Median Canadian household income virtually unchanged in 2009: StatsCan

Second year without significant change after 4 years of growth
||Last Updated: 06/15/2011

The median after-tax household income for Canadians was $63,800 in 2009, virtually unchanged from the previous year, according to a new study from Statistics Canada.

It was the second consecutive year without significant change in household incomes, on the tail of four years of growth, according to the report Income in Canada, 2009.

Median market incomes for families with two or more people had the first significant drop since the early 1990s, falling 3.2 per cent to $63,000 in 2009, said Statistics Canada.

Some form of government transfer was received by about 86 per cent of families and 79 per cent of persons not living in families in 2009. The total amount of government transfers to all Canadians increased 10 per cent in 2009.

The majority of this increase was a result of employment insurance benefits, with more than one-half of the increased transfers coming from this benefit. The number of families receiving EI benefits increased by 20 per cent. The number of unattached EI recipients rose 29 per cent, said Statistics Canada.

Among families that received EI benefits, the median amount of EI benefits received by families rose 22 per cent to $6,100.

Median income taxes were lower in 2009. The median amount of income taxes paid by non-senior

families fell $900 to $9,400, while the median paid by senior families fell $600 to $1,900, said the report.

The after-tax income remained stable for most types of families. But its three main components — market income, government transfers and income tax — changed. Most family types experienced a decline in median market income and income tax. Median transfers from the government increased by $1,400 to $6,200.

After-tax income is the total market income and government transfers received per household minus income tax. Market income is made up of earnings, private pensions, income from investments and other sources.

On average, after-tax income for individuals rose 1.4 per cent between 2008 and 2009. In contrast, it increased 6.9 per cent from 2006 to 2007, said Statistics Canada.

Two-parent families with children had a median after-tax income of $75,600. Senior families had a median after-tax income of $46,800.

The after-tax income for unattached individuals was stable at $25,500 but seniors who were unattached had the median rise 4.5 per cent to $23,300, said the report.

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