children playing

Income of families and individuals: T1 Family File, 2016

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
Statistics Canada
Publication Date: 
11 Jul 2018

This data release shows a fall in the rates of children living in low-income families across all provinces and territories. Specifically, showing that child low-income rates have fallen more for children in lone-parent families and children living in most census metropolitan areas. 


According to the Census Family After-tax Low-Income Measure (CFLIM-AT), 19.6% of children lived in low income in 2016, down from 20.9% in 2015.

The concept underlying the CFLIM-AT is that all persons in a census family are in low income if their family after-tax income is below half of the median after-tax income, adjusting for family size. For example, in 2016, a three-person family would have been in low income if its after-tax income was below $35,375.

The decline in low income represents continuation from 2014, when the rate was 21.8%. From 2010 to 2013, the low-income rate for children was steady between 22.2% and 22.4%.The declines in the low-income rate for children are associated with increased government spending on child benefits in 2015 and 2016. In 2014, the median federal child benefit received by couple families with children was $2,620. This rose to $3,350 in 2015 and to $3,860 in 2016. For a lone-parent family, the median federal benefits rose from $3,760 in 2014 to $4,490 in 2015 and then to $5,060 in 2016.

All provinces and terr.itories marked a decline in child low income from 2015 to 2016. Child low income also declined for children in couple families and children in lone-parent families in most provinces and territories