Rank your income: Where do you stand compared to the rest of Canada?

Our patented calculator tells you how your income stacks up


The Occupy Wall Street movement and its various Canadian spinoffs are reviving the public debate about income distribution north of the border. On Friday, NDP leadership hopeful Brian Topp cast his lot with the “eat the rich” zeitgeist by advocating income tax hikes on the wealthy. Others are skeptical that heating up the fiscal pressure on the top earners is the most effective way to tackle yawning inequality.

Regardless of what constitutes the best policy cure, Occupy movements across the globe–and they’ve spread throughout the developed world–have put their finger on a real and widespread malaise of advanced economies. Between the mid-1980s and the mid-2000s inequality rose in most of the rich countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and in Canada income disparities have surpassed the OECD average. Granted, our super-rich are not quite as “super” as America’s wealthiest. In 2007, the threshold to qualify as one of Canada’s top one per cent of earners was a relatively modest $169,000 a year, compared to the U.S.’s eye-popping $400,000. Still, between 1980 and 2005 the earnings of Canada’s bottom income group fell by 20.6 per cent, according to Statistics Canada, whereas top incomes rose by 16.4 per cent. Folks in between generally saw their salaries stagnate like their peers in the U.S., where increased worker productivity has not translated into comparable income gains for the middle class.

Whether it’s a matter of taxing the top, or propping up the bottom and the middle, income distribution is likely to become a hot-button issue. Check out our calculator above to find out where you rank!

*Calculations are based on data from the Canada Revenue Agency’s Interim Income Statistics report, 2011 Edition (2009 tax year), Table 2 (All returns by total income class). Note that percentiles refer to income brackets, so an income of $29,999 falls into the bottom 51.9 per cent of Canadian tax-filers, whereas an income of $30,000 belongs to the top 48.1 per cent. Also, incomes below $1 and above $249,999 are not pictured proportionally. We’d like to also thank the Conference Board of Canada and Armine Yalnizyan of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives for their assistance with research for the calculator.


Rank your income: Where do you stand compared to the rest of Canada?

  1. Something wonky is going on at the bottom. At $0, you get

    “Ouch! You’re among the 1.1% of Canadians who reported no income or a net loss on their 2009 tax return.”

    But at $0.01, you get

    “Your income is in the bottom 18%.”

    Is 16.9% earning between 0 and one penny?

    • Seems to be based on ranges – 0-9999 is bottom 18%, but at 10000 you jump to bottom 28%

      Similar wonkiness happens at the top – for instance if you pu in that you earn $250k you get top 0.71% – and if you put in $1.34 trillion, you still get top 0.71%

      • a b c

      • I’m no NDP supporter or anything, but it is godless lawyers making $1.34 trillion a year that is ruining our country.

        • No, he is punching in numbers to see what happens. I is in ranges, people. 0-10 000, 10 000-15-000 etc etc.

          • Is Godless Lawyer single? ;)

          • Sorry, ladies.

        • Has anyone ever considered that for a large majority of cases, your salary is representative of your quality of work and how much effort/time you have put in to get there? I am not saying this is the case for everyone, as it most definitely is not, I am just saying for the average Canadian…..

          • Fssdsfdfs

            Honestly, that is what we are Taught To Believe. I don’t know what job you do, but for a lot of jobs, it is supply and demand of labour, not the $ value you provide to the corporation.

            I worked as a landscaper for a summer. I built gardens and patios. The value of those gardens and patios ranged from 5k – 30k. I got a fraction of that because I was only a labourer. But guess who cleared the weeds, dug out the ground, raked it flat, grabbed the bricks for the garden beds, dug holes for the trees and put the trees in them, followed by putting the sod on the ground? Not to mention picking up all the materials for the operation?

            I can definitely say, the 2-3 labourers + the 1 skilled bricklayer made the entire garden. But we were paid a fraction. And that is simply because supply and demand. The boss wasn’t saying “hmm you do 30% of the work on a 20k garden in a week so you deserve 6.7k”.

            He was saying “Hmm, if I put an ad on workopolis for $15 / hr I get at least 3 people willing and able to do the job”. Therefore I will charge that.

            Same goes for every job out there. When you “get to the top”, its just the board of directors (and shareholders) saying “hmmm we can pay anybody with the skills and ability to do this CEO position 250k plus stock options. That’s the value we are gonna charge.”

            There is no “This CEO is gonna create 250k + in value therefore they are worth that amount”. Don’t be fooled by what Economics teaches you. The vast majority of positions are so complicated that you cannot discern their value to an organization. You can only discern whether someone is willing to work for that salary.

            In Canada, with rent at $X and mortgages at $Y, the majority of Canadians will work for 40-50k.

            PS this article is skewed. A better measure is “the median” because that represents the salary from “picking a random person” in Canada. (Not to mention all the people not filing taxes because they don’t have jobs and therefore don’t care or don’t think about it and don’t realize they would be receiving a stipend from it.)

          • If you had your bosses smarts and could work as hard as him, had the same business sense as him then you would be doing his job and making the same kind of money. You might even become his competitor. Its a free market place. If you had any kind of motivation you would be making the same kind of money your boss is making. Most people just dont have it, I guess we were created that way.

