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Indicators of Well-being in Canada


Financial Security - Family Income

Relevance

The family serves as a basic economic unit, with members providing support to one another. The level of after-tax income of family members determines whether families have sufficient resources to purchase the goods and services needed for well-being.

Summary

  • National Picture — In 2011, the median after-tax income in Canada stood at $68,000 for economic families and at $25,800 for unattached individuals.
  • Family Types — In 2011, couples with children had the highest level of median after-tax income and unattached individuals had the lowest.
  • Regions — In 2011, median after-tax incomes were the highest in Alberta for both economic families and unattached individuals. For economic families and individuals living in the largest urban areas, the median after-tax income was higher than the national median.
  • Government Transfers as a Component of Family Income — In 2011, government transfers represented on average 11.1% of the total income of economic families and 18.3% of the total income of unattached individuals. However, they represented more than half of the total income of low income individuals and families.

National Picture

The median after-tax income in Canada stood at $68,000 in 2011 for economic families and at $25,800 for unattached individuals. Median after-tax income (in 2011 constant dollars) for unattached individuals ranged from a low of $20,400 in 1997 to a high of $26,800 in 2011. The median after-tax income for economic families experienced decreases in the early 1980s and 1990s, reaching the lowest level of the last 35 years in 1993 at $53,200.

The median after-tax income for both economic families and unattached individuals started to increase again in 1998. In economic families, it continued to grow through 2011, and for unattached individuals, it peaked in 2010.  


This Chart contains data for Median after-tax income, by family unit, Canada, 1976-2011. Information is available in table below 2011 (All families) = 50,700 2010 (All families) = 50,800 2009 (All families) = 51,000 2008 (All families) = 51,100 2007 (All families) = 50,400 2006 (All families) = 49,000 2005 (All families) = 47,800 2004 (All families) = 46,800 2003 (All families) = 46,400 2002 (All families) = 46,500 2001 (All families) = 46,500 2000 (All families) = 44,700 1999 (All families) = 44,400 1998 (All families) = 42,500 1997 (All families) = 41,400 1996 (All families) = 41,600 1995 (All families) = 42,200 1994 (All families) = 42,300 1993 (All families) = 42,000 1992 (All families) = 43,100 1991 (All families) = 42,700 1990 (All families) = 45,100 1989 (All families) = 47,000 1988 (All families) = 46,300 1987 (All families) = 45,100 1986 (All families) = 45,300 1985 (All families) = 45,600 1984 (All families) = 45,400 1983 (All families) = 44,900 1982 (All families) = 46,700 1981 (All families) = 48,200 1980 (All families) = 49,500 1979 (All families) = 48,300 1978 (All families) = 48,800 1977 (All families) = 48,800 1976 (All families) = 48,000 2011 (Economic families) = 68,000 2010 (Economic families) = 67,400 2009 (Economic families) = 67,300 2008 (Economic families) = 67,400 2007 (Economic families) = 66,700 2006 (Economic families) = 64,200 2005 (Economic families) = 62,800 2004 (Economic families) = 61,700 2003 (Economic families) = 60,900 2002 (Economic families) = 61,000 2001 (Economic families) = 61,100 2000 (Economic families) = 58,700 1999 (Economic families) = 57,800 1998 (Economic families) = 55,900 1997 (Economic families) = 53,900 1996 (Economic families) = 53,600 1995 (Economic families) = 53,700 1994 (Economic families) = 54,200 1993 (Economic families) = 53,200 1992 (Economic families) = 55,000 1991 (Economic families) = 54,600 1990 (Economic families) = 56,700 1989 (Economic families) = 58,900 1988 (Economic families) = 58,000 1987 (Economic families) = 56,400 1986 (Economic families) = 56,600 1985 (Economic families) = 56,300 1984 (Economic families) = 55,700 1983 (Economic families) = 54,900 1982 (Economic families) = 56,400 1981 (Economic families) = 58,500 1980 (Economic families) = 59,600 1979 (Economic families) = 58,500 1978 (Economic families) = 58,700 1977 (Economic families) = 58,100 1976 (Economic families) = 57,400 2011 (Unattached individuals) = 25,800 2010 (Unattached individuals) = 26,800 2009 (Unattached individuals) = 26,600 2008 (Unattached individuals) = 26,200 2007 (Unattached individuals) = 25,800 2006 (Unattached individuals) = 24,900 2005 (Unattached individuals) = 23,900 2004 (Unattached individuals) = 24,100 2003 (Unattached individuals) = 23,900 2002 (Unattached individuals) = 24,300 2001 (Unattached individuals) = 23,400 2000 (Unattached individuals) = 22,300 1999 (Unattached individuals) = 21,600 1998 (Unattached individuals) = 21,100 1997 (Unattached individuals) = 20,400 1996 (Unattached individuals) = 20,500 1995 (Unattached individuals) = 21,000 1994 (Unattached individuals) = 20,600 1993 (Unattached individuals) = 20,800 1992 (Unattached individuals) = 20,800 1991 (Unattached individuals) = 20,800 1990 (Unattached individuals) = 22,200 1989 (Unattached individuals) = 23,500 1988 (Unattached individuals) = 22,300 1987 (Unattached individuals) = 22,200 1986 (Unattached individuals) = 21,900 1985 (Unattached individuals) = 21,500 1984 (Unattached individuals) = 21,800 1983 (Unattached individuals) = 20,500 1982 (Unattached individuals) = 22,700 1981 (Unattached individuals) = 23,400 1980 (Unattached individuals) = 22,000 1979 (Unattached individuals) = 23,000 1978 (Unattached individuals) = 22,400 1977 (Unattached individuals) = 21,600 1976 (Unattached individuals) = 22,000 (2011 constant dollars) Median after-tax income, by family unit, Canada, 1976-2011

