Toronto's Income Inequality Growing At Double National Average, Report Finds

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Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto. A new report suggests income inequality is growing faster in Toronto than other major Canadian cities. | Canadapanda via Getty Images

TORONTO — A new report suggests income inequality is growing faster in Toronto than other major Canadian cities.

The report from the United Way — called The Opportunity Equation — found that income inequality in Toronto is also increasing at a rate that's higher than the national average.

"Left unaddressed, Toronto is at risk of becoming the income inequality capital of Canada," the report said.

The report used what's called the Gini coefficient to gauge income inequality, which measures how much the actual distribution of income differs from an equal distribution. The higher the coefficient value, the more unequal a region.

When analysing the percentage change in income inequality among households and among individuals from 1980 to 2005, the report found Toronto's income inequality grew at double the national rate of 14 per cent.

inequality toronto

Comparing major cities, the report found that for that time period, Toronto's income inequality grew by 31 per cent, compared to 28 per cent for Calgary, 17 per cent for Vancouver and 15 for Montreal.

It also found that income inequality among individuals in Toronto increased by 23 per cent over that period whereas the national figure was six per cent.

The report used data from Statistics Canada and a specially commissioned survey of 2,684 people which examined individual perceptions about how the income gap is affecting people and Toronto as a whole.

The report says growing income inequality is creating "an uneven playing field for opportunity'' and warns that hard work and determination are not a guarantee for success.

toronto inequality

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