 28 Appendices: A. Correlation C o e f f i c i e n t s 29 B. Mean Family Income and Expenditures 30 LIST OF TABLES Table A C i t i e s by Mean Per Capita and Family Income.. 15 Table B Mean Family Expenditure on Shelter 16 Table C Mean Family Expenditure on Food 17 Table D Mean Family Expenditure on A l l other items... 18 Table E Total Percentage Expenditure Reported i n Vancouver 19 CHAPTER I THE NULIFE STUDY*: A BACKGROUND Outline The NULIFE project i s an attempt to study the nature, content and contributing factors of urban poverty i n Canada, a problem of great importance to s o c i a l planners today. The study was sponsored by the Canadian Welfare Council and funded by the Laidlaw Foundation. I t i s an attempt to supplement previous research on poverty which was based on small samples of case analysis i n s p e c i f i c geographic areas. A random sample of economic households was drawn from low-income areas i n Vancouver, Winnipeg and Halifax. The sample unit, an economic household, i s defined as a group of persons dependent on a common or pooled income for major items of expense, and l i v i n g i n the same dwelling. The samples for the 2,600 cases were drawn as follows: SAMPLE VANCOUVER WINNIPEG HALIFAX Low-income area N = 900 N = 900 N = 540 Middle class "comparison 1 Group - 10% of c i t y sample N = 100 N = 100 N = 60 TOTALS N = 1,000 N = 1,000 N = 600 * National Urban Low-Income Family Evaluation, Research Manual, Canadian Welfare Council, Ottawa. - 2 -The study considered simultaneously several dimensions of poverty such as the economic and employment system, health, welfare, education, housing and s o c i a l involvement. From the analysis of the data i t i s hoped that i t w i l l be possible to measure current s o c i a l and economic needs, to evaluate current services i n terms of effectiveness, to formulate and implement new p o l i c y which i s found to be necessary and to suggest areas for further intensive research. The focus of t h i s study i s exclusively urban rather than r u r a l ; although both constitute components of the t o t a l problem of poverty i n Canada. However, a great deal of comprehensive research has taken place, supported through the A g r i c u l t u r a l R e h a b i l i t a t i o n and Development Act, i n the r u r a l areas. Methods of C o l l e c t i n g Data To obtain the necessary data for the NULIFE study, data was c o l l e c t e d using a personal interview conducted by trained interviewers provided with a detailed manual. The data instrument included a structured schedule and an attitude questionnaire. In order to encompass a large number of dimensions i n s u f f i c i e n t depth to f a c i l i t a t e a comprehensive analysis of factors which characterize the l i f e - s t y l e of the urban poor, i t was necessary to use a lengthy questionnaire. This represents the strength as well as the weakness of the study. The length of the interview varied from 45 minutes - 3 -to 2-h hours, depending upon the size of the household, with a median length of approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Interviewee fatique undoubtedly affected the q u a l i t y of response. However, the size of the sample, i t s breadth and the fact that i t i s a national survey> enhances i t s u t i l i t y . NULIFE provides a knowledgeable base upon which s o c i a l p o l i c y can be formulated on a national l e v e l , taking into account regional differences. CHAPTER II PROBLEM FORMULATION AND HYPOTHESES Review of the Literature Dating back to the 1850*s there have been speculation and surveys concerning the expenditure patterns of low-income f a m i l i e s . Frederic LePlay and Quetelet independently studied the problem. Quetelet produced the f i r s t s t a t i s t i c a l survey of family expenditure i n 1853 (3, p . i . ) . Based on these surveys Ernest Engel formulated h i s consumption laws: 1. as income r i s e s , the proportion of buying power devoted to food declines; 2. as income r i s e s the proportion devoted to consumption categories other than food, shelter, and clothing increases (3,p.i.) . Engel saw housing as maintaining a constant percentage of income, however, th i s conclusion was questioned by Schwabe who hypothesized that the higher the income the lower the proportion of income going to housing (Schwabe*s law of rent) (14, p.i.) . The 1964 survey of family expenditure