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 202-0605 - Median after-tax income, by economic family type, 2011 constant dollars, annual (dollars), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Median after-tax income, by family unit, Canada, 1976-2011 (2011 constant dollars)
197619771978197919801981198219831984198519861987198819891990199119921993199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011
All families48,00048,80048,80048,30049,50048,20046,70044,90045,40045,60045,30045,10046,30047,00045,10042,70043,10042,00042,30042,20041,60041,40042,50044,40044,70046,50046,50046,40046,80047,80049,00050,40051,10051,00050,80050,700
Economic families57,40058,10058,70058,50059,60058,50056,40054,90055,70056,30056,60056,40058,00058,90056,70054,60055,00053,20054,20053,70053,60053,90055,90057,80058,70061,10061,00060,90061,70062,80064,20066,70067,40067,30067,40068,000
Unattached individuals22,00021,60022,40023,00022,00023,40022,70020,50021,80021,50021,90022,20022,30023,50022,20020,80020,80020,80020,60021,00020,50020,40021,10021,60022,30023,40024,30023,90024,10023,90024,90025,80026,20026,60026,80025,800

Family Types

In 2011, the highest median after-tax incomes were for couples with children ($83,600) and couples without children ($66,500). The lowest were for unattached individuals ($25,800) and lone-parent families ($41,400). The median after-tax income for elderly families was $49,300, below the median for all families at $50,700.


This Chart contains data for Median after-tax income, by family type, 2011. Information is available in table below Elderly families = 49,300 Couples without children = 66,500 Couples with children = 83,600 Lone-parent families = 41,400 Unattached individuals = 25,800 All families = 50,700 (dollars) Median after-tax income, by family type, 2011

Note: Family types are exclusive of one another. The category 'All families' includes all the types of households identified in this chart.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 202-0605 - Median after-tax income, by economic family type, 2011 constant dollars, annual (dollars), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Median after-tax income, by family type, 2011 (dollars)
All familiesUnattached individualsLone-parent familiesCouples with childrenCouples without childrenElderly families
50,70025,80041,40083,60066,50049,300

Regions

The median after-tax income for economic families varied across Canada in 2011. Families living in Alberta ($83,800), Saskatchewan ($75,000) and Ontario ($70,400) had the highest median after-tax incomes. Families in Prince Edward Island had the lowest median after-tax income at $59,500.

For families living in one of the large urban areas, the median after-tax income was $72,600, which is higher than the national median of $68,000. The median income was lower for all other areas, at $61,300 in 2011.


