Wealth Increases Faster For High Income Families

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    Between 1999 and 2012, the average wealth (or net worth) of Canadian families rose from $319,800 to $554,100, or 73 per cent, says Statistics Canada. Average wealth increased faster among higher-income families during this time period. Among the 20 per cent of family units with the highest incomes, or top income quintile families, average wealth increased by 80 per cent between 1999 and 2012, rising from $721,900 to $1.3 million. At the other end of the income spectrum, the 20 per cent of families with the lowest incomes, or bottom income quintile families, increased their average wealth by 38 per cent, from $79,500 to $109,300. Over the same period, the 20 per cent of families that were in the middle of the income distribution, or middle income quintile families, increased their average wealth by 73 per cent, from $261,800 to $453,300. In addition, between 1999 and 2012, the cumulative net worth of Canadian families increased by $4.17 trillion. This was the result of a $4.92 trillion increase in the overall values of assets. Half of the increase in the overall value of assets was due to real estate, while the other half was due to other types of assets (including employer pension plans). Such results, however, varied by income quintile. Among top quintile families, net worth increased by $2.02 trillion. About 45 per cent of asset gains were due to real estate and 55 per cent were due to other types of assets.