          • Man this is not a free market…

          • One of the big questions is the big jump at the top and the worth of a dollar at all.  Albeit I live in Vancouver, and it’s expensive, I’m 28, have been consistently making 40 – 50 000, and all it takes is one hiccup.  Vet bills, get a bad flu, take a week off, or a glut in work and I’m scraping change.  I don’t go out much, and I like to cook.  I don’t live like a pauper, but it’s hardly lavish.  I do save money, but not nearly enough.  As a single male, my own standing on that list is disheartening, I thought I had further to go.  Much respect to all of you with families.

            You can say this and that about the divide, but it’s outgrown all rationalization for it, and will continue to do so until it is understood and reigned in.  This is a systemic problem that won’t just go away.

            Oh and Johnny, if you find the right boss, you’ll get fair production bonuses, look for quality subcontractors.

          • Thank you for letting me into your mind. It is remarkably a smart place to play. Rarely do I get to read someone’s advice that is intelligent above the masses. And you’re 100% right. I mean truly bang on. I was in your spot. Even worked as a landscaper. I realized, much like you have (I’m sure), that you are smarter than your boss, understand the system, how it works.. and ultimately how you need to decide if you want to be the man at the top or the man at the bottom. In the end the people at the bottom do almost all of the actual labour (the real work as most call it). While the men at the top are the ones who make the hard decisions and create the image and fix the bottomline for their company. Bottomline is always tied to profits. As it should be. You like working hard though as I do (I’m guessing). Thus, you see the real value of your work. While your boss sees the real value of making money work for him. I myself am both of these people. At some point I will likely converge to the man at the top fully. As you will too. As I can tell just from your post. Start a company, Run the ads then run the show. Someone will work doing what you are doing. My company pays me $50/hr. But bill me out at $110/hr to our clients. So, I make less than half of what they tell the client I’m worth. Yet the client is happy to pay this. As they are making even more money as a total sum of all the labour expenses. Plus whatever else. We are all tied together. If someone is willing to pay it then someone is willing to work for it. At one point (in this field) I will contract myself out and charge the client what they are already happy to pay. But more will be in my pocket. Thus cutting out the middle man. However, at this time I value what my company pays me and furthermore, the opportunity I have been given to learn how to even go about starting my own business. The know-how, experience and training is worth the money differential to me. At this point. So this begs the question. Do most people just not have the jump to go from employee to empoyer? Even once they know all of this? What does it take to start your own business? Anyway food for thought. And thank you for your post…8 months ago!

          • So did you consider starting a Landscaping company? If so, why not?

          • Thats very true especially for business owners, but sometimes they put to much time and effort into their businssess and other parts of their lives fall apart. There’s no easy way to get ahead.

          • One general ‘rule’, I reckon, of the loaded, is that they are not afraid of money! It’s about believing in oneself. Just because they have a shed load of doe doesn’t mean that they are any happier . . .
            ‘the greatest revenge is to live well’

          • Really? I could put in just as much “work” as Warren Buffett, make exactly the same investment decisions, but make a hell of a lot less because I am applying my “work” to less capital.

          • The average Canadian gets paid based on how long they’ve worked somewhere not how good their output is.

          • My dad worked hard all his life and always hovered around the poverty line.
            I have a cushy job and I don’t work very hard and I am in the top couple of percent.
            That is one of the things that makes me a socialist.

          • Do you donate the majority of your income to charity or give it the government willingly? Probably not.

            But you happily endorse the government taking a larger share of the income of those of us who work hard at stressful jobs that aren’t cushy. Right?

      • “Calculations are based on data from the Canada Revenue Agency’s Interim Income Statistics report, 2011 Edition (2009 tax year), Table 2 (All returns by total income class). Note that percentiles refer to income brackets, so an income of $29,999 falls into the bottom 51.9 per cent of Canadian tax-filers, whereas an income of $30,000 belongs to the top 48.1 per cent. Also, incomes below $1 and above $249,999 are not pictured proportionally. We’d like to also thank the Conference Board of Canada and Armine Yalnizyan of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives for their assistance with research for the calculator.”

        • Thanks for your reply. I really can’t recall if that disclaimer was there when I made my post. It was some time ago.

    • I don’t know, this seems obvious to me.  Both statements are true, but your conclusion is not.

      The bottom 18% does not go from 0 to 1 penny, it does from 0 to some larger number, with 1 penny falling within that range.

      You seem to wish to equate (for unknown reasons)
      a) fallling within a range with
      b) being at the edge of a range

      I suppose the tool would be more useful if the ranges were a little smaller. But it would be literally idiotic to create this tool with each additional penny falling within a new range.

      • Presumably, one could fit a continuous distribution to the data which would mean that one could estimate at every penny or even every 100th of a cent.  Of course, there wouldn’t be much difference between two consecutive cents due to the the round-off.

        • Yes, one could fit a continuous distribution.  But why would one do that?

      • Between Andrew Coyne and now Stephen Gordon, I am SERIOUSLY concerned about the quality of common sense in the ‘economist’ camp.  I know Coyne isn’t an economist, but he was pushing the economist line.

    • Don’t confuse us with the facts! You know governments prefer classic mushroom theory- they grow mushrooms by keeping them in the dark and feeding them bullshit!

    • what are you a QA tester ? lol get a life

  2. Ah. You also get 18% at $9,999; they only have data for certain intervals, so the cumulative distribution is a step function.

    • It would be ridiculous to create a tool that had a new range and different percentage for every single additional penny, or even had a range for each income percentage. 

