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  • Median after-tax income for Canadian families of two or more persons was $63,800 in 2009, virtually unchanged from 2008 and 2007. This was the second consecutive year without significant change in after-tax income, after four years of growth.
  • At $25,500, the median after-tax income of unattached individuals remained stable from 2008 to 2009, though this was not the case for all unattached individuals – seniors saw a 4.5% increase in their median income to $23,300.
  • In most provinces, median after-tax income for families with two persons or more was unchanged between 2008 and 2009.  Saskatchewan and New Brunswick were the exceptions with increases of 7.5% and 3.2% respectively.
  • Between 2008 and 2009, more people experienced an increase in their adjusted after-tax household income (55%), than a decrease (45%). These figures were similar to the 2006-2007 period. However the magnitude of the change was nearly five times as much in 2006-2007.
  • Market income, which is the sum of earnings from employment, investment income and private retirement income saw a decrease in 2009. Families with two persons or more saw their median market income decrease by 3.2% to $63,000 between 2008 and 2009. This represents the first drop in the median since the beginning of the nineties.
  • For those working aged individuals (aged 25-54) who received market income, the median amount dropped 2.4% to $37,200 in 2009.
  • Government transfers increased in 2009. For non-senior families, the median increased by $700 to $3,600 in 2009, while senior families saw a $500 increase to $24,700. Among the unattached, those under 65 saw a $100 increase in median transfers to $500; unattached seniors saw an increase of $300 to $15,800.
  • More than half of the increase in transfers between 2008 and 2009 were in Employment Insurance benefits received. The number of families and unattached who received EI benefits increased by 20% and 29% respectively. Of families who received EI benefits, the median benefits increased by 22% to $6,100.
  • Among families of two persons or more, the median income tax paid was lower than in 2008. The median amount of income taxes paid by non-senior families dropped $900 from 2008 to $9,400 in 2009. Senior families paid $1,900 in 2009, $600 less than in 2008.
  • According to the after-tax low income cut-offs, almost 3.2 million Canadians lived in low income in 2009, virtually unchanged from 2008. This accounts for 9.6 % of the population.
  • About 1.3 million unattached individuals (27%) had income below the after-tax low income cut-offs in 2009, virtually unchanged from 2008. 
  • About 634,000 children younger than 18 lived in low-income families in 2009, unchanged from 2008. The proportion of children in low-income families was 9.5% in 2009, half the 1996 peak of 18%.
  • Between 2008 and 2009, 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.