conducted by the Dominion Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s v e r i f i e s Engel*s consumption laws which i s in d i c a t i o n that they s t i l l hold true over one hundred years l a t e r (3, p . i i i ) . - 5 -A number of United States studies have dealt with consumer practices among low income f a m i l i e s . I t has been suggested by David Caplovitz i n h i s study conducted i n New York C i t y that poor families overspend for durable goods (1). Further, i t has been assumed by Muktar Malik i n the Research Design for the Study of Low-Income Budget and Consumer Behavior that the low-income consumer w i l l give p r i o r i t i e s to basic needs over luxury items (10, p.8.). Werner supports t h i s assumption i n h i s study of s o c i a l classes and spending behavior (11, pp. 135-137). The major assumption of t h i s study i s that low-income families must expend a greater proportion of their income on the basic necessities of l i f e , p r i m a r i l y food and s h e l t e r . Comparing data for Vancouver, Winnipeg,and Halifax i n the 1962 and 1964 surveys of urban family expenditure published by the Dominion Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s (4,5), we have arrived at a number of hypotheses regarding the percentage of per capita income expended on shelter, food, and a l l other goods and services. Data from the NULIFE study w i l l be used to test these hypotheses. Purpose of the Study This study i s concerned with determining what proportion of family income i s expended on the above items according to income and region. Once the per capita income i s analyzed we - 6 -may then be able to indicate possible relationships which could be further tested between family size and structure and expenditure. I t i s anticipated that t h i s study of the consumer practices of low income families w i l l produce data of meaningful significance for use i n the f i e l d of both public and private welfare, c i t y planning and urban renewal. Public Welfare, on a Federal and P r o v i n c i a l basis, has the task of a l l o c a t i n g funds for the subsistence needs of a l l i n d i v i d u a l s and families who receive S o c i a l Assistance. Information on consumer practices of these low-income families w i l l have relevance not only i n establishing a l e v e l of per capita income necessary to maintain a decent standard of l i v i n g , but also i n the examination of how the poor a c t u a l l y expend th e i r funds. The process of setting S o c i a l Assistance standards ultimately rests with the l e g i s l a t i v e bodies who a l l o c a t e the funds for t h i s purpose. However, l o c a l l e v e l administration as well as l o c a l advisory committees are d i r e c t l y involved i n examining the adequacy of current standards and l o c a l personnel are d i r e c t l y involved i n a s s i s t i n g families with budgeting l i m i t e d incomes. Private agencies are also involved, to a more li m i t e d extent, i n dispersing funds to low-income f a m i l i e s . Data on consumer practices of these low-income families would then - 7 -have relevance for use by Boards of Directors and Boards of Governors as well as l o c a l Community Chests, who are involved i n budget a l l o c a t i o n . Data on consumer practices of low-income families would be of s i g n i f i c a n t value i n c i t y planning and urban renewal projects, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n regard to planning the establishment of low-rental housing as well as i n the planning for commercial r e t a i l outlets such as grocery stores, clothing stores, etc. The planning for recreational f a c i l i t i e s would be another consideration i n terms of what percent of income the poor a c t u a l l y have for expenditure on recreational pursuits. Hypotheses 1. Percentage of t o t a l family income expended on shelter decreases as the l e v e l of per capita income increases. 2. Percentage of t o t a l family income expended on food w i l l increase as per capita income increases to a c e r t a i n l e v e l , at which l e v e l i t w i l l begin to decrease. 3. Percentage of t o t a l family income expended on a l l other basic expenses (clothing, health, recreation, personal care, medical and h o s p i t a l insurance and taxes, as l i s t e d i n the NULIFE Study), w i l l increase as the per capita income increases. 