  3. It’s a quantum calculator!  If you change from $9999 to $10000, your ranked percentage changes from “bottom 18%” to “bottom 28%”.  (I guess you really jump brackets in some histogram hidden behind the curtain, but I so want it to be a quantum calculator.)

    Congratulations!  You have reached energy state 4!  Your next energy state will be acheived at precisely $25,400.

    • I don’t know why people are having such a hard time with this.  There is nothing untoward about your observation.  You have to define ranges for people to fall inside, and it would be absolutely ridiculous to define a new range and percentage for every single additional penny of income, or even every single percentage.  Think about it.

      • I make descending cumulative graphs all the time.  It isn’t onerous to make such graphs with 10,000 (or more) points with modern computers.  Besides, I’m just being silly and havning a bit of fun.

        • How about 30,000,000 data points?  If you could manage entering as may as 10 data points per minute, one every 6 seconds, it would only take you 6 years to enter the data (if you never slept).  If you choose to work 8 hours per day and it would take you only 18 years.

          • What?  I never suggested doing this manually.  Please don’t go crazy(ier).

          • Unfortunately (or not), it’s not easy to log into Revenue Canada’s computer systems to get the data digitally. And I don’t think they send out spreadsheets.

      • That’s why I always pick up pennies from the ground.
        barb mann

  4. Since it says “Note that percentiles refer to income brackets” , this isn’t too surprising. 

  5. Wall St Journal ~ Protestors Present Dilemma For Dems:

    When Democrats talk about harnessing the anger and energy of the protesters, they hope the face of the movement will be people like Jason Dean: a clean-cut, bespectacled, 32-year-old freelance Web designer from Brooklyn, N.Y., who said he goes to Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park in his free time to join the demonstrators. “We need to get our country back on track ourselves because our politicians have totally failed us,” he said Monday.

    But across the country near Los Angeles City Hall was Melissa Balin. Dressed on Sunday in a camouflage bikini and tutu, Ms. Balin, a veteran of the marijuana-legalization movement, lay on the lawn while a graffiti artist painted a mural on her body that included the message “Prosecute Wall Street” and a green cannabis leaf ….

    The picture that emerged is a motley conglomeration of people with widely varying goals—and some with no clear-cut goals at all other than to denounce greed. The movement is centered on unemployed or underemployed college students and college dropouts whose refrain is that their American inheritance has been squandered and their prospects are bleak. But there also is a tolerance—and, sometimes, sympathy—for causes well outside of the mainstream.

    PJ O’Rourke ~ Eat The Rich:

    Economics is not zero sum. There is no fixed amount of wealth. That is, if you have too many slices of pizza, I don’t have to eat the box. Your money does not cause my poverty. Refusal to believe this is at the bottom of most bad economic thinking.

    True, at any given moment, there is only so much wealth to go around. But wealth is based on productivity. Without productivity, there wouldn’t be any economics, or any economic thinking, good or bad, or any pizza, or anything else. We would sit around and stare at rocks, and maybe later have some for dinner.

    • O’Rourke’s opinion has got zero to do with how progressive our tax system should be, which most definitely does effect how much pizza i can have.

      Much preferred Galbraith to O’Rourke myself.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
      John Kenneth Galbraith

      • Quotes about Conservatives don’t bother me, I agree with most of them, because I am liberal without a home. 

        Virginia Postrel ~ Presidential Medal Of Ignorance:

        The U.S. government’s highest civilian award is the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It goes to people the President believes have made “especially meritorious contributions.” 

        Why, then, did President Clinton recently give this prestigious award to John Kenneth Galbraith? The official citation says it’s because Galbraith “has made complex economic theories and processes comprehensible to a wide audience and highlighted the social and ethical impacts of economic policies.”

        In fact, Galbraith has spent his career peddling nonsense. His work, long scoffed at by serious economists of all political stripes, has been utterly discredited by the experience of the past several decades.

        His influential 1967 book, The New Industrial State, declared that Western corporate managers and Soviet planners were doing basically the same thing: maintaining the economic certainty that large-scale investment requires. Market competition is dead, he said, killed by technology and large-scale development …

        • This is what i mean about providing links. [No dates. No context. Is it written entirely fron hindsights perspective – sounds like it to me.] Who for instance wrote that VP opinion of JKG? – Milton Friedman or Donald duck? It is impossible to have much of an opinion from an anonymous source. Suffice it to say the vast majority of  economists of his time would find that view ludicrous. Even if it had some validity you might easily say the same of Friedman’s work – pretty much discredited by recent experience. But that wouldn’t automatically discredit all of Friedman’s work anymore then it would Galbraiths.

  6. Too many people just want a fast track to riches without any effort or hard work.  They watch all these reality TV shows or YouTube videos and see afterwards how much money those people made and they want to emulate that.  Selling themselves, to them, seems to be the only way to get rich quick without any effort.  Personally for me being a nobody and yet still wealthy through hard work, smart spending, and savings suits me more than hoping 5 minutes of fame pays off a lifetimes worth of money.  How many of the protestors if offered a top 10% annual wage to dig ditches (or any tough job) would actually make it through the first full week?  I wonder?  No.  I know the answer and so do most of you.

    • Generalizations are often such a waste of time. You have no idea whether some of those students have been tree planters for instance – a very tough grind – have you?  Lots of young people that i know try and juggle two or three PT jobs – something my generation didn’t have to deal with – how bout you.

