Pictures tell the story: Income Inequality


“The top 10 per cent of earners have seen their share of income rise from 34 per cent in 1982 to 42.5 per cent in 2007. At the very top, the highest one per cent of earners in Canada accounted for almost one-third of all income growth from 1997-2007.

“At the bottom of the income scale, the bottom 40 per cent lost significant ground in their share of Canadian income starting in the early 1980s. For the last ten years, this 40 per cent of Canadians has taken home an average of just over 12 per cent of all income (see chart). This declining share for the lowest has led to increased poverty rates, especially for single people, recent immigrants, Aboriginal people and lone-parent households. Aboriginal children continue to experience poverty at alarming rates — as of 2006, 40 per cent of Aboriginal children were living in poverty.

“For middle-income families, gains in income have been slight — inflation-adjusted median family incomes have increased from $55,200 in 1976 to $57,000 in 2011 (in 2011 dollars) — despite the fact that women’s employment rates have increased by 40 per cent in the past 35 years. Many households now rely on two people to earn only slightly more than one earned in previous generations.”


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