How Many Millionaires Are There In Canada? (2024)

Did you ever wonder just how many millionaires are there in Canada? You might be surprised to learn that there are way more wealthy people than you would ever think.

According to the Global Wealth Databook of 2021 published by Credit Suisse, Canada has 1,681,969 millionaires.

Just who are these millionaires, and where do they live? In this article, I will give you insight into who the richest people in Canada are and the industries they pursued to make their fortunes.

Who Are the Millionaires?

It might be surprising to note that most of Canada’s millionaires didn’t just inherit money – the majority of them are self-made. A recent study reported by the Financial Post found that 67% of Canada’s millionaires are self-made.

In addition, the study found that many of these individuals are either immigrants or first-generation Canadians. One of the most important factors contributing to a wealthy lifestyle is education. 8 out of 10 Canadian millionaires have at least an undergraduate degree.

Entrepreneurs and investors make up a large portion of millionaires – specifically those involved in the tech world. In addition, physicians and corporate managers can easily make their way into the lineup.

New to the list are social media influencers – many coming from YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. These influences create engaging content and help to start new trends and share ideas or videos through their platforms.

Which City In Canada Has the Most Millionaires

It probably isn’t a surprise that Toronto is home to the majority of millionaires in Canada. In fact, Toronto tops some other big-time worldwide cities like Chicago, Sydney, and Mexico City.

Number of Millionaires based on location

Source: Toronto Star

Over 118,000 millionaires live in Toronto, and it’s pretty easy to figure out why. There is a larger population in the city than in other parts of Canada, upping the odds for more millionaires. In addition, Toronto also has a bustling economy and is often seen as the hub of Canada.

While Toronto has the most millionaires, Calgary has the most per capita – around 225 per 100,000 residents. Calgary is one of the fastest-growing business centers. The Calgary to Edmonton corridor, always filled with oil and gas magnates, helped grow the city into a prosperous place.

In addition to the oil and gas industry, the city also is a bustling hub for financial services and boasts one of the highest median household incomes throughout the country.

While many of the most prosperous billionaires live in Toronto and Vancouver, you will not have any problem finding wealthy millionaires throughout Calgary. A lot of wealth is also driven by real estate asset values, which has been extremely strong in Canada.

Canada’s Millionaires Compared to the World

Canada is home to about 3% of the world’s population of millionaires. The US has about 39%, and China has 9%. And while the whole world was in the throes of a pandemic, that did not stop the country from the Great White North from acquiring more millionaires and billionaires.

Number of Millionaires

According to the Financial Post, Canada gained 246,000 millionaires in 2020. The reasons for this increase appear to be from a combination of factors. Low-interest rates, a red-hot housing market, and currency appreciation against the U.S. dollar account for rising wealth in Canada and throughout the world.

Which Country Has the Most Millionaires?

Our neighbours to the South, the United States, have the largest number of millionaires, with close to 4.5 million of them. Not only do they have the most millionaires, but some of the wealthiest people in the world live there, including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett.

Business Today reports that Japan comes in second. With more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the world, Japan’s success comes from its regulations and tax incentives that encourage business development and investment within the country.

Germany, China, and the United Kingdom follow, with Canada in the eighth position.

Are There Any Billionaires in Canada?

Have you ever wondered how many billionaires live in Canada?

Canada does have its fair share of billionaires. The most recent study from Wealth-X, a data company, found that Canada added seven new billionaires in 2020. That puts the country’s total at 53 and ties it for 12th-most in the world.

It wasn’t just Canada increasing in wealthy citizens. For the first time ever, there are over 3,000 billionaires throughout the world. The majority of billionaires earned their riches through the tech industry.

Here’s a list of the top five billionaires from the Wealth-X census (in the world, not just Canada).

top 5 billionaires

The report found that the new billionaires added to the list in 2020 are younger than their counterparts. The average age of the billionaires making the list is 65.9 years. The new additions have a median age of 63.2.

With advances in the tech industry, it looks like this trend of younger billionaires might continue into the next decade.

If you want to learn more about Canadian billionaires, be sure to check out my full list of our country’s top billionaires here.

Who Are the Richest People In Canada?

So just who are these wealthy Canadians, and where did their fortunes come from? Here is a look at the top tier, how much they’re worth, and how they make their money.

1.   David Thomson and Family

With an estimated net worth of around $41.8 billion, the Tomson family takes the title of richest Canadians. Thomson is the main shareholder of the media conglomerate Thomson Reuters. The family owns both the Toronto Globe and Mail newspapers and has a stake in Bell Canada.

2.   Joseph Tsai

Tsai comes in with a net worth of $11.6 billion. He is vice chairman and co-founder of the e-commerce Alibaba Group Holdings, Ltd. He is a native of Taiwan and a citizen of Canada. Known for his great philanthropic efforts, he also owns the Brooklyn Nets, an NBA team.

3.   Tobi Lutke

Lutke has an estimated net worth of $9.8 billion. He is the founder of the e-commerce giant Shopify, which is based in Ottawa. Lutke grew up in Germany but moved to Canada in 2002, becoming a Canadian citizen.

4.   Jim Pattison

Pattison is the CEO and sole owner of the Jim Pattison Group. He has an estimated net worth of $9.6 billion. The Jim Pattison Group is the second-largest privately held firm in Canada with divisions in packaging, forestry, and food.

