Median after-tax income in Canada rose 7.1% in 2020 — but Canadians made 3.3% less than in 2019 if you don’t factor in Covid benefits, Statistics Canada reported in the 2020 Canadian Income Survey released Wednesday.
Median market income — which includes employment, investment and retirement income — was $55,700 in 2020, down by 3.3% from $57,600 in 2019 and by 3.1% from $57,500 in 2018.
But total income was more than offset by measures such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). Median government transfers doubled in 2020 to $16,400, up from $8,200 in 2019 and $7,500 in 2018. (All dollar figures are in constant 2020 dollars.)
The median after-tax income — for both families and individuals — was $66,800 in 2020, up by 7.1% from $62,400 in 2019. Median after-tax income had been relatively flat in prior years: $62,100 in 2018, $61,900 in 2017 and $60,400 in 2016.
Splitting out the 2020 data, the median after-tax income for families was $92,400 (up by 5.6% from $87,500 in 2019) and $34,500 for individuals (up by 7.1% from $32,200 in 2019).
The Covid-19 relief programs with the largest aggregate amounts provided were the CERB, CRB and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, StatsCan said. Those programs provided about $82 billion in income support to 8.1 million Canadian families and individuals in 2020.
“Covid-19 relief benefits more than offset declines in market income, resulting in an increase in after-tax income. The increase in after-tax income was proportionately larger for lower-income families and unattached individuals,” StatsCan said.