Provinces with natural resources lead the way in median income growth

By Andrew Rickard | December 23 2015 11:10AM

In recent years families in Alberta and Saskatchewan have enjoyed the highest rate of growth in median income.

Statistics Canada has published data on the income earned by Canadians between 2000 and 2013. The resource-rich provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador saw an average annual gain in their median family after-tax incomes of 2.8%, 2.7%, and 2.4% respectively. The national average was 1.2% and only Ontario posted median growth that was substantially lower than this amount, coming in with a modest annual increase of 0.4%.

The research also considered income inequality and the incidence of low income, and in both cases there was little change during the period.

Based on adjusted after-tax income, Statistics Canada says that Canadians in the highest income decile accounted for 23.7% of total after-tax income in the country in 2013, which is virtually unchanged from 2000. Canadians in the lowest decile represented 2.5%, which is also the same as it was in 2000.

Using the after-tax low income measure, Statistics Canada calculates that 4.6 million people or 13.5% of the population lived in low income in 2013. "The rate has been fairly stable since the early 2000s, which reflects the fact that, while income grew for lower-income persons, it grew at about the same pace as median income," concludes the report.