High-income Canadians gaining in number

Also more women in top five per cent of taxfilers

An annual income of $89,000 was enough to put an individual among the top five per cent in Canada’s taxfiler population in 2004, according to a recently released study.

“High-income Canadians” in the September issue of Perspectives on Labour and Income from Statistics Canada finds men made up three-quarters of this group. But women did see improved results, accounting for one-in-four in 2004 compared to one-in-seven in 1982.

In 1992, the top five per cent of the taxfiler population made up 21 per cent of total income; by 2004, they accounted for 25 per cent. The majority (54 per cent) of high-income earners were those aged 45 to 64, despite making up only 33 per cent of all income recipients, while those aged 25 to 44 were the second largest group.

And three-quarters of all high-income individuals were married while almost one-half (46 per cent) lived in Ontario, with Quebec a distant second (18 per cent) followed by Alberta (15 per cent) and British Columbia (13 per cent).

When it comes to taxes, Statistics Canada found high-income taxfilers have been paying an increasing share of total personal income taxes and effective income tax rates are clearly higher in this group. In 2004, the top five per cent of the taxfiler population received 25 per cent of the income and paid 36 per cent of taxes. In contrast, the bottom 95 per cent received 75 per cent of the income and paid 64 per cent of the taxes.

The study also found, from 1992 to 2004, constant-dollar income for people in the top 20 per cent rose substantially, and the gains became bigger the higher up the income distribution.
However, individuals in the rest of the population generally saw little improvement in their income.

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