4. Percentage of t o t a l family income expended on shelter w i l l be greatest i n Halifax, less i n Vancouver and l e a s t i n Winnipeg. - 8 -5. Percentage of t o t a l family be greatest i n Halifax, less i n Winnipeg. 6. Percentage of t o t a l family basic expenses w i l l be greatest and l e a s t i n Vancouver. income expended on food w i l l Vancouver, and l e a s t i n income expended on a l l other i n Winnipeg, less i n Halifax - 9 -CHAPTER II I STUDY DESIGN T^rod^ct-AQn As students i n the Masters Program at the School of S o c i a l Work at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, we are undertaking for the completion of c r e d i t for the thesis requirement, a research project of studying consumer patterns of spending among urban Canadian low-income f a m i l i e s . This i s a "diagnostic-descriptive" (8) study which aims to e s t a b l i s h associations among the following v a r i a b l e s : per capita income, percentage of t o t a l family income expended on shelter, on food, and on a l l other basic expenses at a given point i n time. The c i t i e s used i n t h i s survey are Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Halifax, each having a population of over 30,000 people. The s t a t i s t i c a l information r e l a t i n g to income and expenditures on food, shelter, and a l l other expenditures contained i n the 1962 and 1964 Dominion Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s Urban Family Expenditure Surveys and the NULIFE Study have been used i n formulating and studying our hypotheses. Possible Sources of Error The NULIFE Study was conducted during the months of January 1 to A p r i l 15, 1967. A l l figures quoted by respondents are subject to r e c a l l error because of the following: a. families were asked to report expenditures for the - 10 -month previous to the time of the interview, i . e . they were asked to report expenses i n January for the month of December; b. the questionnaire was used throughout any given month and, therefore, a family may have been asked on January 30th to r e c a l l expenses for December. The business cycle would also a f f e c t expenditures, causing greater expenses i n December for Christmas spending, than i n succeeding months. In order to determine what were assumed to be low income areas, deteriorated housing areas i n the three c i t i e s were i d e n t i f i e d and chosen. There were public housing projects within the Halifax and Winnipeg samples but no public housing areas were included i n the Vancouver sample. This w i l l be s i g n i f i c a n t as r e n t a l rates i n public housing units are established by a s l i d i n g scale r e l a t i n g to the amount of income per family u n i t . In contrast, private landlords determine t h e i r own r e n t a l rates without regard to the family's t o t a l income. Because there i s a s l i d i n g scale for rent i n cert a i n samples within Halifax and Winnipeg, t h i s w i l l a f f e c t the amount of income available for expenditure on food and other basic n e c e s s i t i e s . The number and composition of household units i n these public housing areas i s unknown. Further sources of error would include the mental and physical state of both interviewer and respondent. Tiredness, boredom, and indifference would i n t e r f e r e with accurate questioning and responses. However, the random e f f e c t of such - 11 -error would not s i g n i f i c a n t l y a l t e r the r e s u l t s . The placement of the questions on the interview schedule could a f f e c t the q u a l i t y of responses. Our data were drawn from questions asked i n i t i a l l y and approximately at mid-point of the schedule, the median length of the interview being one hour and 30 minutes. Interviewers were instructed not to define what items should be included i n any s p e c i f i c term, so that: a. "food" expenditures might include such items as cigarettes, soap, clothing, magazines and other items stocked by super markets; b. there i s no record of the expenditure of liquor and cigarettes which would be a large item for some families; c. "housing costs" might include repairs, taxes, etc., as the respondents are not instructed as to the exact expenses to be l i s t e d . Some respondents may have forgotten or refused to report t o t a l income. Plan of Data Analysis For the purposes