      • In my 20’s only a few years ago absolutely did.  Stomped Jugs, landscaped, and handfuls of other jobs to pay the bills.  Worked hard and saved.  Paid off.  No complaints or excuses.

        • Yeah, I got mine too.

        • And so because you made it, everyone can? If it were that straightforward, everyone would be a millionaire.

      • I think you have to know that some of us graduated during the recession in the ’80’s. We went through the same thing these students did…..coming out of a college/university with no way to use our degrees. Many of us had multiple jobs to pay the rent and student loans to pay off. Lots of us didn’t have parents to pay our way through school because we had more siblings and there was no way parents could afford it. When I was in college in the early 80’s the interest rate was 18%. Houses were being foreclosed on like crazy. Processing serving was a good job.
        We didn’t march or move home though, we got crummy jobs and lowered our expectations.

    • I think most of the people involved in these movements are angry about underemployment more than unemployment. Crappy joe jobs do not lead to good jobs. It is well-established that employers prefer recent graduates to people that graduated a while ago (assuming they have not been working in a relevant job). As a result people that graduate in the midst of a downturn face permanently lower wages and job prospects. 

      These folks aren’t asking to start at the top, all they want are entry level positions in a field where they can use the skills they developed in college (skills taxpayers paid thousands of dollars for – although people’s expectations of the value of a degree are over-inflated). 

      Admittedly, the folks protesting in the streets are probably not the people that have it worst (and thankfully Canada’s downturn was milder than elsewhere). The people hurt most badly by the recession are non-graduates who get displaced from jobs they would traditionally have as college students lower their expectations. But the reality is that everybody can’t just “get a job” – somebody is going to be left out in the cold. Nor is turning to graduate education en masse much of a solution – you will just get the same kind of credential inflation that we see now for a college degree.

      It is understandable that this may not be apparent to older, more established people. In the recession there were some layoffs, but the real hit came in the form of deferred hiring. What is more, older workers that were laid off still have years of experience, that can make them competitive as the economy recovers. Younger folks never got that chance.

      • Seems like we need a cultural change – stop denigrating or looking down on trades that involve getting your hands dirty. Parents are partially to blame for this, understandably so – who doesn’t want their kids to do better then they did? There are plenty of skilled jobs going unfilled in the trades, particularly in AB. 

        • I’m sure there are jobs in Alberta, but I’m skeptical with regards to that argument generally. If you look at unemployment by education level (http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/employment/ei/reports/eimar_2010/annex/annex1_6.shtml), university graduates have a lower average unemployment rate than people in the trades (ie. college graduates). 

          There are also risks to working in the skilled trades (particularly those that pay well). You face a greater risk of having your job outsourced to the developing world, and/or your skills may become obsolete because the skillset you get as an apprentice or college student tends to be more specific. And if you are working in a field that is growing as a result of the resource boom, there is the added risk that commodity prices might collapse in the near future. 

          • I don’t think the skilled trades are more at risk of outsourcing.  It’s easier to outsource things like software engineering, accounting, architecture, and anything else where the work can be easily transported – the so-called “knowledge” jobs.  Plumbing, construction, electricians, chefs, and so on, those jobs cannot be outsourced.
            Most outsourcing is white-collar knowledge jobs or unskilled trades like manufacturing.

          • I agree with scf here.  The stats that I’ve seen have shown that we continue to have strong demand for skilled tradespeople and in many cases not enough of them.  This is why certain industry leaders and policy wonks have been calling for many years now for us to have more robust apprenticeship streams and programs, similar to certain European models (notably Germany, one of the most successful countries in this regard).

      • True that. But Canadians aren’t feeling the effects as severly for a variety reasons, especially our social safety net. But CRAP is working on that………..

      • It seems to me that the under-employed should be angry with their post-secondary institution than with wall street.

        It was the post secondary institution that refuses to reform itself so they learn marketable skills.  There is no reason English can’t be combined with marketing, public relations, data entry, or technical writing.

         It is the post-secondary institution that refuses to do a good job of placing their alumni so that underemployment isn’t a problem.

        It is the post-secondary institution that doesn’t require job hunting and job interview skills as part of their curriculum.

        • Postsecondary education is about learning, not “placing their alumni.”  To tailor a degree in (say) English literature to “data entry” is to set the standard amazingly low.  Yes, “there is no reason English can’t be combined with marketing, public relations, data entry” etc., but there are many good reasons (Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Austen etc) why it should not be.

        • There are no good reasons to include marketing in literature classes just like there are no good reasons to mix up marketing with physics. 

          You make a good point that ‘literacy’ in this society includes a sophisticated understanding of marketing.  I would include financial management as a basic element of literacy. I would include also the deconstruction of advertising and ‘The News’.  

          But leave literature and physics alone, Buster.

    • Your mother must be very proud of you.

  7. Thank you for stating the situation in clear and simple language.  Harper stated that our situation was not the same as the USA but that is actually not true.  Our situation may not be quite as extreme as the American economy but is worsening at a faster rate.  Thank you MacLeans.

    • I would even venture to say it’s worse. At least in the US, you know you are screwed. Here, we pretend there are social supports.

  8. It’s odd, I’m living pretty much hand to mouth at only $48,600 per year; but this says I’m in the top 31.6%.

    Is this calculation based on people both in and out of the workforce?

    Something’s sketchy here.

