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Canada’s wealthiest 1% hold 25.6% of riches: PBO

Top 0.5% of Canadian families hold 20.5% or $2.4 trillion of the country's wealth.

June 17, 2020   by CP STAFF

OTTAWA — A report based on a new modelling approach finds that Canada’s wealthiest families possess billions more of the nation’s riches than previously believed.

The Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer says the top 1% of Canada’s families hold about 25.6% of the wealth, up from the 13.7% estimate under previous methodology.

According to the report, the amount of money held by all Canadian families totals $11.7 trillion if they liquidated all assets and paid off all liabilities – 25.6% would equate to about $3 trillion.

The report finds that the top 0.5% of Canadian families hold 20.5% or $2.4 trillion of the wealth, up from the previous estimate of 9.2%.

The new calculation incorporates information from Canadian Business magazine’s 2017 Richest People List, with figures from Statistics Canada’s 2016 net worth survey and its fourth quarter 2016 National Balance Sheet Accounts report.

The federal office said it investigated new ways to estimate wealth in Canada following a request during last year’s federal election to provide an estimate of the revenues that could be raised by a tax on the wealthiest families.

“The distribution of wealth among households is heavily skewed toward the wealthiest families,” the report notes.

“In Canada, a small proportion of families at the top of the distribution possess net worth that is orders of magnitude higher than the country’s median net worth.”

 


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