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Earnings Family

Canadian Income Survey, 2013

Ottawa - The median after-tax income of Canadian economic families and persons not in an economic family was $53,500 in 2013, virtually unchanged from 2012. The median after-tax income of economic families of two or more people was $72,200, while for persons not in an economic family, the median was $28,200 in 2013.

Median after-tax income by family type

Families whose highest income earner was 65 years or older (senior families) had a median after-tax income of $52,500 in 2013, compared with $77,100 for non-senior families.

Canadians 65 years or older not living in an economic family recorded a median after-tax income of $25,700, while their non-senior counterparts reported $29,800.

For two-parent families with children, median after-tax income was $85,000.

Among lone-parent families, median after-tax income was $41,700 in 2013. Lone-parent families headed by a woman had a median after-tax income of $39,400.

Components of after-tax income

After-tax income is the total of market income and government transfers, less income tax.

Among economic families and persons not in an economic family, median market income—earnings, private pensions, and income from investments and other sources—was $50,600 in 2013, virtually unchanged from 2012.

In 2013, two-parent families with children had a median market income of $92,600. Senior families had a median of $29,900.

Lone-parent families headed by a woman had a median market income of $25,200.

Among those not living in an economic family, non-seniors had a median market income of $30,000, while seniors had a median market income of $10,400.

The types of government transfers received in 2013 varied by family type. Government transfers, such as Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, and Canada and Quebec Pension Plans, accounted for a large part of seniors' income, with the median reaching $26,600 for senior families. In contrast, median government transfers for non-senior families were $3,600 in 2013.

The median amount of income tax, including both federal and provincial tax, paid by non-senior families was $11,700 in 2013, while the median paid by senior families was $3,100.

After-tax income distribution among Canadians

To provide an overview of the distribution of after-tax income in Canada, economic families and persons not in an economic family were divided into 10 equal-sized groups, or deciles, from lowest to highest after-tax income.

Economic families and persons not in an economic family needed to have an after-tax income of more than $130,600 to be in the top decile in 2013. The average after-tax income in the highest decile was $183,600.

Average after-tax income in the ninth decile was $113,100, while in the eighth decile it was $88,300.

Economic families and persons not in an economic family with after-tax income below $17,300 were in the lowest decile in 2013. Average after-tax income in the lowest decile was $9,200.

Income inequality

For statistics on income inequality, it is common practice to use income measures based upon after-tax household income that has been adjusted for household size (adjusted after-tax income). Adjusting for household size allows users to look at the income of households of different sizes on a comparable basis.

One way to look at income inequality is to look at the share of income held by various segments of the income distribution. Based on adjusted after-tax income, Canadians in the highest decile accounted for 23.7% of total after-tax income in Canada in 2013, while the lowest decile represented 2.5%. Together, the four lower deciles accounted for 19.8% of total after-tax income.

Incidence of low income

According to the after-tax low income measure (LIM-AT), 4.6 million people, or 13.5% of the population, lived in low income in 2013, virtually unchanged from 2012. The LIM-AT is an internationally used measure of low income. The concept underlying the LIM-AT is that all persons in a household have low income if their household income is less than half of the median income of all households.

In 2013, 16.5% of children aged 17 and under lived in low income. Among children living in two-parent families, 12.8% lived in low income. For children living in lone-parent families headed by a woman, the incidence was 42.6%.

For seniors living in an economic family, the low-income rate was 5.2%, while for seniors not in an economic family, the rate was 27.1%.

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