ALBERTA

Where Canada's Top One Per Cent Live And How Alberta Is Taking Over The Exclusive Club

03/23/2013 11:25 EDT | Updated 03/23/2013 11:39 EDT
Alamy

Albertans wondering where the country's top one per cent live don't have to look far.

Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia are where 92 per cent of the country's one per cent live, according to numbers recently released by Statistics Canada.

The percentage of one per centers calling Alberta home doubled between 1990 and 2010 - the latest year the agency provided figures for.

And at the heart of that change is Calgary, which saw its share of the country's one per cent more than double to 11 per cent from five between 1989 and 2010, Stats Canada numbers show.

In 2010, Calgary' top earners accounted for 26 per cent of the city's wealth. But the top earners in Toronto still have some headway on the western city, as the median income of TO's one per cent was pegged at $301,200 in 2010, while Calgary's one per cent's median income was tagged at $293,800.

Click below to see where Canada's one per cent live..

Story continues after slideshow

Where Canada's One Per Cent Live

The reason for Calgary, and Alberta's, accelerated increase of wealthy people coincide with the swift economic expansion of the oil and gas industry in the province.

Alberta's flat tax has also been cited as a factor in the growing number of Albertans. While elsewhere in Canada the wealthier will pay increasingly more income tax the richer they are, in Alberta, everyone pays 10 per cent and that is an attractive proposition for those in the higher reaches of income, say proponents.

Regardless of flat taxes or graduated taxes, the wealth being accumulated by Canada's top one per cent filers is increasing compared to two decades ago, the Stats Canada figures show.

The one per cent were worth less in 2010 than they were in their peak in 2006, when they accounted for 12.1 per cent of the country's total wealth. That figure dropped in 2010 to 10.6 per cent, according to Stats Canada numbers.

However, that number is still significantly higher than the country's one per cent's total wealth in the early 1980s, when collectively they accounted for seven per cent of the total.

More telling is the fact that using 2010 constant dollars, the required income in 1982 to reach the one per cent threshold was $147,500. In 2010, the threshold was $201,400.

And the gap between the one per cent and everyone else has also widened.

"In 1982, the median income of the top 1% of filers was $191,600. This was seven times higher than the median income of $28,000 for the other 99% of filers," states the report.

"By 2010, the median income of the top 1% of filers increased to $283,400, about 10 times higher than the median income of $28,400 for the rest."

As the wealth of the top one per cent swells and contracts over time, so do their tax contributions, figures show.

The richest one per cent paid 13.4 per cent of federal and provincial income taxes in 1982, a figure that would peak at 23.3 per cent in 2007. However, that percentage dropped in 2010 to 21.1 per cent.

By comparison, the share of income taxes paid by the rest of all tax filers dropped from 86.6 per cent in 1982 to 78.8 per cent.