The agency says its measure of after-tax low-income deems a household to be low income if it has less than half the overall median income.
By this measure, it says, 16.3 per cent of children under 17 were in low-income households in 2012.
For children in two-parent families, the incidence of low income was 12.9 per cent, while that rose to 44.5 per cent for children for children in single-mother families.
Two-parent families with children had a median after-tax income of $84,600, while for lone-parent families headed by a woman, the median was $39,100.
The report says the median after-tax income of all families of two or more people was $71,700 in 2012.
Higher median family incomes were reported in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
Alberta families had the highest median at $92,300, followed by Saskatchewan ($77,300), Ontario ($73,700) and British Columbia ($72,200).
In 2012, 18.7 million Canadians aged 16 or over received $138.8 billion in government transfers. A quarter of those recipients were seniors and they received just over half of the total transfers.
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