Canada’s Richest Households Are Seeing Income Grow 6x Faster Than The Bottom 99%

Looking to join Canada’s one-percent? Good luck, because the threshold is moving much faster than your incomes. New Statistics Canada (Stat Can) data shows incomes climbed in 2017. While incomes climbed across Canada, they’re climbing much faster at the top.

Canadians Need To Make Over $236,000 To Be In The “One-Percent”

The threshold to be considered one of the country’s wealthiest is rising very, very quickly. Canada’s one-percent earned over $236,000 per taxfiler in 2017, up 4.33% from the year before. Those in the 0.01% earned at least $740,300 in 2017, up 9.56% from the year before. To be in the 0.01%, a.k.a. the one-percent’s one-percent, the entry ticket was $2.7 million, up 22.06% from the year before. Income is accelerating much faster for those households that already have the most.

Canadian Income Threshold To Be A Top Earner

The minimum annual income a Canadian needs to earn to be considered a top earner.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

How did your broke ass do? Not nearly as well. The bottom 99% saw the median income rise to $34,700 in 2017, up just 3.89% from the year before. To contrast, the one-percent’s one-percent had a median income of $4,137,200, up 24.36% over the same period.

Median Income of Top Earners In Canada

The median annual income of top earners in Canada, in contrast to the bottom 99%.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

Over 92% of Canada’s “One-Percent” Lives In Just Four Provinces

There’s one-percent earners across Canada, but 92.1% live in just four provinces. Ontario had 120,580 one-percenters in 2017, up 0.43% from last year – the most in Canada. Alberta came in second with 52,205 earners, up 0.48% from last year. Quebec followed with 45,350 one-percenters, up 0.43% from the year before. British Columbia rounds out the group with 37,560 earners, up a massive 7.92% from the year before. Two of those provinces have notoriously high costs of living, so it’s expected. Quebec is only now starting to see the cost of living climb rapidly.

Canadian One-Percent Earners By Province

The number of income earners in the top one-percent of Canadian taxpayers, by location.

Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.

Manitoba and British Columbia See Largest Growth

The fastest growing regions for one-percent income earners were all in Western Canada. Manitoba made the biggest jump to 6,580 earners in 2017, up 10.77% from last year. British Columbia had the second biggest increase at 52,205 earners, up 7.92% higher than the year before. Alberta rounds out the top three for growth with 52,205 earners, up 0.48% from the year before.

Not all regions are seeing growth – in fact some are hemorrhaging one-percent earners. Newfoundland saw the biggest drop in one-percenters with 2,765 in 2017, down 8.44% from a year before. The Territories followed with just 615 filers, down 8.21% from a year before. Saskatchewan rounds out the losses with 5,380 one-percent earners, down 4.53% from last year.

Canadians are seeing incomes rise across the board, but much faster at the top. Even the country’s one-percent are being left behind by their one-percent. If you’re becoming suspicious that a lot of the country is being left behind, that’s because they are. And it’s happening very, very fast.

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  • Trader Jim 4 years ago

    I think most Canadians are seeing this, just they don’t understand it. Which is what’s behind all of this levering up, and equity extraction. They’re trying to live the life they’re striving from, that’s moving much faster out of reach than they can understand.

    • LT 4 years ago

      Always funny to hear from a household making low six-figures try to explain they’re making so much money, but aren’t living the life they want. That’s because they moved the goal post so much, $150k/household income is now the starter income for getting life started in Canadian cities.

      It’s a struggle to not tell them how much less they make than the average client.

      • zz 4 years ago

        household income of $150,000 is like recent grad level… I started at $50 on my first job 10 years ago…
        family income of $120,000 should be like 23 year old couple. mid career should be looking at $200,000-$300,000 family income

    • Mossy 4 years ago

      I completely agree! We are in the 1% income wise with many friends who are in the .1%, but it’s taken us a few years to understand that we can’t afford to live the life they live (and possibly, they face the same reckoning with their .01% friends). In fact, what we have realized is that it takes a 1% income to live what used to be the standard upper middle-class life DEBT FREE.

  • Kathleen Thomson 4 years ago

    Now include all of the ones that don’t file taxes, and show what the real gap is like. 😛

    • Millennial Whinger 4 years ago

      This is probably one of the worst comments I have read.

      Care to elaborate on what you mean?

  • Rick Abrams 4 years ago

    Has anyone noticed that wealth growth among the bulk of the population is greatest when the US, Canada, Australia, etc were experiencing Sprawl and that when a country or large urban areas within a country change to the New Urbanism, i.e. high density cores, the wealth flows to top 1% at an amazing speed?

    The economic reason is easy to understand. When we have Sprawl, land values are spread over a much larger geographic area and the average citizen ends up owning a significantly larger portion of land. If nothing else, owning a single family home rather than paying rent in a high rise is the primary way for most families to accumulate wealth over a few decades. Renters, who predominate under the New Urbanism, have zilch to show after 30 years.

    The seeds of middle class demise were sewn by not allowing offices follow the population to the fringes so that the entire urban area would be low density. The purpose of a central business core is to make those landowners vastly wealthy. In reality, the use political power to steal land wealth from property owners out on the periphery. There is no rational reason for core business cores combined with far away bedroom communities. The configuration only creates horrible traffic nightmares, which is part of the second part of the scam. — fixed rail mass transit. Fixed rail INTRA-urban transit is another way to suck billions of dollars from the average person.

