Canada Income Statistics 2023: How Does Yours Compare?

Are you interested in learning how your income stacks up against national averages? Are you curious to see how much the economy has grown over the past few years? If so, then you’re in the right place.

The median after-tax household income for Canadians is $66,800, according to the latest income report published by Statistics Canada using the latest 2020 data. (This includes those both in an economic family and persons not in an economic family)

If we’re looking at the median after-tax income for Canadians not in an economic household, it is much lower at $34,500. This makes sense because it compares a single income to a household income.

There are many other small factors and statistics that are just as important to evaluate an economy’s growth.

Below, I’ll share some of the more interesting Canadian income statistics revealed by Statistics Canada’s latest census and economic data.

At A Glance: The Latest Canada Income Statistics

Let’s start off by taking a quick glance at some important Canadian income statistics obtained from data provided by Statistics Canada’s 2020 country-wide income survey and other surveys.

Below, I’ll go into more detail about each of these statistics and explain their significance to the overall economy and the social trends that they could indicate.

  1. For every $1 of disposable income, Canadians owe $1.82 in credit market debt
  2. Canadian Taxpayers Pay An Average Of $39,000 Per Year In Taxes
  3. 10.7% Of Canadians Earn Over $100,000 Per Year
  4. Canadian Women Earn 11% Less Than Men
  5. Non-Indigenous Workers Earn 34% More Than First Nation Workers In Urban Settings
  6. The COVID-19 Pandemic Caused A 3.3% Drop In Median Income
  7. The Child Poverty Rate Dropped By 50% In 2020
  8. The Recent Immigrant Poverty Rate Dropped By 46.84%
  9. Income Inequality Has Grown By 22% Since 1976
  10. The Overall Poverty Rate In Canada Decreased By One-Third
  11. Senior Couples Saw A 4.6% Increase In Post-Tax Income
  12. The Disability Poverty Rate In Canada Dropped By 5.2%
  13. The Poverty Rate For Non-Reservation First Nation People Dropped By 7.6%
  14. The Median Household Income For The Northwest Territories Is $127,000
  15. 5.6% Fewer Canadians Received EI Payments In 2022 Compared To 2021

For an even more detailed look, you can also read through the 2020 Statistics Canada income report. It’s rather lengthy, but it has lots of in-depth data that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

A Look At Canadian Income Growth Over The Years

At this point, the most recent Canadian income statistics are from 2020, obtained through data provided by Canadians in the 2021 census and similar economic surveys.

Overall, Canadian taxpayers’ average post-tax household income increased from 2016 to 2020. Here’s how the data spread looks:

Year20162017201820192020
Median Post-Tax Household Income For Canadians$60,400$61,900$62,100$62,400$66,800
Includes both economic families and persons not in an economic family

Canadian Income By Province

Although the country’s average income continues to increase, not all provinces saw increased income during the 2016-2020 period.

 Although some provinces saw a steady increase in their residents’ income, others saw a decline. This was especially true during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic that temporarily put many Canadians out of work.

Here’s a quick look at the most recent Canadian median after-tax household income data, by province, and how it’s changed since 2016:

Province20162017201820192020
Alberta$75,800$75,300$76,400$74,400$77,700
British Columbia$58,700$63,000$60,900$63,000$67,500
Manitoba$60,800$61,800$61,300$60,600$63,000
Newfoundland and Labrador$60,000$56,900$59,000$55,900$59,300
New Brunswick$53,100$54,200$54,800$54,800$56,900
Nova Scotia$53,000$52,600$52,800$53,300$56,900
Ontario$62,800$64,500$66,200$65,100$70,100
Prince Edward Island$53,200$52,200$56,200$57,200$59,400
Quebec$52,700$53,800$53,700$55,400$59,700
Saskatchewan$65,600$65,600$64,500$64,400$67,700

Here are some of the key takeaways from the data that I thought were most notable:

  • Compared to other provinces, Ontario saw the biggest jump in average resident income between 2019 and 2020
  • Newfoundland and Labrador’s average resident income was lower in 2020 than it was in 2016 and was on the decline before the pandemic
  • Alberta has the highest average income compared to other provinces
  • Over the four-year period, British Columbia residents saw the biggest overall increase to its average post-tax income (an increase of $8,800)

Unfortunately, this Statistics Canada survey only accounted for Canada’s primary provinces, not its outlying territories, which include:

  • Yukon
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nunavut

Although these three territories account for more than 40% of Canada’s total land mass, they’re home to less than 3% of the entire population. For the purpose of this broad survey, I assume Statistics Canada didn’t want to skew the results by including outlier data from a small percentage of the population.

