• “We need to think deeply about what economic development is and who it is for; and, engage the larger society in that conversation.”

    Dr. David T. Barnard
    President and Vice-Chancellor
    University of Manitoba

  • “Rising income inequality undercuts the trust that is essential for the market system to work.”

    Art DeFehr
    President and CEO, Palliser Furniture.

  • “Investing in people in the new economy is now not just morally sound, but economically rational”

    Alan Freeman
    Cultural Economist

  • “Organizations and societies in which the top few appropriate most of the value are like inverted pyramids – inherently unstable”

    Dr. Hari Bapuji
    Associate Professor, University of Manitoba

  • “The present crisis has overturned many accepted truths: that poverty matters but inequality doesn't is one of the more important.”

    Radhika Desai
    Professor, Department of Political Studies, University of Manitoba

  • “The income gap between rich and poor, between skilled and unskilled workers, has been rising in both developed and less developed countries for a number of years. The trend is disturbing and we must find a way to turn this trend around.”

    Michael Benarroch
    Dean, I.H. Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Statistics Canada Releases Data on High Income Earners

By BEIF Team

This past week, Statistics Canada released some data on high income earners in Canada from the years 1982-2010. The data is a follow-up to information contained in the research report ‘A Profile of High Income Canadians, 1982 to 2004’, released in September 2007.

The newest data reveals that “the top 1% of Canadian tax filers accounted for 10.6% of the nation’s total income in 2010, down from a peak of 12.1% in 2006.” Yet this is still higher that their share in the early 80’s where “1% of tax filers held 7% of the total income reported by all tax filers”. In general, the data largely agrees with data from other industrialized nations that show that the gap between Canada’s middle and high income earners has grown over time.

A few noteworthy points are:

  • It took an annual income of at least $201,400 in 2010 to be in the top one percent of, while it took more than three times that income (at least $685,000) to be counted in the top 0.1 percent. To be counted among the top 0.01 percent, one needed at least $2,571,300.

  • In 1987, it took one far less to be counted among the top. For example, a minimum of $86,000 saw one in the top 1 percent, while $226,300 saw one in the top 0.1 percent and $672,600 saw one in the top 0.01 percent.

  • While threshold values mentioned above are the minimum, the average and median incomes were far higher for the top 1 percent and above. Those in the top 0.01 percent had an average income of $5,114,500, while those in the top 0.1 percent had $1,519,000 and those in the top 1 percent had $429,600.

  • The ratio of average income of the top 1 percent to the bottom 99 percent stood at 11.74 in 2010. This ratio has been declining from its highest (13.59 in 2006), but is still much higher than it was in 1987 (7.73).

Also important to researchers is that StatsCan has used its CANSIM data dissemination tool (now free of charge, available here) to provide a tremendous range of much more detailed breakdowns.