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The Disappearing Middle Class in Canada

More data is coming out of Stats Canada to reinforce the theory put forward by many economists that the in Canada we have a  disappearing Middle Class and the gap between the “Haves” and “Have nots” continues to increase. They have in fact published a report Income Inequality and Redistribution in Canada: 1976 to 2004 which is free and an interesting read for those who want to know more about the topic.

A telling quote from this document is:

Using data from the 1976-to-1997 Survey of Consumer Finances and the 1993-to-2004 Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, we examine developments in family income inequality, income polarization, relative low income, and income redistribution through the tax-transfer system. We conclude that family after-tax-income inequality was stable across the 1980s, but rose during the 1989-to-2004 period.

Balanced in What Way?
Inequal in What Way?

You have already heard my rants about how the Government Hates Single Income Families and this survey kind of bears that out. They are measuring Household incomes, and with the demise of the traditional single income family, and the way the tax system rewards dual income families, this “stratification” of the household income levels is not really a surprise. Relatively affluent dual income families are sitting near the top of their data, not so affluent dual income families working hard to get by sit near the middle and bottom of the data, and straight single income families are on the edge of the data, and there is very little “in the middle” any more (my interpretation of the data, you can read it and see what you think).

I think I need to do another analysis of my income from last year and see how much farther ahead I would be if my wife and I had separate jobs, to get the same family income that we currently enjoy.

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