2005年 05月 15日
"B.C. leads country in low-income earners"
（Vancouver Sun ５月１３日）
B.C. leads country in low-income earners
CanWest News Service
May 13, 2005
British Columbia posted the highest proportion of low-income families in Canada in 2003, a Statistics Canada survey said Thursday.
Statistics Canada reported the inflation-adjusted after-tax average income for a family of two or more in B.C. was $58,200. The average income for a family of two or more in Canada was $59,900, virtually unchanged from 2002, in contrast to average annual increases of 3.2 per cent from 1996 through 2001.
The proportion of low-income families was highest in British Columbia at 11.6 per cent, while the national average was 8.4 per cent and the lowest in Prince Edward Island at 3.7.
Low income, which varies for different size families and communities, is defined as the level at which a family would typically spend 20 per cent more of its income than the average family on the necessities of food, shelter and clothing.
Average after-tax income in 2003 reached a plateau for almost every type of family, Statistics Canada said, noting there was little change in earnings, government transfers, or taxes.
Incomes for families headed by single mothers, which had been among the fastest growing over the previous half decade thanks to increases in their employment levels, stagnated at $30,000, it said. About 38 per cent of those families were living on low incomes.
The stalling of income growth left eight per cent of families, or an estimated 726,000, living on low incomes, although that was down from 8.6 per cent in 2002 and well below the peak of 12.1 per cent in 1996, it noted.
Those living on low incomes included an estimated 843,000 children, or 12.4 per cent of all children, also unchanged from a year earlier but down from more than 1.3 million, or 18.6 per cent, in 1996.
Job earnings, including investment income and private retirement income, averaged $64,900 for families of two people or more. Government transfers, such as employment insurance, pensions and child tax benefits, remained unchanged at $7,800. The average family paid $12,800 in personal income taxes in 2003.
The income of families in which the major bread winner was aged 65 or over averaged $43,800, unchanged from a year earlier but 10 per cent more than a half decade earlier, with government transfers accounting for 42 per cent of that.
The low-income rate for seniors has been declining since the early 1980s to only 6.8 per cent in 2003, down from more than 20 per cent in 1980 and about 10 per cent in 1996. However, the low-income rate for single elderly women was nearly 20 per cent.
Statistics Canada reported Thursday that 2003 after-tax incomes in Canada virtually flatlined, with little change in any province. Here's how B.C. ranked for after-tax income for a family of two or more:
1. Ontario: $66,500
2. Alberta: $64,900
3. B.C.: $58,200
4. Manitoba: $54,400
5. Saskatchewan: $54,000
6. Quebec: $53,000
7. Nova Scotia: $51,000
8. New Brunswick: $49,500
9. P.E.I. $49,300
10. Newfoundland: $47,100
Canadian average $59,900
Ran with fact box "Income Snapshot", which has been appended to the end of the story.