The rich get richer

September 1, 2011 | Last updated on September 1, 2011
1 min read

The rich are getting richer, while incomes of the majority of the population remain stable

According to Osgoode Hall law professor Neil Brooks, "The top-earning Canadians haven’t enjoyed such a large share of Canada’s national income since the 1920s and 1930s, a time when Canada was often regarded as a plutocracy (that is, a society ruled by the wealthy). Canada is once again at risk of becoming a plutocracy."

Between 1992 and 2004, constant-dollar income for people in the top 20% of the taxfiler population rose substantially, and the gains got bigger the higher up the income distribution.

However, individuals in the rest of the population generally saw little improvement in constant-dollar income. In 1992, Canadians in the top 5% of the taxfiler population accounted for about 21% of total income. By 2004, they accounted for 25% of total income.

Between 1990 and 2000 there was an increase of 68.8% in income earners at $100,000 and more. Nationally the number of all earners increased by only 10.1%. The growth in incomes at the high end has been quite rapid while incomes of the majority of the population remained stable.