Canada's Income Inequality Shrinks Slightly, But Still Worse Than A Generation Ago

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Income in Canada grew slightly more equal in 2012, as the proportion taken home by the country’s top earners shrank, StatsCan says.

But it’s hardly enough to offset the notable increase in income inequality seen in the country over the past 30 years.

The top one per cent of earners in Canada took home 10.3 per cent of all income in 2012, down a little from 10.6 per cent in 2011, StatsCan reported.

That’s well below the peak hit in 2006, when the top one per cent took home 12.1 per cent of all income. But it’s well above the 7.1 per cent of income that the one-percenters took home in 1982, the starting point for StatsCan’s data.

Still, that’s considerably less concentration of wealth than what the U.S. is seeing, StatsCan notes. The top one per cent there took home 19.3 per cent of all income in 2012, up from 18 per cent in 2006.

StatsCan notes that the 2006-2012 period also marks the first time in three decades that the share of income going to the bottom 90 per cent has increased. This group took home 65.1 per cent of all income, up from 63.9 per cent in 2006.

Still, in 1982 the bottom 90 per cent of earners took home more — 69.8 per cent of all income.

StatsCan noted that women are taking home more of top-earners’ incomes than at any point in the data going back three decades.

Among the top one per cent of earners, 21.3 per cent of taxfilers were women in 2012, nearly double the 11.4 per cent of female taxfilers in this group in 1982.

Among the top 10 per cent of earners, women accounted for 29.8 per cent of taxfilers, up from 14.3 per cent in 1982.

Among the bottom 90 per cent, the increase was more subdued. Women accounted for 54.4 per cent of all earners in this group in 1982, up from 51.5 per cent in 1982.

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