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Earnings and Incomes of Canadians Over the Past Quarter Century, 2006 Census: Incomes of families

For people living on their own, trends in median income varied widely across the age spectrum

Of all individuals living on their own, four out of every 10 (39.4%) were men under age 65. Their median income in 2005 was $29,538, very close to what it was five years ago, but about 6.3% lower than it was in 1980.

In addition, about one-third (32.8%) of all people living on their own were women under age 65. They fared better than men as their median income rose 3.9% in the past five years, to $24,985, representing a 4.2% increase from 25 years ago.

Table 17
Median total income, in 2005 constant dollars, of persons not in economic families by sex and non-senior and senior persons categories, Canada, 1980 to 2005

Women living on their own and who were in the age groups 18 to 24, 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 all received lower incomes in 2005 than their counterparts did in 1980. On the other hand, women aged 45 to 54 had median incomes which were 10.8% higher than they were in 1980, reaching $29,710. Among women aged 55 to 64, the improvements were substantially larger. Their median income rose 36.9% in the past 25 years, to $25,400.

A similar pattern was evident among men, except that declines were steeper among younger men. In 2005, even those in the age group 45 to 54 were financially less well off than their counterparts were 25 years earlier. However, in 2005, men aged 55 to 64 received 15.6% more in real terms ($28,735).

In 2006, 1,197,710 seniors aged 65 and over were living on their own. Nearly three-quarters of them (72.0%) were women. These seniors experienced substantial gains over the past quarter century. The median income of senior women rose 46.0%, to attain $19,923 in 2005, while that of senior men rose 63.6%, to $23,886.

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