Official stats show who's struggling most from rising prices

Statistics Canada data reveals the pain for those who are least able to withstand the cost-of-living hikes

Official stats show who's struggling most from rising prices

More than 4 in 10 Canadians are ‘very concerned’ about their ability to meet day-to-day expenses according to official data.

In a report published Wednesday, Statistics Canada revealed that the percentage rises to 63% among those in the lowest income quintile, who are three times more likely to be very concerned about the cost of housing, food, and other expenses than those in the top income quintile (19%).

Lower earners are also far more likely to have asked friends or family for a loan or taken on additional debt to make ends meet (19%) than higher earners (2%) in 2022.

Those in the bottom quintile were also more likely to report anticipation that they would need food or meals from a community organization in the next six months.

The median income of those in the top quintile was more than seven times that of the lowest quintile in 2019 (the dataset used in the report): $146,000 vs. $21,000. The median income for all quintiles was $62,900.

Money from governments was the largest source of income (62%) for the lowest quintile followed by wages or salary (27%) and self-employment income (7%). For the other quintiles, wages and salaries made up 68% of income.

In 2019, families in the bottom income quintile had median assets of $26,400, compared with $627,000 for families in other income quintiles. As a result, the net worth of families in the bottom quintile ($20,000) was more than 20 times lower than that of the rest of the families ($463,500).

Most likely to be lowest earners

The data also highlights the groups who are most likely to be in the lowest income quintile, some 5 million Canadians.

This includes single parents, divorced people, those living common law, and First Nations living off-reserve.