You’ve probably heard the term net worth before. It’s often thrown around in terms of famous names and big numbers.
For example, Justin Bieber’s net worth is roughly $285 million. But what does net worth really mean for the average Canadian?
Net worth is a broad measure of a person’s financial health. You can calculate your own net worth by subtracting your total liabilities from your total assets. The resulting figure will show how much you’re worth from a financial standpoint.
For example, if you have a house worth $300,000 (an asset), a mortgage of $100,000 (a liability), and student loans of $25,000 (a liability), then your net worth would come out to $175,000. That’s a simplified example, of course, but it shows the general idea.
If you’re wondering whether your net worth is in the right range for your age group, location, and demographics, you’re in the right place.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down Canadian net worth statistics according to many different factors, helping you gain a deep understanding of the topic.
Let’s begin with the broadest statistic: Canada’s median household net worth. In 2019, StatCan calculated that value at $329,000. That’s across provinces, age groups, and other factors.
In other words, that median value isn’t really telling us much. We can learn even more by breaking down net worth further.
The average net worth in Canada is $738,200 – much higher than the median. That’s because while there are only a few people in Canada’s 1%, their net worths are so high that they move the needle significantly.
As you’ll see, net worth varies significantly depending on several demographic factors.
The highest net worths in Canada were reported in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia.
In Ontario, the median household net worth was $434,500, while the median household net worth in British Columbia was $423,700.
Saskatchewan lagged behind in a not-so-close third, with a median household net worth of $330,500.
New Brunswick took last place, tallying a median household net worth of just $185,000. Prince Edward Island was second to last, with a net worth clocking in at $211,400.
StatCan also surveyed net worth in Canada’s eight largest census metropolitan areas. As the province-wide statistics may have indicated, families in Vancouver and Toronto had the highest median household net worth, clocking in at $521,500 and $467,900, respectively.
Montréal had the lowest net worth of the eight metropolitan areas, measuring $220,200.
So how did these large cities end up with such stark differences in net worth? StatCan attributes the disparity to varied housing market strength across Canada.
For example, the median home value in Vancouver rose to $900,000, more than double the median home value in Montréal, which remains at only $350,000.
As shown by Statistics Canada’s most recent study, net worth varies significantly by age group in Canada.
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Canadians under 35 had an average net worth of $48,800. Canadians between 35 and 44 years old had an average net worth of $243,400 – a large jump. For Canadians between 45 and 54 years old, the average net worth reached $521,100.
Finally, Canada’s oldest age class – the country’s senior citizens – had the largest average net worth. Those aged between 55 and 64 years had a net worth of $690,000 on average.
In Canada, the average net worth tends to increase with age. That’s likely due to the accumulation of assets like property and investments.
Additionally, older individuals are more likely to have paid off their mortgages and any other debts. That decreases their liabilities compared with other age groups, making their average net worth higher.
Per recent studies by Statistics Canada, the median net worth of Canada’s seniors is $543,200. This value drops after its peak in the range between 55 and 64 years, where it clocks in at $690,000.
The drop is easily explained, as seniors spend some of their net worth during their retirements, which depletes the total value.
Related: Learn the average retirement savings by age.
You might be wondering how much Canada’s top echelon of earners is making. It takes a lot to get into the top 1% – and by a lot, we mean $500,000.
Within that group, 75% of the top earners are male. Plus, the salaries of males in the top 1% are significantly higher than the salaries of females.
The average salary of a man in the top 1% is $534,000. The average salary of a woman in the top 1%, in contrast, is $450,400. While both are lots of money, there’s certainly a disparity.
In terms of provinces, British Columbia’s top 1% are the richest. In BC, the top 1% are making $546,100 per year.
Ontario’s top 1% is a close second, making $524,800 annually. BC’s top 1% makes 53% more than the top 1% of earners do in the Territories.
The top 1% is, of course, the most prestigious of classes. But Canada’s top 5% of earners are also making money that’s nothing to sneeze at.
They’re earning about $236,400 annually, still a serious chunk of change. It may be a big drop from the earnings of the top 1%, but it’s a significant salary.
In order to be within Canada’s top 10% of earners, you would need to be making about $174,400 annually.
While it’s a steep decline from the average annual salary of the top 5%, it’s not quite as perilous a drop as that from the top 1% to the top 5%.
The richest person in Canada is media mogul David Thomson and his family, whose net worth is calculated at $48.8 billion. In second place is Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance. His net worth is $17.4 billion.
Also in the top group are Canadian business mogul Jim Pattinson (with a net worth of $10.7 billion) and Lululemon founder Chip Wilson (with a net worth of $5 billion).
These men are, of course, part of the top 1% of earners – although they far exceed the average net worth for that category.
Household net worth is different from individual net worth because it accounts for the earnings, assets, and liabilities of all individuals within a household.
The Canadian average household net worth in 2022 was $940,558. The top 20% of households hold over two-thirds of Canada’s wealth, while the bottom 40% hold only 2.8% of Canada’s total wealth.
Related: Find out how much is the average salary in Canada.
What net worth is considered wealthy in Canada?
A net worth of $1 million or higher is considered wealth in Canada. Only 2% of the population, or 764,033 people, have a net worth between $1 million and $5 million.
What percentage of Canadians are millionaires?
Canada’s millionaires make up about 4.3% of the population. The total number of millionaires in the country is 1,681,961. Canada ranks 7th globally for countries with the most millionaires.
What is the net worth of the top 1% of Canadians?
According to StatCan, the top 1% of earners in Canada make over $500,000 annually. Currently, three-quarters of Canada’s top 1% are male.
How much does the average Canadian retire with?
The average amount held in RRSPs (Registered Retirement Savings Plans) is $141,923 at the time of retirement. This amount varies by region, however.
How many Canadians make over $100,000?
According to a study by StatCan, 11% of Canadians make over $100,000 annually. That amounts to about 3.1 million people.