15 Recent Canada Income Statistics (& Why They Matter)

Now that you’ve had a chance to look over some of the primary numbers, charts, and statistics provided by Statistics Canada, let’s look a bit deeper. Below, I’ll mention some of the most recent Canadian income statistics and explain why they’re relevant.

1. The Average Canadian Debt Grew In 2022

According to a Statistics Canada report published in 2022, the amount of debt that Canadians owe rose disproportionately to their income. This means that the recent increase in average income is still being outpaced by the amount of debt Canadians are taking on.

Currently, for every $1 of disposable income, Canadians owe $1.82 in credit market debt. This means that the amount of disposable income they have for leisure spending is decreasing, which could negatively affect tourism, retail shopping, and other markets.

2. Canadian Taxpayers Pay An Average Of $38,963 Per Year In Taxes

A recent study conducted by the Fraser Institute in Canada revealed that the average Canadian family earns around $91,535 annually in 2020, before tax. With this income, Canadians were paying an average of $38,963 in taxes, which leaves just $52,572 leftover. In essence, the average Canadian families are paying 42.6% of their total income to taxes. Note that this is the average, not median, which likely skews the data more toward high-income earners.

3. 10.7% Of Canadians Earn Over $100,000 Per Year

Statistics Canada’s 2020 income report showed that just under 11% of the total population earns over $100,000 per year. This is likely due to the fact that income, as a whole, is increasing across the country.

4. Canadian Women Earn 11% Less Than Men

In a 2021 report published by Statistics Canada, data showed that women only earn 89 cents for every dollar earned by male counterparts who perform the same job. Although the wage gap between men and women in Canada has decreased significantly since the mid-1990s, 11% is still a considerable gap.

5. Non-Indigenous Workers Earn 34% More Than First Nation Workers

In urban reserves, non-indigenous workers earn 34% more than indigenous workers of the First Nation. Despite the fact that the job is the same, this drastic income gap represents a clear bias that still exists in the market.

Hopefully, as the government continues to fund education initiatives, this income gap will decrease over the next decade.

6. The COVID-19 Pandemic Caused A 3.3% Drop In Median Income

According to the 2020 income report by Statistics Canada, the median market income for the average Canadian taxpayer (including economic families and unattached individuals) dropped by 3.3% from $57,600 in 2019 to $55,700 at the end of 2020.

Market income is earned from traditional sources, such as working a job, investing, or self-employed business income. This statistic does not account for income provided to taxpayers by the governments, such as pandemic relief checks and various other credits such as the Canada Child Benefit.

7. The Child Poverty Rate Dropped By 50% In 2020

Statistics Canada’s 2019 income survey revealed that the child poverty rate in Canada declined sharply between 2019 and 2020. In 2019, surveys showed that 9.2% of Canadian children under 18 lived under the poverty line. By the end of 2020, however, only 4.6% of Canadian children were living under the poverty line.

8. The Recent Immigrant Poverty Rate Dropped By 46.84%

In 2019, 17.2% of immigrants surveyed lived under the poverty line. However, by the end of 2020, just 8.6% of the immigrants in the country lived below the poverty line, representing a clear change.

9. Income Inequality Continues To Rise

According to data provided by the Institute for Research On Public Policy, the income gap between Canada’s top earners and lowest-earning households continues to grow.

Between 1976 and 2011, researchers saw the Gini coefficient (a formula used to calculate income inequality) increase from 0.365 to 0.446. This means that income inequality across the country has grown by over 22%.

10. The Overall Poverty Rate In Canada Fell By One-Third

Despite the impact of the pandemic on the country, the overall poverty rate in Canada fell by around 30%. Today, just 6.4% of the population lives under the poverty line, compared to the 10.3% reported to live under the poverty line in 2019. 

