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Places with the highest income in Canada

  • Places with the highest income in Canada

    Canada has one of the wealthiest middle classes in the world, according to The New York Times. Wealthier, even, than America’s middle class, and according to the journalists David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy, this shift happened sometime around 2010.

    And Canada seems to be getting wealthier. A 2019 study from Statistics Canada revealed that the average income of tax-paying Canadians rose by 2.5% to $48,400 in 2017 compared to 2016. The study also found that the wealthiest taxpayers saw a more significant rise in income compared to the poorest taxpayers. Those in the top 1% saw their income grow by 8.5% to $477,700 compared to taxpayers in the bottom half who saw just a 2.4% average income growth to $17,200 in 2017.

    To find the wealthiest places in Canada, Stacker focused on the middle class by looking at the median incomes and the average hourly wage of the 69 economic regions in Canada. “Middle class” is hardly a precise economic term, so what exactly does this mean? One way to quantify it is by median income, which half a country’s workforce earns above and half earns below.

    Canada is an enormous country covering some 3.855 million square miles, so the middle class hardly looks the same all over. After all, income depends on a wide variety of things, from educational level to race, gender, and location. What’s considered middle class in a rural region like Edmundston-Woodstock, New Brunswick, might look different from what’s considered middle class in Montréal, Quebec.

    Using data from Statistics Canada, Stacker ranked the 69 economic regions in Canada by income. These economic regions, as defined by the census, are ranked by average hourly wage as of Q3 2019 (this data was released on March 30, 2020) from lowest to highest. Ties are broken by the growth in wages since Q3 2015.

    Taking a closer look at the major industries, job market, and average hourly wage in each of these regions will help to give a better understanding of what the middle class looks like all over the country. For reference, the national average hourly wage in Canada is $21.25.

    Read on to find out the poorest and wealthiest economic regions in Canada and which 13 have average hourly wages above the national average.

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  • #69. Prince Edward Island

    - Average hourly wage: $15.20 (28.5% below national average)
    - Change in wage since Q3 2015: +8.6%
    - Population: 156,947

    Perhaps best known for “Anne of Green Gables,” Prince Edward Island is also home to three major industries: agriculture, fisheries, and tourism. Outside of these traditional sectors, aerospace and bioscience are two of the eastern Canadian island’s fastest-growing job markets. Overall, employment in the region grew by 2.6% in 2019.

  • #68. Campbellton-Miramichi, New Brunswick

    - Average hourly wage: $16.00 (24.7% below national average)
    - Change in wage since Q3 2015: +10.3%
    - Population: 155,307

    The unemployment rate in Campbellton-Miramichi is the highest in all of New Brunswick, standing at 12.2% as of October 2019. While mining, lumber, and pulp mills were once the biggest industries in the area, their mass closures in 1996 drove much of the working-age population out of the region. As a result, the average age in Campbellton-Miramichi (according to the latest census data released in 2016) is 49.4, and housing and care for the elderly supply a notable amount of jobs in the region.

  • #67. Southern, Nova Scotia

    - Average hourly wage: $16.25 (23.5% below national average)
    - Change in wage since Q3 2015: +9.4%
    - Population: 114,739

    According to a Labour Market report, Southern, Nova Scotia, saw the strongest employment gains in the province during the first quarter of 2019, adding 5,300 new full-time jobs. The vast majority of these jobs were in the manufacturing industry. That being said, the region will suffer economically along with the rest of the province if they can’t create desirable employment opportunities for their youth—keeping them in the area to replenish the workforce rather than driving them to other provinces in search of better opportunities.

  • #66. Saint John-St. Stephen, New Brunswick

    - Average hourly wage: $16.40 (22.8% below national average)
    - Change in wage since Q3 2015: +1.5%
    - Population: 174,172

    In October 2019, the unemployment rate in Saint John-St. Stephen, New Brunswick, was 7.6%, a little over 2% over the national average, which was at 5.5%. Still, the government reported that the region had added more jobs than any other region in the province, employing some 10,700 more than it had during the first quarter in 2018. Major employers in the area include Air Canada, Horizon Health, IMB Canada, and Osco Construction Group.

  • #65. North Shore, Nova Scotia

    - Average hourly wage: $16.50 (22.4% below national average)
    - Change in wage since Q3 2015: +5.8%
    - Population: 153,287

    Over the past year, the North Shore of Nova Scotia has seen a decline in the number of people actively looking for work. As their labor force has gone down, so has their unemployment rate, dropping from 10.2% in 2018 to 7.4% in 2019. The industries seeing the biggest growth in this corner of Nova Scotia are services-producing and wholesale and retail.

  • #64. Fredericton-Oromocto, New Brunswick

    - Average hourly wage: $16.60 (21.9% below national average)
    - Change in wage since Q3 2015: -0.9%
    - Population: 146,236

    In March 2019, the Canadian government reported that the Fredericton-Oromocto region of the New Brunswick province had shed some 1,800 jobs. Still, according to the most recent census, Fredericton had the highest median household income in the province of $66,877. Popular employers in the area include New Brunswick Community College, Opportunities New Brunswick, and the University of New Brunswick.

  • #63. Mauricie, Quebec

    - Average hourly wage: $16.80 (20.9% below national average)
    - Change in wage since Q3 2015: +14.7%
    - Population: 270,889

    As of February 2020, the labor force in Mauricie, Quebec, was 139,400, with an unemployment rate of just 4.8%. Many of these laborers are working in industries like lumber, pulp and paper, energy, and the service sector.

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  • #62. Moncton-Richibucto, New Brunswick

    - Average hourly wage: $16.80 (20.9% below national average)
    - Change in wage since Q3 2015: +19.6%
    - Population: 222,694

    A fast-growing and bilingual region of New Brunswick, Moncton-Richibucto has welcomed many French-speaking citizens over the last decade. One result of this is that the region has become a hot spot for call center and public sector jobs. According to the most recent census, the median household income in the region was $62,871.

  • #61. Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec

    - Average hourly wage: $17.15 (19.3% below national average)
    - Change in wage since Q3 2015: -9.0%
    - Population: 90,334

    Nestled in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine is known for its jaw-dropping natural scenery and abundance of natural resources. As a result, the south-eastern region’s economy is largely dominated by tourism, fishing, forestry, and renewable energy. The service sector makes up 79% of all jobs in the area.

  • #60. Edmundston-Woodstock, New Brunswick

    - Average hourly wage: $17.15 (19.3% below national average)
    - Change in wage since Q3 2015: +21.2%
    - Population: 78,418

    An aptly named region, the biggest industries in Edmundston-Woodstock all have ties to lumber. This part of the province is home to several softwood lumber exporters who send their product to the United States, as well as the Twin Rivers Paper Company’s pulp mill.

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