Canadians have seen an increase in after-tax income

Latest stats show rise in median income after 2 years of stagnation

Canadians have seen an increase in after-tax income
Steve Randall

The median household income of Canadian families and unattached individuals has increased following two years without growth.

The latest figures released by Statistics Canada this week are for 2017 and reveal a 3.3% increase to $59,800 due to the combined impact of higher wages an increased child benefits.

The median market income of non-senior families rose 2.7% from 2016 to $92,400 in 2017. This was driven by the strong employment market which pushed median wages and salaries income to $85,500.

Also in 2017, couples with children saw their child benefits increase by a median $1,200 while lone parents saw an extra $1,300 compared with 2016.

These factors saw the share of Canadians who were below the Official Poverty Line (as defined for the first time in 2018), fell from 10.6% in 2016 to 9.5% in 2017.

"[The] survey results show that we have met our first poverty reduction target a full three years ahead of schedule,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “Between 2015 and 2017, the poverty rate fell by more than 20%. This represents approximately 825,000 fewer individuals living in poverty. However, we know there is much more to do. That is why we remain committed to cutting poverty in half by 2030.”

Seniors income continues rising

The income of Canada’s seniors continued higher in 2017.

In households where the highest income earner was 65+ the median income totalled $61,200 in 2017, up $2,500 from 2016.

This continues a trend which began in 2012 as wages for seniors increased along with higher private retirement income.

Statistics Canada also reported that low income based on the Low Income Measure (LIM). Individuals live in low income if their household after-tax income falls below half of the median after-tax income, adjusting for household size.

The LIM has trended down since 2015. However, at 12.7% overall, the rate in 2017 was not significantly different from the rate of 13.0% in 2016. But for children, it was significantly lower in 2017 at 12.1%, down 1.9 percentage points from 2016.