of our study the data from the following questions were used: a. NULIFE question number 26 which asks for expenditures on housing, u t i l i t i e s , food, clothing, health, recreation, personal care, insurance, taxes and debt; - 12 -b. question 17 on the cover folder instrument which deals with sources of income from wages, family allowance, roomers, and other income; c. the face sheet which o f f e r s information on family size to calculate per capita income. The operational d e f i n i t i o n s to be used are as follows: a. per capita income i s the t o t a l income from a l l sources, namely, i n d i v i d u a l income, family income, family allowance, roomers, and other sources, calculated on a monthly basis, per i n d i v i d u a l i n each family unit; b. shelter expenditure includes the amount paid monthly on rent or mortgage, plus u t i l i t i e s and expressed as a percentage of t o t a l family expenditure; c. food expenditure i s the percentage of t o t a l family income expended on food during the previous month; d. other basic expenses r e f e r s to clothing, health, recreation, personal care, medical and h o s p i t a l insurance, and taxes as l i s t e d i n the NULIFE Study; e. i n hypotheses one and four, the dependent variable i s the percentage of t o t a l family income expended on s h e l t e r . The independent variable i s the amount of per capita income. Family s i z e units to be studied are one person, three persons, and f i v e persons. Each of these units w i l l be analyzed as to t h e i r consumer practices within each of and among the three c i t i e s ; - 13 -f. i n hypotheses two and f i v e , the dependent variable i s the percentage of t o t a l family income expended on food. The i n -dependent variable i s the amount of per capita income. The same control of family s i z e units and regions w i l l be used as i n hypotheses one and four; g. i n hypotheses three and six, the dependent variable i s the percentage of t o t a l family income expended on a l l other basic expenses, excluding food and shelter, as l i s t e d i n NULIFE question 26. The independent variable i s the amount of per capita income. The same operational units of family s i z e and regions w i l l be used as i n the above hypotheses. - 14 -CHAPTER IV STUDY FINDINGS In analyzing the data with which we w i l l be dealing, i t i s of sign i f i c a n c e to note that the computer program did not, i n a l l instances, produce the s p e c i f i c information c a l l e d for i n the hypotheses. For t h i s reason i t i s not possible to off e r concrete findings for the three hypotheses which show rel a t i o n s h i p between income and expenditure, but rather we w i l l indicate only inferences which can be drawn by the use of co r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s to show negative or p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n -ship between the va r i a b l e s . In terms of the hypotheses regard-ing expenditure and region, more accurate data was obtained from the information processed by the computer and our conclusions w i l l , therefore, have greater v a l i d i t y . Findings: Hypotheses one, two and three In order to test the f i r s t two hypotheses, i t was necessary to use the c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s for shelter and food. ( see Appendix, Table A.) The findings showed a negative c o r r e l a t i o n s i g n i f i c a n t beyond the .01 l e v e l for three family sizes i n a l l three c i t i e s for both shelter and food. Inferred from these two negative correlations i s a po s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n for a l l other items. - 15 -TABLE A: CITIES BY MEAN PER CAPITA AND FAMILY INCOME. Per Capita Income Family Income C i t y + 1 S.D. Mean - 1 S.D. Mean One Vancouver N= 259 343.90 196.30 48.70 196.30 Person Winnipeg N= 185 257.00 151.10 45.20 151.10 Family Halifax N= 75 333.20 184.50 45.80 184.50 Three Vancouver N= 109 174.40 113.30 52.20 339.90 Person Winnipeg N= 118 170.90 113.60 56.30 340.80 Family Halifax N= 69 147.65 99.75 51.85 229.25 Five Vancouver N= 78 132.40 89.78 47.16 449.90 Person Winnipeg N= 78 130.44 83.04 35.64 415.20 Family Halifax N= 80 85.90 57.59 27.28 287.95 The above table indicates the mean per capita and family income with the upper and lower l i m i t s for 68% of the study population for the c i t i e s of