    • It isn’t sketchy? Median household income is about $68,000 – you almost make that on your own. Canada’s GDP per capita, is about $43,000 but that is skewed upwards by the super-rich (median wages are usually lower than average wages). By any metric, you earn more than most Canadians.

      Then again, if you live in a place with a high cost of living, like Vancouver, you may be worse off than somebody making $24,000 in a cheaper city.

      • Well I live in small-town Alberta, I rent an one bedroom apartment, the rent is $1150/mo which is average here, utilities (phone/electric/etc.) are about $350, car payment (used corolla) is $450/mo, life/car/apt insurance totals $260, leaving (after taxes) only $740 for food, clothing, charity, etc.
        I don’t drink, smoke, gamble, or chase tail but I’m barely making ends meet, and I’m in the top 31%? Half of Canadians must be eating dirt sandwiches in ghettos if $48,000 pops me above average.

        • …and now you know why there are so many frustrated individuals out there.

          Sure, some of the expenses that you’ve listed are discretionary (under certain circumstances), but we’re all definitely quite emotionally trussed up in expectations that we’ve both bought into ourselves and have been aggressively sold that it’s nearly impossible to see things any different way.

    • It might have a lot to do with what you’re paying for housing.  $48K can go a long way in some places, not so much in others.

  9. This thing is complete bullshit.  It suggests that 40% or more earn less than 16k pre-tax.

    • Does that reflect accurate data, though?  If so, it indicates a certain bullshit, certainly.

  10. This would be more interesting if it was based on house hold income.

  11. Anyway we could see a graphic chart that would show all possible incomes so users could visualize relationships like rich to poor, classes etc?

  12. SO much anger and complaining about living in Canada. We are the most generous country in the world and Toronto best city to live. I guess saying something good doesn’t work.

    David Pylyp
    Living in Toronto and loving it!

  13. The calculator shows I am in the top 26% with my income.  If that is true, how come I can’t afford to get my teeth fixed and my 69 year old university educated husband cannot afford to retire; if he doesn’t work we lose the roof over our heads.  Definitely not a realistic scale

    • I would have to say poor financial planning and overspending on non-essentials.

  14. There is no easy answer … what of the small business owner – spends 35 years employing others, pulling a minimum annual draw because so much goes back into the business and at retirement sells it for a million dollars, or 2 million for that matter.  Does that individual now qualify as “rich” to be added to “make the rich pay” group?

    • Well you’re certainly correct that INCOME in isolation only tells part of the story.  Income does not equal wealth, strictly speaking.   There are people out there, e.g., who are asset rich and income poor.  There are people who have high incomes but few assets (for lots of possible reasons — it’s early on in their career, they’ve blown it all on hookers & coke, they didn’t receive an inheritance, they live in a city like Vancouver where housing is insanely expensive particularly if you don’t have any inheritance to put towards a down payment).  Also, pensions are very relevant — they don’t show up income stats, but if you have a juicy defined benefit plan waiting for you on retirement, then it means you don’t have to be setting a ton of your income aside for retirement savings, and you can live much better on a modest income than someone without a pension can.

  15. I am 56, in the top 5.56% and don’t consider myself wealthy
    and or greedy like the occupy folks would have you believe.  I am the only income in the family and a son
    in university.  There is plenty enough
    income to pay the bills without worry but no new cars in the driveway.  

    I may be the exception (in my percentage range) but I do
    hope the Occupy protesters get their act together and start to capture the majority
    opinion.   They need a clear and concise

    I believe that

    We should have a minimum tax so the high earners cannot
    avoid paying.

    The tax burden should be shifted from income to consumption –
    those buying or leasing an Audi 7 should pay a higher percentage than those
    buying basic transportation. 

    Bank regulations should remain untouched or increased

    Harpers oily friends should stand on their own and these
    incentives should be transferred to clean energy development – this tech, when developed,
    will become exports.

    Corporate taxes should be competitive with the USA and EU –
    no less.

     A few thoughts for the
    campers on Bay

    • some good thoughts there.

    • very well said and I agree on all points! Unfortunately majority of population is very uneducated when it comes to economics. Just look at the states. What majority wants, majority gets but their wrong and completely do not understand but the politicians love this and are betting on this and use it to delay a real the real answer to the fiscal cliff and debt.

      • It would appear you are also uneducated on economics if you agree on all points; corporations shouldn’t pay higher taxes, they create jobs.

        • it’s a balance. Corporations create jobs, but require the infrastructure that is built by governments (roads, for workers to get to the company healthcare system to ensure employees are capable of working, a judicial and enforcement system to ensure a civil and orderly society) etc etc. Why do you think all the big corps are based in or near major cities/hubs? Oh and an education system to ensure your corporation does have qualified employees.

          • There are plenty of examples where tax cuts/rebats for corporations have not prevented layoffs. I think its a fallacy that low corporate taxes creates jobs.

        • Whether corporations pay the tax, or people pay the tax, at the end of the day it is the consumers who pay for it. every business tax is paid for by the consumer.

    • Why is how you feel about yourself relevant to how others should perceive your income? I’m not saying you’re right or wrong, I’m just saying that “I don’t think of myself as …” isn’t an argument — its irrelevant to the issues.

    • You are in the top 5.56% and don’t consider yourself to be “wealthy”? Your selfishness angers me.

      I believe that we should: 1) expropriate your property; 2) intern you in a labour camp; and 3) work you until you die.

