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Women still earning less

Men and women are each making comparable contributions to the family finances in nearly one-third of all couples, Statistics Canada said Wednesday as the latest data from the 2016 census revealed new details about how — and which — Canadians are paying the bills.

Of the 8.2 million married or common-law couples in the country last year, 96 per cent of them saw both members earn at least some income in 2015, the most recent year for which data was available, the agency reported.

And in 32 per cent of cases, both incomes were "fairly equal," or within 40 to 60 per cent of each other — a marked improvement over 1985, when only 20.6 per cent of couples were each making comparable salaries.

"Many factors have contributed to this advance, led by the increased labour force participation of women," Statistics Canada said in a brief on the new data. "Combined with a narrowing of the gender wage gap, women now contribute a larger portion of the couple's combined income."

Men, however, continue to earn an appreciably higher income in fully half of all opposite-sex couples, while women earned the larger share in just 17.3 per cent of cases — a glaring difference, although significantly better than in 1985, when nearly three-quarters of the men made more, compared with just eight per cent of the women.

The gender gap persists in same-sex couples, too: male couples earned a median income of $100,707 in 2015, compared with $92,857 for female couples.



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