Highlights from Statistics Canada’s latest release Wednesday of census data, this one focused on Canadian income levels:

Income trends

  • The median total income of Canadian households reached $70,336 in 2015, a 10.8 per cent increase from $63,457 in 2005.
  • The Northwest Territories had the highest median income in Canada at $117,688, followed by Nunavut at $97,441 and Alberta at $93,835. New Brunswick had the lowest at $59,347, followed by Quebec at $59,822 and Nova Scotia at $60,764.
  • Nearly 1.2 million children under 18, about 17 per cent of Canada’s 6.8 million kids, lived in a low-income household, comprising roughly one quarter of the 4.8 million people living under low-income conditions in 2015.
  • Of children living with two parents, 11.2 per cent lived in low income households, while that increased to 38.9 per cent in households with one parent; for those living with their mother, the low-income rate was 42 per cent, but 25.5 per cent for those living with their father.
  • Despite the second-lowest median income level in Canada, Quebec (14.3 per cent) was second only to Alberta (12.8 per cent) in having the lowest percentage of children in low-income households, thanks to lower child care costs and richer child benefits than elsewhere.
  • Nova Scotia and New Brunswick reported the highest percentage of children in low-income households at 22.2 per cent; Alberta had the lowest at 12.8 per cent.


  • Of Canada’s 14 million households, 65.2 per cent contributed to one of either a registered pension plan, a registered retirement savings plan or a tax-free savings account. About 30 per cent contributed to more than one, and 9.3 per cent to all three.

Couples’ income

  • Nearly 96 per cent of Canada’s 8.2 million married or common-law couples saw both spouses report income in 2015, significantly more than about two-thirds of couples in the mid-1970s. Of those, 32 per cent were earning roughly the same income, compared to 20.6 per cent in 1985.
  • Same-sex couples continue to report a higher median income — men at $100,707, women at $92,857 — than opposite-sex couples at $87,605. More than 12 per cent of male couples reported incomes of more than $200,000, compared with 7.5 per…