Canadians are earning more, saving more

Statistics Canada says most people are saving for retirement

Canadians are earning more, saving more
Steve Randall
Canadians saw their income grow by almost 11% in the decade to 2015 according to newly-released census data from Statistics Canada.

The median Canadian income rose from $63,457 in 2005 to $70,336 in 2015, although 2015 data was from before the full slowdown in the energy industry was felt.

The figures also show that more than 65.2% of households contributed to either Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), or Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs).

Although higher-income households were more likely to make savings for their retirement overall, TFSAs were favoured by a third of those on a low income (33.3% vs. 20.1% for RRSPs and 17.6% for RRPs.)

The growth in income over the 10-year-period was 10.8%, higher than the previous ten years (9.2%). This was largely driven by the resource-rich provinces.

Nanavut and Saskatchewan saw the steepest increases in median income (36.7% and 36.5% respectively) while growth lagged in Ontario (3.8%) and Quebec (8.9%) due to the decline in manufacturing jobs.

British Columbia’s growth in median income was slightly above the national figure at 12.2% although Vancouver was one percentage point below the provincial level.

While the share of low income households increased from 14% to 14.2% over the 10-years to 2015, there was a sharper jump among seniors (up from 12% in 2005 to 14.5% by 2015).

Among the provinces, Ontario saw an uptick in low income households (from 12.9% to 14.4%) while Newfoundland and Labrador saw a 4.6 percentage point drop to 15.4% over the decade.

Men continue to dominate the share of the higher-income earner in a household at 50.7% while 17.3% of households had a female as the highest earner.

Same sex couples were more likely to be higher income earners as a greater share are in their prime working years.