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Video: Income


September 11, 2013 – Brian Murphy, Economist, presents a brief portrait of income in Canada, 2011 National Household Survey.


Length: 4:56 minutes

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September 11, 2013
Income data
2011 National Household Survey

Brian Murphy
Statistics Canada

The 2011 National Household Survey data on income were released today.

These data illustrate findings about the composition, characteristics, and distribution of incomes received by Canadians.

In this video, I will give a quick overview of these data.

In this image, each male or female figure is equal to one percentage point. There are now 100 of them, representing the entire Canadian population.

{Visual}: 100 male and female figures are in a line at the bottom of the screen, under a map of Canada.

Let's arrange them from low income to high income. They are grouped in deciles, representing 10% each.

{Visual}: They are arranged in groups of ten and "10%" appears under each group. Those to the left are labeled "low income," and those to the right are labeled "high income."

About 95% of Canadians aged 15 or older received some form of income in 2010.

{Visual}: 95 of the 100 figures are highlighted, leaving out only the first five on the left.

In total, they received 1.1 trillion dollars, with a median total income just short of $30,000.

{Visual}: The median income is indicated as $29,900.

The remaining 5% who did not receive income tended to be younger or pre-retirement age and living with others who did receive income.

Income can be classified broadly into two categories.

The first category is called 'market income,' which comes from private sources, such as wages, self-employment income, investment income, or private pensions.

The second category is called 'government transfers,' which come from government sources, such as Old Age Security, Canada and Quebec pension plan benefits, Employment Insurance Benefits and various other government programs.

{Visual}: The title of each of these income sources is listed as they are read.

In 2010, most of the total income that Canadians received was in the form of market income and the remainder came from government transfer payments.

{Visual}: A horizontal bar shows that 87.6% of the income that Canadians received was in the form of market income, with the remaining 12.4% coming from government transfers.

Close to 7 out of 10 Canadians aged 15 and over earned income through employment. Those earnings represented about three out of every four dollars of total income in Canada, making employment the main source of market income for Canadians.

{Visual}: Ten figures appear and seven are highlighted, indicating the proportion of Canadians over 15 that received income through employment. A horizontal bar indicates that employment income made up 74.7% of total income.

In the Northwest Territories, employment income was almost 88% of total income, the highest in the country.

{Visual}: A map of Canada shows the share from employment income in the Northwest Territories as 87.8%.

In fact, the three territories had higher shares of employment income than any of the provinces.

{Visual}: A map of Canada shows the share from employment income in the Yukon and Nunavut as 81.8% and 84.3%, respectively.

Of the provinces, Alberta had the highest share, at 81%. Prince Edward Island had the lowest share of employment income in the country, at about 69% of total income.

{Visual}: A map of Canada shows the share from employment income in the Alberta and Prince Edward Island as 81.3% and 68.6%, respectively.

Government transfers, the other major source of income, made up a large portion of the income of seniors and low-income Canadians.

For those 65 years of age and older, government transfers accounted for about 41% of their total income.

{Visual}: A horizontal bar shows that 58.9% of the income that Canadians 65 years of age and older received was in the form of market income, with 41.1% coming from government transfers.

The vast majority of these transfers came from the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security programs.

Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island had the highest proportions of income from government transfers.

{Visual}: A map of Canada shows the share from government transfers in Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island as 19.3% and 17.8%, respectively.

For the 10% of Canadians with the lowest income, government transfers made up over two-thirds of their income.

{Visual}: A horizontal bar shows that 32.5% of the income received by Canadians in the lowest 10% of income distribution was in the form of market income, with 67.5% coming from government transfers.

At the other end of the distribution of income, the top 10% of Canadians had annual incomes in excess of $80,400, while the top 1% reported incomes in excess of $191,000.

{Visual}: A bar graph shows the income threshold of high-income Canadians in the top 10% as $80,400, and the top 1% as $191,100.

Most persons located in the top 1% are well educated. In fact, 67% of them had a university degree.

However, a small group without a certificate, diploma or degree had the highest average income.

{Visual}: A stacked bar graph demonstrates that the top 10% and top 1% groups showed higher levels of education attained than the total population, and that 67.1% of the top 1% had a university degree.

Over 38% of persons in the top 1% were in management occupations.

A further 25% worked in health occupations or in occupations in education, law and social, community and government services and these latter groups had more education but lower average incomes than those in management occupations.

{Visual}: A bar graph shows the proportion of workers in the top five occupation groups reported in the top 1% of income distribution. The groups, in order of size, are: "management," with 38.8% of those in the top 1%, "health," with 14.3%, "business, finance and administration," with 13.7%, "education, law and social, community and government services," with 11%, "natural and applied sciences and related," with 9.9%, and lastly "all other occupations," with 12.3%.

Thank you for watching this quick overview.

Visit the Statistics Canada website for a more in-depth look at these data and for more information on your municipality, province or territory.  If you have any questions, sign up for our live chat session on Friday, September 13, 2013, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time.

Visit the website and select this icon to register.

{Visual}: Statistics Canada's website appears, showing the icon for the "Chat with an expert" module.

{Visual}: The image fades into the Canada wordmark against a black background.

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