11. Senior Couples Saw A Significant Decrease In Poverty

In 2019, 2.6% of senior couples in Canada were living under the poverty line. In 2020, though, just 1.4% of surveyed senior couples were living under the poverty line, which is nearly a 50% decrease.

12. The Disability Poverty Rate In Canada Dropped By 5.2%

In 2019, the average poverty rate among those suffering from a disability was 13.7%. Today, however, only 8.5% of disabled individuals surveyed are living in poverty. This represents a 5.2% decrease over a one-year period.

13. The Poverty Rate For Non-Reservation First Nation People Dropped By 7.6%

In 2019, 22.8% of First Nation peoples (not living on a reservation) were reported to live in poverty. By 2020, the poverty rate had dropped by 7.6% to 15.2%. This means that indigenous peoples not living on a reservation are beginning to find more job opportunities and employment.

14. The Median Household Income For The Northwest Territories Is $127,000

It may come as a surprise that the Northwest Territories have the highest median household income compared to all other provinces and territories in Canada.

According to data from the 2021 census, the median income is $127,000 for all of the Northwest Territories communities. This is nearly double the income compared to Canada’s primary provinces.

That being said, the Northwest Territories contain a very small percentage of Canada’s population, so this data often isn’t included in widespread surveys by Statistics Canada.

15. 5.6% Fewer Canadians Received EI Payments In 2022 Compared To 2021

After losing their jobs in the 2020 pandemic, many Candians relied on steady EI payments to help them stay afloat while they searched for new jobs and struggled to find steady employment. It seems as if Canadians are beginning to find steadier employment, though.

A recent Statistics Canada survey on EI recipients revealed that 5.6% fewer Canadians received unemployment payouts in 2022 compared to the previous year.

Why Bother Caring about Income Statistics?

Economic and income statistics are a good way of measuring overall trends in a country. Other than comparing your own income to that of other Canadians, you may be wondering why all of this data is important.

Trying to run a country without accurate data and income statistics is like trying to drive a vehicle without a speedometer or tachometer.

These numbers provide solid, reliable data that helps policymakers determine where economic aid is needed and where legislation needs to be improved, so they can start making changes.

Canadian income statistics can also be important for businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs.

These statistics show general trends, which help businesses determine their price points, marketing strategies, and consumer demand – all of which can impact a business’s success (or failure). Businesses that fail to adjust and pivot with trends may become obsolete in the near future.

How Income Shifts Affected Canadian Income Statistics In The Pandemic

If you look at the primary income charts that I showed at the top of the article, you’ll see that Canadians, as a whole, saw increased income between 2016 and 2020, despite the pandemic’s impact on the economy.

However, this isn’t the full story.

The reality is that most Canadians saw a decrease in market income, which reflects the income they earn from employment. However, thanks to the handouts offered by the government, many Canadians received economic aid payments that were counted towards their total income.

Canada Income Statistics: FAQs

To wrap up, here are a few quick answers to common Canadian income statistics questions based on data provided by Statistics Canada.

What Is The Average Household Income In Canada?

Canada’s median after-tax household income is $66,800, which includes both economic families and single taxpayers.

What Is The Average Cost Of Living In Canada?

According to data from Numbeo, the average cost of living (not including rent) for a single person in Canada is $901.86. For a family of four, the average cost of living is $3,242.80 (not including rent).

What Canadian Province Has The Highest Income?

The Northwest Territories have the highest income, averaging $127,000 per household. As far as provinces go, though, Alberta has the highest median income in the country.

Conclusion – Canada Income Statistics Are Changing

Canada Income Statistics

Based on the information outlined in this post, it’s clear that Canada’s economy and income statistics are changing.

Although the income gap between the top and bottom percentile of earners continues to grow, it seems that there’s been a significant decrease in the country’s overall poverty rate over the past few years.

One of the reasons why the richest Canadians continue to grow richer is because of their investment strategies.

The good news is that almost anybody can invest today, even if they only have a few dollars! Keep on reading to see my beginner’s guide to investing 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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