Vancouver, Winnipeg and Hal i f a x . Mean income i s i n the following decreasing progression: one person family, Vancouver, Halifax, Winnipeg; three person family, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Halifax; f i v e person family, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Halifax. - 16 -TABLE B: MEAN FAMILY EXPENDITURE ON SHELTER. Percent Shelter by C i t y Family Size ' 1 Person 3 Person 5 Person Vancouver 40.04 27 .47 24.46 Winnipeg 27.64 22.29 22.41 Halifax 40.77 34.35 34.64 Findings; Hypothesis Four The above table shows the relationships both between and within the three c i t i e s and the three family sizes i n terms of the percentage of t o t a l family income expended on sh e l t e r . Mean percentage expenditure on shelter between the c i t i e s i s i n the following decreasing progression for a l l three family s i z e s : Halifax, Vancouver, Winnipeg. Mean percentage expenditure on shelter within each c i t y i s i n the following decreasing progression: Vancouver, one person, three person, f i v e person family; Winnipeg and Halifax, one person, f i v e person, three person family. - 17 -TABLE C: MEAN FAMILY EXPENDITURE ON FOOD. Percent Food by Ci t y Family Size 1 Person 3 Person 5 Person Vancouver 28.66 26.36 31.61 Winnipeg 37.49 29.42 30.83 Halifax 26.14 32.43 41.16 Findings: Hypothesis Five The above table shows the relationships both between and within the three c i t i e s and the three family sizes i n terms of percentage of t o t a l family income expended on food. Mean percentage expenditure on food between c i t i e s i s i n the following decreasing progression: one person family, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Halifax; three person family, Halifax, Winnipeg, Vancouver; f i v e person family, Halifax, Vancouver, Winnipeg. Mean percentage expenditure on food within each c i t y i s i n the following decreasing progression: Vancouver, f i v e person, one person, three person family; Halifax, f i v e person, three person, one person family; Winnipeg, one person, f i v e person, three person family. - 18 -TABLE D: MEAN FAMILY EXPENDITURE ON ALL OTHER ITEMS.* Percent A l l other by C i t y Family size 1 Person 3 Person 5 Person Vancouver 31.30 46.17 43.93 Winnipeg 34.87 48.29 46.76 Halifax 33.09 33.22 24.20 Findings t Hypothesis S;Lx Table D shows the relationships both between and within the three c i t i e s and the three family sizes i n terms of percentage of t o t a l family income expended on a l l other items. Mean expenditure on a l l other items between c i t i e s i s i n the following decreasing progression: one person family, Winnipeg, Halifax, Vancouver; three and f i v e person family, Winnipeg, Vancouver and H a l i f a x . Mean expenditure on a l l other items within each c i t y i s i n the following decreasing progression: Vancouver and Winnipeg, three person, f i v e person, one person family; Halifax, three person, one person f i v e person family. * Calculated by subtracting mean percentage expenditure for food and shelter from 100%. - 19 -TABLE E: TOTAL PERCENTAGE EXPENDITURE REPORTED IN VANCOUVER. Vancouver Family Item 1 Person 3 Person 5 Person Shelter (XI) 40.04 27.47 24.46 Pood (X2) 28.66 26.36 31.61 Clothing (X3) 4.984 5.63 4.103 Taxes (X4) 1.364 2.211 3.275 Debts (X5) 9.369 17.86 7.126 Savings (X6) 5.674 6.276 3.558 A l l Other (X7) 16.42 8.611 6.832 TOTAL 106.511 95.422 79.964 Findings The above table indicates percentage expenditures reported by respondents i n the NULIFE Study for Vancouver. The one person family reported 106.5% of t o t a l income expended, while the three person family reported 95.4%. The f i v e person family reported 79.7% of t o t a l income expended. - 20 -CHAPTER V Digcussjon A complete analysis of the data was not available because of i t s complexity. However, the d i r e c t i o n of expenditure on shelter and food i n r e l a t i o n to income was shown by the use of c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s . The negative c o r r e l a t i o n between income and shelter supports the f i r s t hypothesis. The negative c o r r e l a t i o n between income and food supports our contention that there w i l l be a decrease i n expenditure on food at a c e r t a i n l e v e l . This may indicate that within the low income group there i s not an increased expenditure on food following an increase i n income. As