5.   David Cheriton

Vancouver-born Cheriton is a computer science professor at Stanford University. With an estimated net worth of $8.8 billion, Cheriton was one of the first investors in tech startups like Google, VMware, and Arista.

Check out the full list of the richest Canadians here

How Much Money Do You Need To Be In The Top 1% In Canada?

To be part of the wealthiest 1% in Canada, you will need around $9 million. Many of these ultra-rich individuals have invested wisely throughout the years and made risky decisions in order to increase their wealth.

The top 1% holds more than one-quarter of the country’s riches, which shows a disparity between the ultra-rich and low to middle classes.

What Is The Average Income By Age In Canada?

Curious about how the rest of Canadians’ incomes stack up against the country’s millionaires?

Here’s a quick look breakdown of the average income by age, according to the 2021 income survey published by Statistics Canada:

Age RangeAverage Income (2021)
16 to 24$20,000
25 to 34$53,500
35 to 44$68,000
45 to 54$73,200
55 to 64$61,400
65 and older$44,300
All Ages (16 years and Older)$54,000
If your income doesn’t quite match up to the average, don’t get discouraged. Remember that average numbers can be skewed higher due to high-income earners (outliers), who weigh heavier on the data.

What Is The Average Household Income In Canada?

In addition to measuring the average income of individual taxpayers, Statistics Canada also measures the income of economic families, which include:

  • Households with parents and children
  • Married or common-law partners
  • Relatives living together

The median household income in Canada is $73,000, according to a 2020 report by Statistics Canada. This is across all age groups and income levels.

What Is The Average Household Net Worth In Canada?

In 2022, Statistics Canada conducted a survey measuring the average net worth of economic families and households living together. The survey revealed that the average household net worth in Canada was $940,558 in mid-2022.

Net worth can be calculated by subtracting an individual, business, or household’s total liabilities from their total assets.

Assets include things like:

  • Cash savings
  • Equity in property or property owned in full
  • Vehicles and heavy equipment
  • Retirement savings (such as RRSPs and RRIFs)
  • Savings in registered accounts (such as a TFSA or FHSA)

Liabilities, on the other hand, include:

  • Credit card debt
  • Mortgage debt
  • Student loan debt
  • Personal loan debt
  • Tax debt

For example, if I have $50,000 in my TFSA, own a $200,000 house, and have $80,000 in my RRSP retirement savings, my total assets would be $330,000.

Now, let’s say that I have $10,000 in credit card debt and owe $5,000 in student loans. My total liabilities would be $15,000, and my total net worth would be $315,000.

What Is The Best Way To Become A Millionaire In Canada?

There are countless ways to earn a million dollars in Canada. The tricky part is picking one and having the patience and consistency to go through the inevitable ups and downs on the road to wealth.

Outside of winning the lottery or inheriting a fortune, here are the most straightforward ways to become a millionaire.

Start A Business And Stick With It

Many millionaires started off as small business owners. Just look at Jeff Bezos and Amazon, for example.

Bezos decided to quit his corporate career in 1994 and put all of his savings into creating one of the world’s first online bookstores. You can still find photos today of his makeshift office with an old desk, piles of books, and a single computer that he would use to accept and fulfill orders.

Eventually, his hard work paid off; he attracted the attention of investors and was able to expand to a multi-faceted online marketplace. Today, Amazon is involved in everything from eCommerce to logistics, streaming, and software development, and is even building spacecraft.

If you’re really serious, you could turn a single roadside food stand into a multi-million-dollar business by creating a franchise business or opening multiple locations throughout your province.

Create Multiple Streams Of Income

While it’s possible to become a millionaire from a single business (or even sticking with a highly lucrative career), many millionaires attribute their success to creating multiple income streams.

Perhaps you start by creating one profitable business that helps you buy some of your time back and gives you a decent income. From here, you could take your profits from the first business and purchase a commercial real estate property that will allow you to earn rental income from tenants.

After a couple of years of making steady mortgage payments, you’re able to refinance the property, make a down payment on a second property, and repeat the process.

If you’re looking for a lower-risk method to create multiple streams of income, you might also consider using your business income to invest in ETFs with a history of positive growth or stocks that offer a high dividend payout.

Pursue Your Career To The Top

Not everybody is cut out for entrepreneurship, and that’s okay. Forget what you see on social media – being an entrepreneur can be incredibly difficult, and many entrepreneurs work long hours for many years without seeing success.

Another path to becoming a millionaire in Canada is to simply become the best at your job.

Of course, you’ll want to start by choosing a career path that offers opportunities for upward growth. Then, put in the time and work your way up.

Network with higher-ups (or even other companies) whenever you can. In the future, these people will be more likely to consider you for a promotion, especially if you leave a positive impact on them.

Additionally, seek out ways that you can offer more value to your company or qualify for higher-paying jobs in your career field. Take an advanced certification course or even go back to school and get your degree online while you continue working.

So, Just How Many Millionaires Are There In Canada?

Canada has a staggering number of millionaires – 1,681,969, to be exact. Even through a pandemic that saw many small businesses and individuals struggling, millionaires and billionaires throughout the world increased.

Working hard and having a solid education won’t mean you will become a millionaire, but you might have a better shot than those who don’t.

If you are looking to see how you stack up against the country’s most affluent, check out this article on the average net worth by age in Canada.

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

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