    With Sprawl where all types of land use expand outward and there are no central business cores, there is no need for thousands of people to crowed into tiny little areas each morning, Hence no need for subways and light rail or trolleys.

    Rather when all type of land use are spread more or less evenly throughout the area, traffic similarly spreads out and thee are no rush hours traffic nightmares. The 1% hate that! The 1% construct the fixed fail systems to bring workers to their office towers. Without terrible traffic congestion, voters will not tax themselves to give hundreds of billions of dollars to the 1% for fixed rail INTRA-urban transit

    The relationship is simple: Sprawl spreads the wealth; densification concentrates the wealth.

    • BikeMike 4 years ago

      Personally, I’d find it terrible to have random offices spread out around all over the suburbs. Good luck changing jobs when you have a family and kids – you just end up spending your time commuting between suburbs instead. Because the traffic density won’t be as high, the options for doing this commuting will be worse as well (worse transit, worse bike routes, worse roads).

    • SUMSKILLZ 4 years ago

      Beware the prophet. In the 1950’s and 60’s it was slum clearance and modernism. Today it is new urbanism. Simple solutions to complex problems never work out well.

    • Hcat 4 years ago

      I think corporate cultures and policies (wanting to be convenient to the creative class who don’t need affordable housing so much, not to the service class, most of their workers, who do) not government land use laws, drive the location of workplaces. Else why would anyone locate on the almost inaccessible LA West Side, rather than to the north and east?

  • MH 4 years ago

    Wait, are you suggesting that the economy built on systemic RE speculation, money laundering and tax evasion does not result in a fair and prosperous society? We really must focus on that climate change then…

    Don’t get me wrong, dealing with the climate change is important but it’s even more important to be able to recognize when something is being dangled in front of you to distract your attention… You can’t seriously talk about fixing the planet if you are incapable of putting your own country in order.

    • Luigi Vampa 4 years ago

      They go hand in hand. The impact of climate change will have a disproportionately negative effect on those with lower incomes. You have to acknowledge and deal with all these issues concurrently. And yes you can seriously talk about both.

  • CG 4 years ago

    We are expat Canadians living in the US and have observed the end of the real estate bubble in the US and are mystified by the Canadian real estate bubble. This article is one that I find completely fascinating and why housing in Canada seems so disconnected from reality. Compare Toronto with Connecticut (where we live) you need to earn $700k in CT to be in the Top 1% and our average housing price is less than Toronto – and I am talking the county immediately beside NYC (so think the 905 commuting area). Even more stark is compare Toronto to NYC; to be in the top 1% in NYC you need to earn $2.2M and housing is less than Toronto. This is the huge disconnect that I see – incomes do not track to support the asset appreciation in housing. All the arguments on land scarcity, immigration and record low interest rates all exists in the US – along with higher incomes; but the real estate trends do not track. I really hope the market regains some semblance of normalcy as living through the reckoning in the US was not fun – no asset ever continually goes up in value.

    • SH 4 years ago

      Two words : mass immigration. Canada takes in 3 times the number of immigrants per capita as the US. And that’s not including illegals (record numbers over the past 4 years), TFWs, and foreign students and rates vastly higher than what Canadian society and infrastructure can support.

      • CG 4 years ago

        The math still doesn’t hold. Average immigrant salary is $50k, so below the national average. These are the people with pent-up demand for $1M houses and $500k condos? I grew up in Toronto and lived in the 905 and appreciate the growth that Toronto is having as the focal point for immigration. However, the fundamentals don’t support the current costs.

    • Bob 4 years ago

      It does seem almost unimaginable. Here’s one possible explanation:

      $25,000,000,000,000 (that’s $25 trillion) in western assets goes a long way to distort local values.

      Now I don’t believe, as the author of that article does, things can be so perfectly choreographed/controlled by the CPC. But I do wonder if the powers that be in our national security apparatus have thought through the implications of a concerted dump of CPC assets here.

  • Millennial Whinger 4 years ago

    It’s fairly easy to get into the 1% with the right investments over time and some decent inheritance allocated to a proper investment portfolio. With an aging population the effects of compound interest are on display as more people join the 1% over time.

    Contrary to popular belief, wealth generation isn’t about real estate. Real Estate ‘investments’ are generally how the middle class stays middle class. Real Estate is almost always classified as unproductive assets. Recent speculative market aside, which is abnormal (contrary to popular belief), real estate is a money sink. Taxes, maintenance, insurance, interest, and the much debated by the many financially illiterate – opportunity cost.

  • SH 4 years ago

    Swell job Trudeau! You really stood up for the middle class as promised.

  • Jason 4 years ago

    According to the data in this article, only 5.8% of the Ontario population and 12.3% of Toronto population are multi properties owners. It’s not a secret to make money from investment to multi properties is faster than regular work. And that is indeed the true problem of our country: despise traditional hardworking ethics. I believe this must be changed. And to tax non self occupied dwelling units is the right way.

  • NewHampshire 4 years ago

    New Urbanism is part of Agenda 2030 and is a marxist movement within Agenda 2030 invented by communist Andres Duany. Please read this website’s blog for more info on Andres…. who believes in fascism.

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