Statistics Canada
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Income in Canada



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  1. In 2005, median after-tax income rose slightly by 1.6% from 2004 to $56,000, after adjusting for inflation, for most Canadian families with two or more people. Median after-tax income of unattached individuals remained stable at $21,400 in 2005.
  1. For the second consecutive year, Alberta families had the highest median after-tax income. Alberta families reported a median of $64,700 compared with $61,000 for Ontario families. Both were well above the national median of $56,000.
  1. Median market income of both families and singles remained virtually unchanged between 2004 and 2005. In 2005, the median market income of two-parent families with children was $72,800.
  1. The 20% of Canadian families and unattached individuals who took home the highest amount of after-tax income in 2005 collectively paid almost 60% of all personal income taxes that year, up from 50% in 1980. This change reflects, in part, increases in their share of total after-tax income and the redistributive nature of Canada’s personal income tax systems.
  1. An estimated 655,000 Canadian families were living in low income in 2005, 7.4% of all families. Some 788,000 children under 18 were living in low-income families, 11.7% of the total.

SLID data also showed:

  1. Average after-tax income in 2005 was $128,200 for the 20% of families with the highest incomes, compared with $22,800 for 20% with the lowest.
  1. The gap between the families with the lowest and highest incomes, an indication of income inequality, widened during the past decade. The gap between the top and bottom quintiles started at $83,800 in 1980, and fluctuated between $79,500 and $84,500 until 1996. By 2005, the gap had reached $105,400.
  1. In 2005, the average market income for families in the highest quintile was 12.8 times higher than those in the lowest quintile. However, once all government transfers are distributed, this ratio fell to 6.9 times higher. After taxes the average income for families in the highest quintile was 5.6 times higher than their counterparts in the lowest.
  1. Female lone-parent families saw a decline in their low income rates, from 36.0% in 2004 to 29.1% in 2005. This reflects an upward trend in market income in recent years driven by higher earnings and a larger proportion of earners.
  1. In 2005, about 3.4 million people were in low income. They accounted for 10.8% of all Canadians in 2005, compared with 11.4% in 2004 and well below the peak of 15.7% in 1996.
  1. In 2005, 320,000 children, just under one-half of all the children in low-income families, lived in female lone-parent families. However, the low-income rate for these children fell from 40.4% in 2004 to 33.4% in 2005.