This Chart contains data for Median after-tax income, economic families, by region, 2011. Information is available in table below Other areas = 61,300 Large urban areas = 72,600 BC = 69,700 AB = 83,800 SK = 75,000 MB = 65,300 ON = 70,400 QC = 60,000 NB = 60,000 NS = 61,100 PE = 59,500 NL = 60,300 CAN = 68,000 (dollars) Median after-tax income, economic families, by region, 2011

Note: The category "Large urban areas" is made up of the 20 largest Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). For the list of areas included in the category 'Large urban areas', see large urban areas. The category 'Other areas' includes all of the other Canadian urban areas as well as rural communities.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 202-0605 - Median after-tax income, by economic family type, 2011 constant dollars, annual (dollars), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Median after-tax income, economic families, by region, 2011 (dollars)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBCLarge urban areasOther areas
68,00060,30059,50061,10060,00060,00070,40065,30075,00083,80069,70072,60061,300

Among unattached individuals, the median after-tax income varied from $22,600 for those living in Newfoundland and Labrador to $32,100 for those living in Alberta in 2011. Unattached indiviudals living in one of the largest urban areas had a higher median after-tax income ($26,900) than those living in other areas ($23,500).


This Chart contains data for Median after-tax income, unattached individuals, by region, 2011. Information is available in table below Other areas = 23,500 Large urban areas = 26,900 BC = 24,300 AB = 32,100 SK = 29,600 MB = 27,100 ON = 25,900 QC = 24,400 NB = 23,300 NS = 22,900 PE = 22,800 NL = 22,600 CAN = 25,800 (dollars) Median after-tax income, unattached individuals, by region, 2011

Note: The category "Large urban areas" is made up of the 20 largest Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). For the list of areas included in the category 'Large urban areas', see large urban areas. The category 'Other areas' includes all of the other Canadian urban areas as well as rural communities.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 202-0605 - Median after-tax income, by economic family type, 2011 constant dollars, annual (dollars), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Median after-tax income, unattached individuals, by region, 2011 (dollars)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBCLarge urban areasOther areas
25,80022,60022,80022,90023,30024,40025,90027,10029,60032,10024,30026,90023,500

Government Transfers as a Component of Family Income

The ratio of government transfers to income from all sources stood at 11.1% in 2011 for economic families and at 18.3% for unattached individuals. In 1976, the ratio was 7.6% for economic families and 12.4% for unattached individuals. Government transfers as a share of total income increased in the early 1980s and 1990s, coinciding with periods of recession. The proportion of transfers in total income began to fall in the mid-1990s, but has remained above the 1976 level.


