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  • Median after-tax income for Canadian families of two or more persons was $63,900 in 2008, virtually unchanged from 2007 and the first year since 2003 with no notable increase.
  • For unattached individuals, after-tax income remained stable from 2007 to 2008 at $24,900. For the first time in three years, no significant change was observed.
  • Median after-tax income for families with two persons or more rose 5.7% in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. In the other provinces, it was unchanged in 2008 from 2007.
  • Since 2004, Alberta has had the highest median after-tax income for economic families with two persons or more—$77,200 in 2008.
  • For unattached individuals, median after-tax income in Alberta rose 13% to $33,900 and in Manitoba, 12% to $26,200 in 2008. It was virtually unchanged in the other provinces.
  • Families (excluding those headed by seniors) earned the lion's share 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.
  • In 2008, economic families with two persons or more had median market income of $64,900. Senior families—families where the major income earner is 65 years of age or older—earned $25,500 in median market income, compared with $72,500 for non-senior families. Unattached individuals posted $21,300 in median market income in 2008.
  • There was little difference in median government transfers compared to 2007, but transfers varied widely across different family types. Median government transfers among families of two persons or more were $4,800 in 2008—$24,100 for senior families and $2,900 for non-senior families. Among those living alone, senior and non-senior individuals received median government transfers of $15,400 and $400, respectively.
  • Median income taxes—both federal and provincial —were stable for most family types. Families of two persons or more paid a median of $8,800 in income taxes in 2008, similar to 2007. Unattached individuals paid $2,400 in median income taxes, unchanged from 2007. In contrast, senior families paid less—$2,400 in 2008, $500 lower than in 2007.
  • According to the after-tax low income cut-offs, just over 3 million Canadians lived in low income in 2008, virtually unchanged from 2007. This accounts for 9.4 % of the population.
  • About 606,000 children younger than 18 lived in low-income families in 2008, unchanged from 2007 but fewer than the 854,000 in 2003. The proportion of children in low-income families was 9.0% in 2008, half the 1996 peak of 18%.
  • Between 2007 and 2008, almost the same proportion moved into low income as moved out (around 3%).  This is consistent with the stability in the incidence of low income observed between those two years.