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Money 29 Average Canadian incomes


Median after-tax income for families with two or more people, adjusted for inflation, was $63,900 in 2008, virtually unchanged from 2007. This followed four years of growth.!For unattached individuals, after-tax income also remained unchanged, at $24,900. This was the first time in three years in which no significant change was observed. Click here to see previous reports and charts Provincially, median after-tax income for families of two or more people rose 5.7% in both Saskatchewan and British Columbia. After-tax income for families was highest in Alberta at $77,200. For unattached individuals, median after-tax income increased in Alberta (+13%) and Manitoba (+12%), while it was virtually unchanged in the other provinces.


Families (excluding those headed by persons aged 65 and over) earned most of their total income from market income, which is the sum of earnings from employment, investment income and private retirement income. In 2008, there was virtually no change in median market income for any of the main family types.


Families had median market income of $64,900 in 2008. Senior families, those in which the major income earner was aged 65 or over, earned $25,500 in median market income, compared with $72,500 for all other families. Unattached individuals had $21,300 in median market income. Median government transfers among families were $4,800 in 2008. Government transfers cover a range


of programs, including Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, and child tax benefits. Transfers varied widely across different family types. Senior families reported median government transfers of $24,100, while for all other families, they amounted to $2,900.


Families paid a median of $8,800 in income taxes, including both federal and provincial, unchanged from 2007.


In 2008, the 20% of persons with the highest family


after-tax income had, on average, 5.4 times the family after-tax income as those in the lowest 20%. This ratio has been virtually unchanged since 2000. Just over 3 million Canadians lived in a low-income situation in 2008, virtually unchanged from 2007, using the after-tax low income cut-offs. This represents 9.4% of the population. About 606,000 children aged 17 and under lived in low-income families in 2008. This was unchanged from 2007, but below the 854,000 in 2003. The proportion of children in low-income families was 9.0% in 2008, half the peak of 18% in 1996. Roughly 218,000 of these children in low income lived in female lone-parent families. About 23% of children in female lone-parent families were living in low income in 2008, well below the latest peak of 56% in 1996.


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