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The number of people not living in economic families (either living alone or with other unrelated persons; for simplicity in the text, they will be labelled as 'living on their own') increased 9.8% to 4.3 million between 2001 and 2006. Their numbers increased a substantial 81.6% between 1981 and 2006.
Their median income increased almost twice as fast as the median for economic families of two people or more. In 2005, the median income of people living on their own amounted to $24,808, up 6.3% from 2000, compared with a gain of only 3.7% for economic families.
The jump in median income since 2000 was a departure from the previous 20-year period when incomes among this group grew very little. Between 1980 and 2000, the rate of growth in their median income (6.5% over 20 years) averaged only 0.3% a year. However, during the past five years alone, the average annual increase was 1.2%.
Median total income, in 2005 constant dollars, and estimated population counts for persons not in economic families, Canada, 1980 to 2005