According to new Statistics Canada data, median after-tax income of Canadian families and unattached individuals rose 3.3% to $59,800 in 2017, following two years without growth. This gain was the result of a combination of factors, including higher wages and salaries among non-senior families (where the highest income earner was less than 65 years of age), and an increase in child benefits. Fewer Canadians lived below Canada's Official Poverty Line in 2017, as measured by the MBM. According to the MBM, a family lives in poverty if it does not have enough income to purchase a specific basket of goods and services in its community. In 2017, 3.4 million Canadians, or 9.5% of the population, lived below the poverty line, down from 10.6% in 2016.
In 2017, 622,000 children under 18 years of age, or 9.0%, lived below the poverty line, down from 11.0% (755,000 children) in 2016. The child poverty rate, according to the MBM, has declined fairly steadily since reaching its most recent peak of 15.0% (1.0 million children) in 2012. There were 238,000 (3.9%) seniors living in poverty in 2017, down from 284,000 (4.9%) in 2016. This decline was concentrated among unattached seniors, where the poverty rate fell from 11.0% in 2016 to 8.4% in 2017. People in lone-parent families recorded among the largest decreases in poverty in 2017—the proportion of people in these families living below the Official Poverty Line fell from 29.2% in 2016 to 22.7% in 2017. The poverty rate for persons in lone-parent families has been declining steadily over the previous five years, associated with increases in child benefits.