The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has released a new report analyzing family wealth distribution in Canada. Its findings are stark. They show that the richest Canadians own much more wealth than previously estimated.

The 0.01% richest families are estimated to have a total wealth of $654 billion – about 5.6% of total wealth in the country. Meanwhile, the wealth of the bottom 40% of Canadians – some 6,373,000 families – is estimated at $132 billion or 1.1% of total wealth.

The share of total wealth held by the richest 0.01% is more than five times that of the bottom 40% of Canadian families.

The total wealth of the richest 1% of Canadian families sits at $3.01 trillion, roughly 25.7% of total wealth. That is close to equal that of the bottom 80% of Canadian families – whose total wealth is estimated at $3.06 trillion.

According to the report’s estimates, that means the wealthiest 1% control nearly as much wealth as some 12,747,600 Canadian families.

The PBO report is, however, highlighting data from 2019. With the COVID-19 pandemic throwing millions of Canadians into unemployment, there is good reason to worry that these inequalities may be accelerating.   


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