You had to top $201,400 to become a Canadian one percenter
It's apropos that Statistics Canada would release data on incomes on the day after the Davos economic summit ended in Switzerland.
It turns out that Canada's top one percent of income earners collected, on average, 11.74 times as much as the other 99 percent in 2010.
In addition, the top one percent pocketed 10.6 percent of the national income that year.
To make it into the top one percent in Canada, a person had to make $201,400. That's 37 percent higher than 1982, when the national agency began researching this data.
Back then, the median income of the top one percent was seven times higher than the 99 percent. By 2010, that gap has widened to 10 percent, though it's down from 11 percent in the early 2000s.
In this report, Statistics Canada did not address the disparity in net worth of the high-income earners versus the low-income earners.
In the U.S., for example, the top one percent are worth about $8 million on average—70 times the lower classes, according to Forbes magazine.
Men in Canada account for 79.1 percent of the one percenters. The group's average age is 51 and 82.7 percent are married or living common-law. They paid, on average, $142,900 in federal, provincial, and territorial tax. The bottom 99 percent paid, on average, $5,400 in tax.
About 62 percent of the one percenters live in Canada's five largest metropolitan areas.
Calgarians' share has risen from five percent to 11 percent between 1989 and 2010.
The Statistics Canada report was released 10 days after Oxfam pointed out that extreme wealth and inequality have reached unparalleled proportions.
Here's a snippet of what Oxfam revealed in advance of the economic summit in Davos:
Over the last thirty years inequality has grown dramatically in many countries. In the US the share of national income going to the top 1% has doubled since 1980 from 10 to 20%. For the top 0.01% it has quadrupled to levels never seen before. At a global level, the top 1% (60 million people), and particularly the even more select few in the top 0.01% (600,000 individuals—there are around 1200 billionaires in the world), the last thirty years has been an incredible feeding frenzy.
This is not confined to the US, or indeed to rich countries. In the UK inequality is rapidly returning to levels not seen since the time of Charles Dickens. In China the top 10% now take home nearly 60% of the income. Chinese inequality levels are now similar to those in South Africa, which are now the most unequal country on earth and significantly more unequal than at the end of apartheid. Even in many of the poorest countries, inequality has rapidly grown.