an i l l u s t r a t i o n , there i s an expectation that f i v e person families i n Halifax spend a higher percentage of income on shelter and food than on a l l other items because there i s l e s s money a v a i l a b l e , (see Table A) The mean family income for the f i v e person family i n Vancouver exceeds that of the Halifax f i v e person family by $161.95. The f i r s t hypothesis states that as the per capita income increases, the percent of t o t a l family income expended on shelter decreases. From the example of the f i v e person family i n Vancouver and Halifax, the per capita income i s l e a s t i n Halifax and the percentage expenditure on shelter i s greatest i n Halifax, which corresponds to our hypothesis. - 2 1 -The second hypothesis states that the percentage of t o t a l family income expended on food increases to a cert a i n l e v e l as per capita income increases, at which l e v e l i t w i l l begin to decrease. With the exception of the one person family, percentage expenditure on food i s highest i n Halifax, corresponding with the lowest per capita income. In the one person family, Winnipeg spends the highest percentage on food and also has the lowest per capita income. The t h i r d hypothesis states that the percentage of family income expended on a l l other basic expenses w i l l increase as per capita income increases. The information processed by the computer did not use categories corresponding to those i n the hypothesis, so a v a l i d t e s t was not possible. However, Table D indicates that Halifax has the lowest percentage expenditure on a l l other items for the three and f i v e person f a m i l i e s . Considering the fact that they have the lowest per capita income, i t follows that the hypothesis holds true i n t h i s instance. The data r e l a t i n g to hypothesis four, regarding shelter and region, place the highest percentage of t o t a l family income expended on shelter i n Halifax, l e s s i n Vancouver and l e a s t i n Winnipeg. The data show t h i s hypothesis to be true for a l l three family s i z e s . In a l l three c i t i e s the highest percentage expenditure on shelter i s found i n the one person family. A possible reason for t h i s f a c t may be that shelter costs do not increase - 22 -proportionately with the number of persons occupying the dwelling. There i s a greater v a r i a t i o n i n percentage expenditure on shelter between the three and f i v e person family i n Vancouver than there i s i n either Winnipeg or Halifax. A possible explanation for the almost i d e n t i c a l expenditure i n Winnipeg and Halifax for the three and f i v e person families i s that part of the sample included public housing which was not included i n the Vancouver sample. Since i t i s not known what percentage of the sample was from public housing, we can only speculate that t h i s i s a v a r i a b l e . The expenditure on shelter i n public housing i s a fixed amount of the t o t a l family income, thus there i s l e s s f l e x i b i l i t y i n the cost. In Vancouver, a l l shelter expenditure was determined by private landlords, who place no c e i l i n g on rent, nor i s rent tied-to income l e v e l . The one person family i n Winnipeg spends a considerably smaller percentage of i t s income on shelter than i n Vancouver or Halifax, yet the mean income of single person families in Winnipeg i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower than those i n Vancouver or H a l i f a x . (Table A) The variables contributing to t h i s difference are unknown. The data r e l a t i n g to hypothesis f i v e regarding food and region place the highest percentage of t o t a l family income expended on food i n Halifax, less i n Vancouver and l e a s t i n Winnipeg. The hypothesis i s proven only for the f i v e person - 23 -family. The r e s u l t s for the one and three person family are scattered to the point that they are i n s i g n i f i c a n t i n r e l a t i o n to the hypothesis. The v a r i a t i o n s within the three person family may be accounted for by the fact that the composition of the family i s unknown and could include one adult and two children, two adults and one c h i l d , or three adults. Thus, there could be from one to three wage earners i n the family. Furthermore, there i s no i n d i c a t i o n of the age of the family members, which would a