  16. Should we expect to see increasing inequality as a result of a shift to a more knowledge-focused economy? Those that are firmly in the new economy prosper while those that are in the other (esp. manufacturing) find themselves in futile competition with China.

    If this is the case, I’m in the lucky group and, for what its worth…willing to pay more taxes to reduce the income gap.

  17. Many of those who reported less than $1 on their tax return may be on reserve aboriginal who pay no tax yet may earn a healthy income

  18. ever since I was a young teenager the distribution of income was always on the mind of that age group and adults too.Most of us are waiting for our ship to arrive.A few are lucky and the rest of us are still waiting. AS then and now the distribution of income is always on the radar.I do not have the solutions and neither does anyone elseLet us all think about the solutions and share the ideas.

  19. I graduated in the last recession, with a degree, technical license and big student loan. It was terrible trying to pay the loan while not guaranteed full time permanent work, at an age when most people are considering marriage, kids, a house, etc. I was 2 years with no car, as a medical radiation technologist. Now, we are seeing this again.
    In the last 20 years we have come full circle. I am back to choosing an attic apartment (but this time I prefer it over a big house with the ex) I wish the bus schedule let me take public transit to work (this time for the environment, not because I don’t have a crappy old car) I just don’t like seeing the new grads, who I would love to take under my wing and watch develop as wonderful heathcare workers, go through what I went through.
    We will return to a “Me” generation if employers don’t take on new grads as an investment because of budgetting and the recession. If someone is more in debt than what they earn in a year, they will go wherever they have to to get the best deal. My profession has steadily increased educational requirements and professional fees, and wages have not kept up. We will once again be losing the best and brightest because we just can’t afford them. 

  20. The important point is what you pay not what percentage. This isn’t some schoolgirl fairness issue, this is about actual money. You may be in the top 30% at a certain income level but, just as in the US, you pay a disproportionate share of your income in taxes. Recently, the US balance of income reached a point where more than 50% of the population is supported by the other 48%. The 52% odd are beneficiaries of the system, even if they work, they accept government redistribution from others to enhance their lifestyle.

  21. According to the calculator I’m in the top 5.6% of income earners.  If you didn’t know me and saw my balance sheet it would “seem” like I’m in a pretty elite group.  You could also rightly assume that I got a university degree, perhaps paid off a student loan and work hard at a good job to get to the top 5.6%.  However I’m still paycheque to paycheque like most people, which if I stop and think is a bit disheartening.

    Yes I’m still climbing the income latter while paying down debt (mostly mortgage) but I’ll be well into my 50’s before I can safely declare a certain comfort level when it comes to finances.  

    I’m not one to complain nor feel like I need assistance.  I’m a big believer in the notion that if you work hard you’ll get back what you put in, but knowing that I’m in the top 5.6% of income earners and knowing that I’m essentially putting everything I have into raising kids, a mortgage, saving for retirement and of course taxes it feels like something isn’t quite right.  At 5.6% I should be living quite comfortably but I’m not, and it’s evident only a very few elite are.

  22. So Brian Topp and most of the actors he represents are among the rich. Also a sizable portion of the civil service. By this definition of super rich virtually all professional athletes and all rock stars are among the group targeted to lose a sizable chunk of change to taxes. Which is appropriate since this group does not contribute anything to growing the economy.

    • Yes but rock stars and pro athletes are ok.  It’s only bankers that are evil.  Didn’t you get the memo?

  23. This whole demonstration issue is somewhat nonsensical and unfocussed. I think that in Canada we have a fairly reasonable system of income redistribution. There have to be some rewards for achievers, although I don’t class singing rock or shooting puck  but that’s a question of personal choice. We also have a reasonable distribution of income across provincial borders to equalize between rich and poor provinces. I have a lot of concern for the accidental casualties – deserted mothers, chronically ill and unemployable, inadequately looked after mentally ills, and so on.  But many of the disadvantaged are there by choice – either choosing not to work in school, not to prepare for work, or not to work at all.

    That is not the present where a large number of people thrown out of work by today;’s economy.  I have no sympathy for civil servants, postal people, flight attendants who are among the well-off by comparison..

  24. To get an accurate % leave out the cents $.00 of your income.

  25. Stats Canada reports that 80% of the +$135 billion personal tax paid to Ottawa, comes from the top 20% income earners.  Very Progressive in my mind.

    • Some related info:

      The top 10% of taxpayers (about 2.5 million souls) have incomes above $80K.  They pay an average of $32,800 tax on average income of $128K, so their group tax rate is about 26%.  Together they contribute about $83B in taxes, which is roughly 55% of the total.

      Next 40% of taxpayers (about 9.3 million souls) have incomes above $30K.  They pay an average of $6100 tax on average income of $44.5K, so their group tax rate is about 14%.  Together they contribute about $57B in taxes, which is roughly 40% of the total.  (These folks appear to be ‘pulling their weight’.)

      Last 50% of taxpayers (about 12.7 million souls) have incomes under $30K.  They pay an average of $460 tax on average income of $12K, so their group tax rate is about 4%.  Together they contribute about $6B in taxes, which is roughly 5% of the total.

      If you check the equivalent tables where income is shown based on age groups you will note that there are significant numbers of young taxpayers (they don’t earn very much) and there are also a fair number of retired people, who earn a bit more but are mostly right around the $30K cutoff.  So the top 10% are taking care of our students and our retirees…

  26. Do not tax the rich as they can leave anytime they like .
    . And  don’t hate a rich man as a poor man never gave you a job.

