Canada Income Inequality: Which Canadian Cities Are Seeing The Fastest Ghettoization?

The Huffington Post Canada   First Posted: 12/05/11 06:24 AM ET Updated: 12/05/11 09:30 AM ET

Calgary
Calgary has seen a nearly 90 per cent increase in the wealth difference between its richest and poorest neighbourhoods over the past quarter century, making the city a poster boy for economic segregation, according to data from a new study.

Calgary has seen a nearly 90 per cent increase in the wealth difference between its richest and poorest neighbourhoods over the past quarter century, making the city a poster boy for growing economic segregation, according to data from a new study.

Researchers from Queen's University, the University of Toronto and StatsCan have released a working paper showing that Canadians are increasingly segregating themselves according to income.

In virtually all of Canada's major cities, the poorest neighbourhoods saw income declines between 1980 and 2005, while the wealthiest neighbourhoods saw even faster income growth.

In Toronto, the richest 10 per cent of neighbourhoods are now 69 per cent wealthier than the poorest 10 per cent than was the case in 1980. That gives Toronto second place after Calgary.

Significantly, some one-half of neighbourhoods surveyed in Montreal, Quebec City and Vancouver saw income decline during the period. Only Ottawa saw income growth in all its neighbourhood deciles.

Alberta's oil wealth didn't seem to make much difference for Calgary and Edmonton's poorest neighbourhoods; those areas saw income declines on a similar scale to those seen in other Canadian cities.

WHICH CANADIAN CITIES ARE SEEING THE GREATEST GHETTOIZATION?

Percentages represent the difference that the income gap has grown between the richest and poorest neighbourhoods in Canada's largest metropolitan areas. The numbers indicate the degree to which residents of those cities are segregating themselves economically.

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  • 8: Quebec City -- 22 per cent

  • 8: Quebec City -- 22 per cent

    With a 22 per cent increase in the gap between its richest and poorest neighbourhoods, Quebec City has seen the smallest growth in neighbourhood inequality. However, the city also saw the largest proportion of neighbourhoods in decline. The numbers suggest some six in 10 neighbourhoods saw their income decline from 1980 to 2005.

  • 7: Winnipeg -- 31.5 per cent

  • 7: Winnipeg -- 31.5 per cent

    Winnipeg saw a 31.5 per cent increase in the gap between its richest and poorest neighbourhoods from 1980 to 2005, with its poorest neighbourhoods suffering a 7.6 per cent decline, while its wealthiest 10 per cent of neighbourhoods saw income grow 24 per cent.

  • 6: Montreal -- 34 per cent

  • 6: Montreal -- 34 per cent

    Montreal saw a 34 per cent increase in the gap between its richest and poorest neighbourhoods from 1980 to 2005, with its poorest neighbourhoods suffering a 10 per cent decline, while its wealthiest 10 per cent of neighbourhoods saw income grow 24 per cent. <em>Correction: An earlier version of this text misidentified Montreal as Winnipeg.</em>

  • 5: Vancouver -- 36.5 per cent

  • 5: Vancouver -- 36.5 per cent

    Vancouver saw a 36.5 per cent increase in the gap between its richest and poorest neighbourhoods from 1980 to 2005, with its poorest neighbourhoods suffering a 10.5 per cent decline, while its wealthiest 10 per cent of neighbourhoods saw income grow 26 per cent.

  • 4: Ottawa -- 37 per cent

  • 4: Ottawa -- 37 per cent

    Ottawa saw a 37 per cent increase in the gap between its richest and poorest neighbourhoods from 1980 to 2005, with its poorest neighbourhoods growing 1.3 per cent in income, while its wealthiest 10 per cent of neighbourhoods saw income grow nearly 36 per cent. Ottawa is unique in that none of its neighbourhood deciles suffered an income decline during the period.

  • 3: Edmonton -- 39 per cent

  • 3: Edmonton -- 39 per cent

    Edmonton saw a 39 per cent increase in the gap between its richest and poorest neighbourhoods from 1980 to 2005, with its poorest neighbourhoods suffering a 7.8 per cent decline, while its wealthiest 10 per cent of neighbourhoods saw income grow 31.5 per cent.

  • 2: Toronto -- 68 per cent

  • 2: Toronto -- 68 per cent

    Toronto saw a 68 per cent increase in the gap between its richest and poorest neighbourhoods from 1980 to 2005, with its poorest neighbourhoods suffering a 5.5 per cent decline, while its wealthiest 10 per cent of neighbourhoods saw income grow 62.5 per cent.

  • 1: Calgary -- 81 per cent

  • 1: Calgary -- 81 per cent

    With an 81 per cent increase in the difference between its richest and poorest neighbourhoods, Calgary wins Canada's ghettoization crown. It's worthwhile to note that Calgary's large increases in income in the wealthiest neighbourhoods has not pulled up its poorest areas, which have seen declines in income on the same scale as low-end neighbourhoods in other Canadian cities.

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