f f e c t food consumption and cost. In contrast, i t i s reasonable to assume that the f i v e person family contains c h i l d r e n . Hypothesis six defines other basic expenses as: clothing, health, recreation, personal care, medical and h o s p i t a l insurance, and taxes (as set f o r t h i n the NULIFE Study). However, the data categories used for the computer program were: clothing, debts, savings, taxes, and a l l other. Thus,it i s not possible to compare the hypothesis to the findings. Using the alternate computation i n Table D, the findings indicate that Winnipeg i s consistently highest i n the percentage of t o t a l family income expended on a l l other items. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that Winnipeg i s consistently lowest i n percentage expenditure for shelter, which suggests that these people spend more money on a l l other items. - 24 -Halifax i s consistently highest i n the percentage expenditure on shelter, i s highest i n the three and f i v e person families i n expenditure on food, and lowest i n the three and f i v e person families i n expenditure on a l l other items. With the exception of the three person family i n shelter expenditure and the one person family i n a l l other expenditure, Vancouver f a l l s consistently between Winnipeg and Halifax i n percentage expenditures on shelter, food and a l l other items. The three person family has the highest percentage expenditure on a l l other items for the three c i t i e s . This may be accounted for by an unknown number of wage earners and a larger income. Furthermore, the three person family spends the smallest percentage on shelter i n Winnipeg and Halifax, and the smallest percentage on food i n Vancouver and Winnipeg. This supports the finding that the three person family has a greater percentage of income l e f t a f t e r the expenditure on shelter and food. A source of error was the i n c l u s i o n of debts and savings in t o the data. These items were not defined as other basic expenses i n the NULIFE Study. This would a f f e c t the r e l i a b i l i t y and v a l i d i t y of the conclusions. Another factor found i n analyzing the data was that 100% of income was not reported; i n some instances only 79%, i n others 106%. (Table E) Where there i s income from more than one wage earner or - 25 -income from part-time employment within a family unit, there w i l l be l e s s accurate reporting of family income than when there i s only one wage earner and one fixed source of income. Reporting on shelter expenditure w i l l be more accurate than reporting on food expenditure and a l l other items. The d i s t r i b u t i o n of income (Table A) points out that the sample was not drawn from a homogeneous group of low-income f a m i l i e s . One l o g i c a l explanation for t h i s i s the fa c t that s p e c i f i c income groups were not used as c r i t e r i a for the s e l e c t i o n of the survey population. Instead, the census t r a c t s which were selected for the NULIFE survey were based on areas of dete r i o r a t i n g housing and low mean income. Elimination of the higher income families would have decreased the v a l i d i t y of the random sample. - 26 -CHAPTER VI. CONCLUSION I t Is r e a d i l y apparent that i n each section of t h i s study, there are many unexplained variables which tend to obscure the data to the point where there are few s i g n i f i c a n t r e l i a b l e findings. There are rela t i o n s h i p s between income and expenditure: as income increases, percentage expenditure on shelter and food decreases, corresponding with an increased percentage expenditure on a l l other items. Relationships between family si z e and region indicate trends i n expenditure on shelter, food and a l l other items. The one person family has the highest percentage expenditure on shelter i n a l l three c i t i e s , whereas the fi v e person family generally has the highest percentage expenditure on food. The three person family has the highest percentage expenditure on a l l other expenses. The Vancouver sample generally has the highest income. In comparison to Vancouver, the Winnipeg sample has a s l i g h t l y lower income but has the lowest percentage expenditure on shelter and the highest on a l l other expenses. With the lowest income, Halifax has the highest percentage expenditure on shelter, generally