  27. I’m rich! I’m rich! Bwah ha ha ha ha! Give me some impoverished and downtrodden to opress!

  28. Ever heard of solidarity? Being at the top doesn’t disqualify you from being able to say there’s something wrong with the system.

  29. Beware of the results because of all the retirees, unemployed, underemployed, part-timers, and children who fill in tax returns for various reasons.  They aren’t drawing a salary per se, but are reporting some income to CRA.  This tool makes it seem as if $50,000 is about average, but among people who are working fulltime and earning salaries, it is actually comparitively low. 

  30. If this program can calculate your bracket, it could just as easily calculate your percentile to several decimals.  I believe that it’s not calculating anything; it’s just checking a very low resolution lookup table.

    $100000 to $149999 are in the “5.66 bracket,” whatever that means.  $150000 to $249999 are in the “2.07 bracket”, and $250000 jumps to 0.71.  So where is the 1% line?  Impossible to tell.  Where is the 60th percentile?  The 50th, 30th, 10th?  Impossible to tell.

    It’s either laziness, incompetence or contempt that produces such sloppy content.

    I’ll have to look elsewhere to find useful data.

  31. Why is the real discussion – about the erosion of
    our democratic society -not being addressed by main stream media?  The top
    income bracket earners- the 1% are influencing government policy to protect
    their interests at the cost of majority societal wellbeing.  That is the root of the protest.  Why is
    the call by protesters for governments to reinstate regulations on financial
    markets being ignored by journalists? 

    Stop this red herring topic about income disparity!

    The grave concern
    that those who believe in the true principles of democracy all should share –
    rich and poor alike –  is that our
    elected officials are not making decisions based on majority rule rather they
    are being unduly influenced by an unelected super rich elite.  

    It is not the amount earned by the 1% that people protest against so much as
    the power the 1% have over our governments – that is the heart of the matter.     

  32. This needs to be family income. My income alone looks pretty good but since my wife is physically unable to work we’re not doing nearly as well as couples where both are able to work.

  33. Try living off 14,000 cause you need the benefits that your part time job offers. Then try to afford school, rent, bus passes and hydro that cost a fortune in the winter cause you live in Canada. Oh ya forget about food somethings gotta give even with my student loan I was force to drop out. You pick up another job and you get sic because of it. Go ahead tell that I am lazy go ahead tell me that I am not smart enough. Go ahead try walking in my shoes before you cast your stones. I would love to go back to school I would love to be able to work extra jobs or even one of good salary. I one point I had 4 jobs and I loved it but now if I work more than 20 a week I end up bed rest. I am not asking anyone to feel sorry for me just realize if some of could we would. I was a manager once but I had to step down cause of illness. I still donate I still help others that are worse off than I if the Top 1% would help more and decrease their wages instead of giving them million or billion dollar raises. If I can do it and support my dying husband was unable to work. Why can’t they with a few less Billion per year. Just because you can give your self raise don’t mean you should maybe it’s time for them to cut back. Maybe just maybe it’s time for them to take responsibility for what they have done to this world all in the name of the almighty dollar.

    God Bless


    • Not to mention my gf that continued in our program, graduated and after working years in her job made less than my self and was force to get a job at Tim Hortans she now also makes more than what she went to college for you do what you have to do for your family she works twice as hard as any of the kids who get the same wage because she is doing the job she did in high school. YA tell me again that you get what you put in we work harder than then high school students for same wages.

  34. I am top 0.71%.  Thank you Fort McMurray Alberta!

  35. I am close to botttom..nowhere close to top..almost in the poverty line.

  36. Huge range for the 5.66%, 100-150k. Just below 100k it drops to 7% and at 150k it jumps to 2%. Even at the top of this range I would not consider myself wealthy, just very well off.

    But then, is income a measure of “wealthy?” You can spend every cent you earn regardless of income. I think of wealth as more being a measure of how well you’d fair with your assets rather then your income.

    Now, if I had an income of $100-150k from my assets, then I’d consider myself wealthy.

  37. The reality is Canada’s top income earners move to the States and that is why Canada has less of a skewed distribution at the high end relative to the US. And, to be broad, this is the case globally, with the notable exception of London – which, net-net, gains through immigration in its role as a financial center. There are lots more Canadians on Wall Street than Bay Street. If you work in financial services: NYC>Toronto…

  38. Problem with the “calculator”. Try punching in a range of numbers. $90K-$99H gets 7.53%. $100K to 149K gets 5.66%. $150K gets 2.07%.

  39. Our country is quickly falling into the same desperate financial difficulties that are now plagueing the European continent. We have allowed the people who know someone higher than them to boost them into the higher salary brackets. People do not get jobs because they are smarter or better workers. I watched for over 50 years and the ass kissers and the old boys club superceeded the skilled and the innovative people. A classic example was Nortel Networks. 98% of their managers were buddies of the guy hiring for any job. They were terrible manager and made abhorrant decisions that caused Nortel to collapse.
    Before too many more years go by we will be the same here in this country. The rich have no idea how much the poor sacrifice or how they live and more to the point the DO NOT CARE. Like McGuinty they are ignorant and uncaring overall. As long as they are doing well, then to hell with all the less fortunate. Teachers are a classic example of total greed without any thought of where is Ontario going to get this money. Our great grandchildren will be paying for all of their lives.

