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3 graphs that show Canada’s deep and persistent wealth inequality

Wealth in Canada is concentrated heavily in the top 10% — with the bottom 30% of Canadians accounting for less than 1% of all wealth and the bottom half accounting for less than 6%, a new study has found. The analysis, conducted by the Broadbent Institute, is based on custom Statistics Canada data from the […]

September 11, 2014

Wealth in Canada is concentrated heavily in the top 10% — with the bottom 30% of Canadians accounting for less than 1% of all wealth and the bottom half accounting for less than 6%, a new study has found.

The analysis, conducted by the Broadbent Institute, is based on custom Statistics Canada data from the agency’s Survey of Financial Security, a snapshot of the distribution of assets, debts and net worth of Canadians.

The top 10% of Canadians accounted for almost half (47.9%) of all wealth in 2012. This group saw their median net worth rise by 41.9% since 2005 (to $2.1 million). Compare this to a 150% drop in the median net worth of the bottom 10% (to negative $5,100).

Here’s what Canada’s wealth inequality looks like in three graphs:

Distribution of wealth in Canada by decile, 2012

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The extent on Canada’s wealth inequality problem is even more stark when you exclude pensions and look at financial assets: the top 10% held almost $6 in every $10 (59.6%) of financial assets, more than the bottom 90% combined.

Distribution of financial assets (excluding pensions) by decile, 2012

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Some provinces are even more unequal than others. The concentration of wealth for the top 10% was highest in British Columbia at 56.2% and lowest in Atlantic Canada (31.7%) and Quebec (43.4%). The bottom half of the population also held the least amount of wealth in BC — just 3.1%, compared to 7% in Quebec and 11% in Atlantic Canada.

Share of wealth for wealthiest 10% versus bottom half of Canadians, 2012

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Photo: Broadbent Institute.

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Important new study says economy sucks because people are paid peanuts

Inequality is bad for the economy. That’s the big take-away from a new report prepared for G20 labour and employment ministers by three global economic organizations: the United Nations’ International Labour Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank. “Extensive evidence shows that high levels of income inequality tend to reinforce themselves,” […]

September 10, 2014

Inequality is bad for the economy.

That’s the big take-away from a new report prepared for G20 labour and employment ministers by three global economic organizations: the United Nations’ International Labour Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank.

“Extensive evidence shows that high levels of income inequality tend to reinforce themselves,” says the report. And this has a negative impact on “long-term growth protential.”

The report zeros…