the highest on food, and the lowest percentage expenditure on a l l other items. - 27 -More de t a i l e d knowledge of the relationships of family composition and age of members to income and expenditure patterns may have produced more s p e c i f i c information which could have been used as guidelines for setting s o c i a l assistance rates. Also t h i s information could have been used by those interested i n the problems of low-income f a m i l i e s . Because of the source of error as was pointed out i n both the plan of data analysis and the discussion of the findings, we may conclude that the r e l i a b i l i t y and v a l i d i t y of the variables i s open to question. Further studies could be undertaken using d i f f e r e n t variables i n the N U L I F E Study. Possible variables are the type of consumer outlets patronized by low-income families, the type of p r i o r i t y expenditures, whether there i s an increased or decreased income, home ownership or r e n t a l of shelter, and the number of wage earners i n a family. Although the N U L I F E Study contains certain data r e l a t i n g to each of these variables, further research w i l l be necessary to gather more information i n each of these areas. - 28 -BIBLIOGRAPHY 1 Caplovitz, David, The Poor Pay More; Consumer Practices of Low Income Families, New York, Free Press of Glencoe, 1963. 2 Cohen, Jerome, "Social Work and the Culture of Poverty" i n So c i a l Work, v o l . 1, January 1964, pp.3-11. 3 Dominion Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s , Canadian S t a t i s t i c a l Review, June, 1967. Queen's P r i n t e r . 4 Dominion Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s , Urban Family Expenditures. 1962. Queen's P r i n t e r . 5 Dominion Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s , Urban Family Expenditures f 1964. Queen's P r i n t e r s . 6 Edwards, A l l a n Louis, S t a t i s t i c a l Methods for the Behavioral Sciences. New York, Rinehart, 1954. 7 Irelan, Lola M.. Low Income L i f e Styles, U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare, Washington, D.C., 1966. 8 Kahn, A l f r e d J., "The Design of Research" i n S o c i a l Work Research ed. by Norman A. Polansky, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1960, pp. 48-73 A 9 Lansing, J.B. and Klsh, L e s l i e , "Family L i f e Cycle as an Independent Variable" i n American S o c i o l o g i c a l Review, vol.2, 1957, pp. 512-519. 10 Malik, Muktar A., Low Income Budgets and Consumer Behavior. Project 564-20-8, Welfare Grants D i v i s i o n of Dept. of National Health and Welfare. A research design prepared by the Canadian Welfare Council, Nov. 15, 1966. 11 Martineau, Pierre, "Social Classes and Spending Behavior" i n Understanding Consumer Behavior, ed. by Martin Grossack, Boston, Christopher Publishing House, 1964. 12 National Urban Low Income Family Evaluation Research Manual, Canadian Welfare Council. 13 Rainwater, Lee e t . a l , Workingman's Wife, New York, Oceana Publishing Company, 1959. 14 Reid, Margaret G., Housing and Income. University of Chicago Press, 1962. - 29 -APPENDIX A CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS' VANCOUVER: COEFFICIENTS * LEVEL OF, SIGNIFICANCE BEYOND v.01 DEGREES OF FREED One Person: N = 259 Shelter Food -.2582 -.4566 yes 257 Three Persons: N = 109 Shelter Food -.4910 -.3535 yes 107 Five Persons: N = 78 Shelter Food -.5232 -.5821 yes 76 WINNIPEG: One Person: N = 185 Shelter Food -.3397 -.3492 yes 183 Three Person: N .<= 118 Shelter Food -.5637 -.5982 yes 116 Five Persons: N = 78 Shelter Food -.5989 -.5479 yes 76 HALIFAX: One Person: N - 75 Shelter Food -.5030 -.3939 yes 73 Three Person: N = 69 Shelter Food -.4798 -.3892 yes 67 Five Persons: N = 80 Shelter Food i -, -.5298 -.5403 yes 78 * Obtained from Table VI i n Edwards: S t a t i s t i c a l Methods for the Behavioral Sciences. - 30 -APPENDIX B  MEAN FAMILY INCOME AND EXPENDITURES. MEAN TOTAL FAMILY INCOME SHELTER FOOD ALL OTHER One Vancouver 196.30 78.60 56.26 61.44 Person Winnipeg 151.10 41.76 56.65 52.69 Family Halifax 184.50 75.22 48.23 61.05 Three Vancouver 339.90 93.37 89.60 156.93 Person Winnipeg 340.80 75.96 100.26 164.58 Family Halifax 299.25 102.79 97.05 99.41 Five Vancouver 449.90 110.05 142.21 197.64 Person Winnipeg 415.20 93.05 128.00 194.15 Family Halifax 287.95 99.75 91.02 97.18 

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