01/28/2013 11:07 EST | Updated 03/30/2013 05:12 EDT

Calgary's One Per Cent Of High Income Earners Doubles In Three Decades


Many people choose to work in Calgary for the typically high wages, and the resulting personal wealth is starting to show on a national level.

According to a report released Monday by Statistics Canada, Calgary tax filers are breaking into Canada's top one per cent of income earners more than double the rate they were over 20 years ago.

Calgary had 27,300 tax filers in the top one per cent in 2010. But between 1989 and 2012 Calgary's share of the national total increased from five per cent to 11 per cent.

According to StatsCan, in 2010 the median income of a one percent-er living in Toronto was $301,200, while in Calgary it was $293,800. In that same year, the top one per cent in Calgary held 26 per cent of the city's total income, while those in Toronto accounted for 18 per cent.

Four provinces lead the pack in determining Canada's top one per cent. In 2010, Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and B.C. accounted for 92 per cent of the 254,700 people in Canada's top one per cent -- Alberta accounted for 52,000 people, compared to Ontario's 110,300, Quebec's 42,600 and B.C.'s 29,500.

According to the report, between 1990 and 2010, Alberta's share of the national top one percent doubled from 10 to 20 per cent, while Ontario's top earners fell from 51 to 43 per cent.

Of the top five metropolitan areas to turn out one per cent filers, both Calgary and Edmonton make the list, along with Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

And while the gap between Canada's top earners and the other 99 per cent grew steadily over the past three decades, StatsCan data suggests the gap may be reversing itself.

The share of income earned by Canada’s top one per cent jumped to 12.1 per cent in 2006, from seven per cent in the early 1980s.

But it fell to 10.6 per cent in 2010, suggesting the trend has either stalled or reversed itself, at least for the time being.

The earnings gap between the one per cent and everyone else grew substantially over the past three decades. In 1982, the median income of the top one per cent was seven times higher than the median income for the bottom 99 per cent; by 2010, the median income for the top one per cent was ten times higher as for everyone else, StatsCan reported.

The report found those in the top one per cent are now more likely to stay there. In 1982, 67 per cent of those at the top were still at the top a year later. By 2010, that number had risen to 72 per cent.

(With files from The Canadian Press)

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