This section explores the relationship between income, educational attainment and family composition. The most significant component of income is earned through employment; additional information on employment is provided in Section 10, Labour Force Activity.
In recognition of income’s significance on the health and well-being of a population, as well as its stabilizing role for the economy, governments have introduced a number of policies and programs that provide financial support to those in need. These programs represent an important component of Canada’s social safety net and include programs such as employment insurance, social assistance, old age pension, national child benefit, Goods and Services Tax rebates and many others.
Median after-tax income is commonly used for comparisons as it takes into account the taxes paid by an individual as well as the financial support received from government programs. The median
after-tax income is the point where exactly half of the population would have a higher income and half the population would have a lower income. The median is acknowledged as a more accurate indicator than the average, which can be skewed more easily by higher and lower income levels.
Figure 45 demonstrates the significant gap in median after-tax family income in First Nations households in comparison with other households in Alberta and Canada.
Figure 45 also shows that the median after-tax income of Albertans is higher than for other Canadians. There is an important income gap between First Nations and non-First Nations individuals. As the median after-tax income for First Nations families includes both those living on- and off-reserve, it is markedly higher than the median after-tax family income identified in a number of First Nations communities, as it will be demonstrated in Figures 46 to 48.
While Section 8, Education, demonstrates important differences in educational attainment across First Nations communities, significant differences also exist for median after-tax family income. Figures 46 to 48 provide this information by Treaty area.
In examining the median after-tax family income for Albertans in a number of communities throughout Alberta, it appears that geography plays a key role. The median after-tax family income for non-First Nations communities in most of southern and central Alberta is in the $50,000 to $60,000 range. It is much higher in a number of communities in northern Alberta, reaching $68,392 in Slave Lake, $72,270 in High Level and $97,483 in the county of Wood Buffalo.
Figure 46 shows the range of the median after-tax family income for the Treaty 6 communities. The superior high school graduation rate of Alexander is associated with the highest median after-tax family income among Treaty 6 communities at $34,176, which is twice as high as the lowest median after-tax income in Treaty 6, $17,056 in Montana.
Figure 47 charts the median after-tax income for some of the First Nations communities in Treaty 7. Although differences exist among the communities, they are not as significant as those within Treaty 6 or Treaty 8. The median after-tax family income in Treaty 7 ranges from $17,920 in Eden Valley to $27,456 in Siksika.
Figure 48 shows the median after-tax income for Treaty 8 communities which starts at a higher level for communities in Treaty 8 ($22,528) than in communities in Treaty 6 ($17,056) and 7 ($17,920). The highest median after-tax family income for First Nations communities in Alberta is in Treaty 8, Fort McKay, at $50,944, which is one of the First Nations communities located in proximity to Alberta’s oil sands. Furthermore, only the communities of Loon River Cree and Fort McKay have median after-tax family income that is higher than the provincial median after-tax family income for First Nations in Alberta ($42,485).
In this story...
Income and Education
Figure 49 indicates that education pays as education attainment has a significant impact on the median personal income of First Nations in Alberta. The median personal income quickly rises with educational attainment. View Full Story »
Family Status and Income
Section 7, Social Factors provides information on family composition and indicates that over half of First Nations children live in a two-parent household and over a third live in a single-parent household (See Figure 29, Page 28). Family composition has a significant impact on the median after-tax income of families ... View Full Story »
Composition of Income
Earlier in this section, the role of government programs in after-tax household income was described. Figure 51 illustrates the composition of income for First Nations and non-Aboriginal populations showing that government transfers account for a higher portion of after-tax income for Canadians (10.9 per cent) than Albertans (seven per ... View Full Story »