MoneySense’s All Canadian Wealth Test captivated a lot of attention in 2009. The economy was in shambles, and most people are looking back at the year and the latter decade without any sense of longing or nostalgia.
Thankfully, the results of the 2015 wealth test are far more encouraging. Some positive trends have made 2009 seen even further away. The fact that the test is only done every half a decade makes for a nice sense of distance from the last set of results. In 2015, the times have mostly changed for the better.
Though the country still has a long way to go, financial education and a stabler economy has brought forward some excellent new movements and trends.
The Middle 20%
The middle class has faced challenges, but things seem to be progressing for the most essential core of the Canadian economy. The middle 20% of wage-earners in the country are earning an average of $23,357 to $36,859. This data is reflective of a single individual.
The numbers are boosted to $61,929 to $88,074 for families of two or more. It makes for a stark contrast to the results from 2009, which are best left buried in the dust.
Changes in the Gender-Income Gap
Not all is well, or at the very least, improving a little too slowly. Women between the ages of 45 to 54 are earning an average of $23,600 less compared to their male counterparts. It is a frustrating and dim reality for the average women who should be facing the highest earnings of their career in their late 40’s and early 50’s.
At the dawn of retirement, this reality is unacceptable. There is a slight silver lining. Though this difference is essentially the same as it was in the 2009 report, the gap has decreased since 2000. The change may be reflected in the weak economy.
The Real Estate Shuffle
Income is measured by two metrics. The first is net worth and the other is total income on an annual basis. Some intriguing shifts have occurred with net worth. Now, 49% of net worth is calculated in real estate. That is an incredible jump from only 37% about a decade ago. More investors are finding more lucrative opportunities in the more consistent niche of real estate.
The City of Influence
There are some reports that have only reaffirmed what is widely known but rarely detailed. Location means everything when it comes to income. Average household incomes range wildly depending on the location (city). For example, Nova Scotia average incomes for a family hover closer to $40,000, as opposed to the $66,000 average that is seen throughout the country.
But, families receiving $40,000 may have the same standard of living and the same net worth. The location skews the numbers considerably, and it must remain a core factor in determining one’s standing.
In all, the wealth test from MoneySense is a clear dissection of the economy turn for the worst, and the slow recovery the country is seeing today. But, with the upturn in data, more families can relax just a bit as they build for their future.