Family Status and Income

Figure 50: Composition of After-Tax Income (2006)

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. Figure 50 shows that, as expected, two-parent families fare better financially than single-parent families, however, it also shows significant differences between married couples and common-law couples.

The financial advantage of a married relationship in comparison with a common-law relationship is consistent across a number of industrialized nations. Figure 50 also illustrates that for First Nations in Alberta, the annual median after-tax income for married couples is 63 per cent higher than for common-law couples. For First Nations in Alberta, the median after-tax income for families led by a single parent is almost identical regardless of gender. In some First Nations communities, data indicate that single mothers fare better financially than single fathers. This is rather unusual as single fathers normally tend to fare better.