Alberta family incomes lead the country

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX:  Not only were family incomes in Calgary and Edmonton the highest in absolute dollars, they also had some of the fastest growth rates.

Families in Alberta’s two largest cities are enjoying the highest household incomes in the country. Looking at data from personal income tax returns, Statistics Canada determined Calgary had the highest median total family income (before tax) of all census metropolitan areas in 2012, at $98,300. Edmonton families were close behind at $96,030.
 
The median family income in Canada was $74,540. Vancouver was near the bottom at $71,140. Abbotsford-Mission, British Columbia, was the lowest with a median family income of $66,550.
 
Not only were family incomes in Calgary and Edmonton the highest in absolute dollars, they also had some of the fastest growth rates. The largest increase between 2011 and 2012 was in Calgary (+3.7%), followed by St. John’s (+3.4%) and Edmonton (+3.0%).
 
Alberta’s strong economy and healthy wages are the primary reasons for higher household incomes. Alberta also has the country’s highest participation rate—that is, the highest portion of people over the age of 15 who are active in the workforce. That means there’s a higher chance that each household has more than one person bringing home a paycheque.
 
Earners in Calgary or Edmonton may think highly of their incomes, but incomes outside metropolitan areas can also be high. The highest median income in the country can be found in Wood Buffalo, Alberta, at a whopping $177,510.

Todd Hirsch • Chief Economist  July 24, 2014

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