  40. I’m in my 30s, university-educated and in the top 14% according to this tool. I could be in the top 5%, but I recently took a job with a lower salary for reasons related to work/life balance.

    I happen to think that the “Occupy” protesters, at a fundamental level, are right. We have a system which is completely skewed to favour those at the top. Throughout this debate, we often hear about “wealth creators”, and I have a great deal of respect for people who take the risk to start businesses which then employ people. But if you look at who is really getting ahead in our society, it’s not really small business owners. What “wealth” do bank VPs, bond traders or hedge-fund managers really create? They certainly destroyed a lot of it between 2006-2008. And why are their contributions valued so much more than tradesmen, teachers, or even doctors and lawyers? Why are salaries paid in cash taxed at a rate higher than capital gains? We’ve internalized these inconsistencies, and believe them to be normal, but what we’re seeing now is a gut-level reaction from people who realize that the deck is stacked. There is one set of rules for most of us, while those at the top play by another set entirely. I’m not in favour of “class warfare”, and I don’t advocate anyone having a free ride, or taking from those that work hard to give to those that don’t. But I think it needs to be acknowledged, that the system we work under isn’t fair, never has been, and that there are those at the top who stand to lose a lot more equality is introduced into the system. And I’m saying this as someone that’s done pretty well so far.

  41. What is going on with these teachers?

  42. Your income is in the top 5.66%. with $130,000 a year, and I’m not wealthy :(

  43. The CEO’s may have a baseline income of 160,000 but if you look at the take home amount it is actually in the multi-millions. For example in 2009 the CEO of Research in Motion Ltd. had a base salary of 1.1 million dollars but somehow found a way to take home 51 million dollars. (Banner Year for Canada’s CEO’s: Record High Pay Increase- Hugh Mackenzie). That’s quite the bonus they managed to accumulate. The worst part about that is that I have a sneaking suspicion the amount paid in taxes is no where near 33% of that.

  44. The major falllacy to this article is that income classes are not static. Ten years ago all my siblings and I were in the bottom 50% now we are all in the top 10%. You can still work hard and get ahead.

  45. this is inaccurate. according to this my father’s income of 350,000 puts him at 0.72%. pretty sure the 1% starts much higher than that. try playing with the calculator, you’ll find that it is not discrete… #fail

    • ~300-350k is where the 1% starts.. this calculator is pretty accurate

  46. I am in the bottom 51.6% and I am very close to the poverty line. AS well I am a senior with CPP, OAS and a pension from Canada Post

  47. I don’t think most people reading this article realize how much better off then most Canadians they actually are. Most kids would move out, buy their own car and save for a house if they could. Unfortunately the baby boomers have a long time lock on any decent jobs.

  48. I understand, of the 25 million tax filers, 5million have no income and they are filing to receive the GST rebate. This would tend to warp the average to a lower amount than it really is

  49. I earn $90,000 and that puts me in the top 5.56%?? I don’t think so. If the StatsCan data is measuring all income earners, including teens in part time jobs earning minimum wage and mostly stay-at-home moms or dads who work a few hours a week just to get out of the house, the results are going to be very skewed. I’d like to see a comparison of the incomes of all full-time working adults. I suspect the “disparities” would shrink dramatically.

  50. Since the Occupy protestors produce nothing, they should get nothing. In fact, they should be rounded up and forced to clean up the mess they make in parks.

  51. Standard of life

    Hello, I’m brazilian and my company wants to send me to Canada for a period. My salary is 100k USD year after tax. I’m administrator, 29 years and married, just I will work because my wife is dentist and cannot work during my stay. I have nothing in Canada, I don’t have car neither house in Canada, with this salary could you suggest what kind of standard of life would I have in Canada?

    I saw prices of house in Toronto and I’m shocked how much is expensive to rent or buy.

    About “Top 5.56%” “The tax burden should be shifted from income to consumption” It´s very dangerous, in Brazil we have a lower income tax compared to Canada (27,5%) for richest population and a higher tax to consumption like 40 – 50% in a fina price of product. And richest people avoid to invest and buy things in Brazil and each year rich are richest because you avoid buy things and the economy stops.

    I’ve been in Canada once and your country is very pretty and pleasant! congratulations for your Country

    * Sorry about my English

  52. i put -99999999 and i was the top percent!

  53. 4(a+1) = 3 (a-1)
    4a + 4 = 3a – 3
    4a +4 -4 = 3a-3-4
    4a= 3a-7

    LS= 4 (a+1)
    = 4 (-7+1)
    =4 (-6)

    RS= 3 (a-1)
    = 3 (-7-1)
    =3 (-8)

  54. It says I am .71% …

  55. This calculator does not work. For instance, entering a salary of $69999 places you in the top 19.2%. A salary of just one dollar more at $70000 places you in the top $14.05%….what’s that about?

  56. My Dad worked hard all of his life too. At one point he was a painter of airplane parts at an Arnprior plant. When he came home he was so thirsty he drank a pitcher of cold ice water.When I started work in the early 60`s did not know how long I would be in the workforce, I persevered for 38 years at Canada Post and retired in 2002

  57. Cry woe, destruction, ruin and decay. The worst is Death. And Death shall have his day.
    In face of that, money don’t really matter that much does it. Woe, destruction, ruin and decay are on their way too. And not one of us escapes Death.
    Don’t forget to smell the roses while you still have the chance my fellow Canadians.

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