This Chart contains data for Proportion of government transfers in total income, by family unit, Canada, 1976-2011. Information is available in table below 2011 (All families) = 12.4 2010 (All families) = 12.8 2009 (All families) = 12.5 2008 (All families) = 11.4 2007 (All families) = 11.4 2006 (All families) = 11.6 2005 (All families) = 11.4 2004 (All families) = 11.7 2003 (All families) = 11.9 2002 (All families) = 11.9 2001 (All families) = 11.9 2000 (All families) = 11.5 1999 (All families) = 12.2 1998 (All families) = 13.4 1997 (All families) = 13.8 1996 (All families) = 14.2 1995 (All families) = 14.3 1994 (All families) = 15 1993 (All families) = 15.2 1992 (All families) = 14.6 1991 (All families) = 13.8 1990 (All families) = 12.2 1989 (All families) = 11 1988 (All families) = 11 1987 (All families) = 11 1986 (All families) = 11.1 1985 (All families) = 11.2 1984 (All families) = 11.5 1983 (All families) = 11.2 1982 (All families) = 10.7 1981 (All families) = 8.8 1980 (All families) = 8.7 1979 (All families) = 8.1 1978 (All families) = 8.7 1977 (All families) = 8.8 1976 (All families) = 8.2 2011 (Economic families) = 11.1 2010 (Economic families) = 11.8 2009 (Economic families) = 11.5 2008 (Economic families) = 10.3 2007 (Economic families) = 10.4 2006 (Economic families) = 10.7 2005 (Economic families) = 10.4 2004 (Economic families) = 10.6 2003 (Economic families) = 10.7 2002 (Economic families) = 10.6 2001 (Economic families) = 10.6 2000 (Economic families) = 10.1 1999 (Economic families) = 10.8 1998 (Economic families) = 11.8 1997 (Economic families) = 12.1 1996 (Economic families) = 12.6 1995 (Economic families) = 12.9 1994 (Economic families) = 13.3 1993 (Economic families) = 13.7 1992 (Economic families) = 13.1 1991 (Economic families) = 12.3 1990 (Economic families) = 10.9 1989 (Economic families) = 9.8 1988 (Economic families) = 9.7 1987 (Economic families) = 9.9 1986 (Economic families) = 10.1 1985 (Economic families) = 10.2 1984 (Economic families) = 10.5 1983 (Economic families) = 10.2 1982 (Economic families) = 9.9 1981 (Economic families) = 7.9 1980 (Economic families) = 7.8 1979 (Economic families) = 7.4 1978 (Economic families) = 8.1 1977 (Economic families) = 8.2 1976 (Economic families) = 7.6 2011 (Unattached individuals) = 18.3 2010 (Unattached individuals) = 17.5 2009 (Unattached individuals) = 17.4 2008 (Unattached individuals) = 16.6 2007 (Unattached individuals) = 16 2006 (Unattached individuals) = 15.9 2005 (Unattached individuals) = 16.4 2004 (Unattached individuals) = 17.4 2003 (Unattached individuals) = 17.5 2002 (Unattached individuals) = 18.6 2001 (Unattached individuals) = 18.6 2000 (Unattached individuals) = 18.8 1999 (Unattached individuals) = 19.1 1998 (Unattached individuals) = 21.7 1997 (Unattached individuals) = 22.7 1996 (Unattached individuals) = 22.8 1995 (Unattached individuals) = 21.9 1994 (Unattached individuals) = 23.9 1993 (Unattached individuals) = 23.4 1992 (Unattached individuals) = 22.6 1991 (Unattached individuals) = 21.9 1990 (Unattached individuals) = 19.1 1989 (Unattached individuals) = 17.3 1988 (Unattached individuals) = 17.9 1987 (Unattached individuals) = 17.5 1986 (Unattached individuals) = 17.1 1985 (Unattached individuals) = 17.2 1984 (Unattached individuals) = 17.4 1983 (Unattached individuals) = 17.4 1982 (Unattached individuals) = 15.2 1981 (Unattached individuals) = 14.1 1980 (Unattached individuals) = 14 1979 (Unattached individuals) = 12.4 1978 (Unattached individuals) = 13.3 1977 (Unattached individuals) = 13.1 1976 (Unattached individuals) = 12.4 (percent) Proportion of government transfers in total income, by family unit, Canada, 1976-2011

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 202-0605 - Median after-tax income, by economic family type, 2011 constant dollars, annual (dollars), CANSIM (database).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Proportion of government transfers in total income, by family unit, Canada, 1976-2011 (percent)
197619771978197919801981198219831984198519861987198819891990199119921993199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011
All families8.28.88.78.18.78.810.711.211.511.211.111111112.213.814.615.21514.314.213.813.412.211.511.911.911.911.711.411.611.411.412.512.812.4
Economic families7.68.28.17.47.87.99.910.210.510.210.19.99.79.810.912.313.113.713.312.912.612.111.810.810.110.610.610.710.610.410.710.410.311.511.811.1
Unattached individuals12.413.113.312.41414.115.217.417.417.217.117.517.917.319.121.922.623.423.921.922.822.721.719.118.818.618.617.517.416.415.91616.617.417.518.3

Government transfers are more important for individuals and economic families with low earnings, including retired seniors.

In 2011, government transfers accounted for, on average, 51.1% of total income for economic families in the bottom 20% income group and 23.9% for those in the next 20% income group. Among economic families in the middle 20% income group, 13.9% of total income came from government transfers, while for the second highest and the highest groups, government transfers represented 7.0% and 3.0% of total income respectively[1].

Government transfers also accounted for a larger share of total income for unattached individuals than for economic families. In 2011, unattached individuals in the two lowest income groups received more than half of their total income from government transfers (64.6% for the lowest income group and 57.6% for the second lowest income group). This compares to 30.3% for those in the middle income group, 13.1% for those in the second highest income group and 4.2% for the highest[2].


Footnotes

  1. Statistics Canada. Table 202-0301 - Government transfers, by economic family type and after-tax income quintiles, 2011 constant dollars, annual, CANSIM (database).

    [Back to Text]
  2. Statistics Canada. Table 202-0301 - Government transfers, by economic family type and after-tax income quintiles, 2011 constant dollars, annual, CANSIM (database).

    [Back to Text]

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Date Modified:
2014-11-23