Average Income In Canada By Age: Who Earns the Most? (2023)

The average annual income in Canada for 2020 is $51,300. But did you ever wonder how it’s broken down by age?

The amount varies depending on your age, and workers 45 to 54 earn the most out of everyone. 

Listed below is the average income in Canada by age. The numbers come from Statistics Canada, the country’s leading statistical office. Their goal is to help Canadians better understand their country through data.

The average income figures are for 2020, which has the most recent data. The income represents the total income received, including wages, self-employment, market income, and government benefits.

AgeAverage Income
25 to 34$50,200
35 to 44$65,800
45 to 54$67,400
55 to 64$56,800
65 and older$43,200

Which Age Group Makes the Most Money In Canada?

The highest-earning age group is from 45 to 54. Around this time, you typically hit your peak earning potential and make the most money.

While that age range makes the most money, there’s still a huge disparity between genders. According to the same statistics, men 45 to 54 averaged $78,300, while women of the same age only brought in $56,800.

According to the OECD, among full-time employees, there is a 16.1% difference between the average earnings of women and men compared to the median earnings of men.

Out of all the countries ranked, Canada comes in with the eighth-worst pay gap. 

The gender pay gap impacts all life stages. It means that women leave post-secondary schools with the same amount of loans but fewer means to pay them back.

In addition, they may have less retirement income than men simply because they earned less during their peak years, thereby contributing a smaller amount.

What’s the Average Income By Province?

Average Income In Canada By Age

Generally, living in the city usually increases your earning potential. You’d expect big Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver to put Ontario and British Columbia high up the list.

Both provinces are neck and neck in second and third place, but Alberta leads the way.

Calgary is home to the most millionaires per capita. There are so many wealthy people living there because of its abundance of oil and gas.

This booming industry helped the city grow and prosper. Now, it consistently ranks as one of the richest provinces. 

On the flip side, those living in Nova Scotia earn the least. A recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a report card on child and family poverty that saw Nova Scotia performing the worst at reducing poverty levels from thirty years ago.

The findings released stated that 1 in 4 children in Nova Scotia lives in poverty. The numbers show that it’s only been reduced by .1 of a percentage point since 1989.

ProvinceAverage Income
British Columbia$69,400
Newfoundland and Labrador$65,700
New Brunswick$61,700
Prince Edward Island$59,900
Nova Scotia$59,400

Median vs average income in Canada

Many people believe that the median income is a better representation of what most Canadians are earning, as it negates the effect of extremely high-income earners.

While the average annual income in Canada for 2020 is $51,300, the median income is much lower, at $39,500. The median is most likely a more accurate representation of what most Canadians earn than the average.

Is the Younger Generation Better Off Than Their Parents?

Parents always want their children to do better than them – but in these days of inflation and high costs, is that even possible?

The CBC did the research and found that while millennials make more money than the gen-Xers of 1999 and baby boomers of 1984, they’re saddled with much more debt.

According to the article, millennials from 2016 had an average income of $44,093. Adjusted for inflation, gen-X made $33,276, and baby boomers made $33,350 at the same age.

While that’s good news, most millennials will tell you they don’t feel like they’re doing much better.

Housing prices have soared since the 1980s and 1990s, leading many millennials to struggle to buy a house of their own, something unheard of during their parents’ generation.

At the time of the study, the average mortgage in 2016 was $218,000. For gen-X during 1999, the average was $117,481, and for baby boomers, it was $67,802.

The huge difference means millennials incur more debt while only earning a small portion more than their parents.

Also, you need to consider rising education costs and the fact that most millennials leave college and other post-secondary institutions footing significant student debt.

The bottom line is that while millennials make more money than their parents, they also shoulder more debt. With inflation, a blazing hot housing market, and rising food and gas costs, that doesn’t look like it’ll end anytime soon.

Why Income Inequality Is a Problem

Why Income Inequality Is a Problem

As expenses continue to rise, many companies aren’t giving their employees enough of a bump in pay to account for the increases. In turn, the younger generation doesn’t have nearly enough disposable income as older Canadians.

The Financial Post reported that Canadians aged 50 to 54 have a 64% higher disposable income than 25 to 29-year-olds. That’s concerning for a few reasons.

As the baby boomers move into retirement, there’s less population base with fewer means to drive economic growth and support public health programs.

Consider the healthcare costs estimated for an aging generation and all the other public programs that now burden the younger generation.

Add to it the fact that wages aren’t increasing to keep up with inflation and the considerable debt younger workers face just to own a home or secure an education, and it’s easy to see how this can become a giant problem.

The bottom line is that the younger Canadian workers are struggling to keep up. Without a solution, the income inequality gap will only grow and continue to cause damaging social and economic consequences.

Final Thoughts

The average income varies based on age. Those 45 to 54 have the potential to earn the most and make a average income of $67,400.

The province you live in has a lot to do with how much you earn as well. Those living in Alberta make far more than others throughout the country.

If you’re curious how many wealthy people there are and where they live, check out how many millionaires are in Canada.

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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1 thought on “Average Income In Canada By Age: Who Earns the Most? (2023)”

  1. Canadians 50-54 have more disposable income than younger people is the same story for the past 50 years. They are at the top of their career , just like the younger generation will be when they are 50-54. They worked for years at lower pay and have probably finished helping put their kids through university or may have lower mortgage payments as they are at the end of their mortgage – with the early years of their mortgage being at 16-18percent interest rates that do not go towards capital. While I admit mortgages are higher – interest rates have never been lower. The same will be true for the younger generation when they hit their 50’s. Keep it in context.


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