Family incomes remained unchanged for the third straight year in 2010, Statistics Canada reported Monday.

The median after-tax income for families of two or more people amounted to $65,500, it said.

After-tax income*
  2009 2010
Families of 2 or more $65,400 $65,500
Senior families $47,800 $46,800
Non-senior families without children $65,200 $64,900
Two-parent families with children $77,200 $78,800
Single-parent families headed by woman $38,200 $38,700
Singles $25,900 $26,000
*2010 dollars
(Source: Statistics Canada)

The median — where there are as many income levels below as above — for two-parent families with children was $78,800, and for single-parent families headed by women was $38,700.

Families headed by a senior averaged income of $46,800.

Single non-seniors received $27,500, while seniors received $23,400.

The number of Canadians living in low-income families was three million, or 9.0 per cent of the population, in 2010, virtually unchanged from 2009. That included 546,000 children aged 17 and under.

By low income, StatsCan means the level at which a family may be hard up because it has to spend more on food, clothing and shelter than the average family of similar size. The measure varies by family size and by the size of the community.

StatsCan defines after-tax income as the total of market income — from wages and investments — plus payments in the form of government transfers such as pensions or employment insurance less income tax.

Despite growth in employment in some sectors, median market income for families with two or more people was unchanged at $64,900 in 2010, following a decline the previous year.

Median market income for two-parent families with children increased from $82,100 in 2009 to $84,400 in 2010.

In 2010, almost 20 million people aged 16 and over received some form of government transfer, an 11.7 per cent increase from 2009.

This gain was driven by a 14.5 per cent increase in the number of non-seniors who received government transfers, which coincided with the introduction of new programs in Ontario and Nova Scotia.

Among families of two or more people, the median income tax paid in 2010 was $8,200, unchanged from 2009.

Between 2009 and 2010, after-tax income rose for 52.8 per cent of individuals, while 47.2 per cent experienced a decline. Between 2006 and 2007, before the economic downturn, income rose for 62.4 per cent and fell for 37.6 per cent.

The province with the highest median in 2010 was Alberta, at $78,100.