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Top 1% Income In Canada: What Does It Look Like?


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Canada is known for its strong and stable economy, and one significant factor that contributes to this reputation is the income of its citizens.

In Canada, the top 1% of income earners earn at least $253,900. And, among the country’s provinces and territories, Ontario boasts the highest-earning top 1%, with an average income of $542,100.

This article covers everything you may want to know about the top 1% income in Canada, including which high-paying careers lead to such high earnings, what the top 1% income in each province is, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • The top 1%  of earners in Canada make at least $253,900 annually, with the top 5% making at least $132,300.
  • These earners work in finance, management, or health sciences in cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary.
  • Income inequality is an issue in Canada. The top 1 percent holds more wealth than the bottom 80 percent combined.
  • The wealthiest households held more than two-thirds of all net worth in Canada.

What is the Top 1 Percent Income in Canada?

The top 1% of income earners in Canada are individuals who earn an annual income that places them in the top percentile of earners in the country.

According to Statistics Canada, the top 1% of income earners in Canada earned at least $253,900 in 2020. The top 5%, on the other hand, earns at least $132,300. This amount is significantly higher than the average Canadian income, which was around $54,200 in 2020.

How Much Do the Top 1% of Earners Make?

The top 1% of earners in Canada make a staggering amount of money. In addition to the minimum income threshold of $253,900, the average income of the top 1% of earners in Canada was around $512,000 in 2020.

This means that the top 1% earn nearly ten times more than the average Canadian.

Furthermore, the income gap between the top 1% and the rest of Canadians has been growing steadily over the past few decades.

According to a report by the Institute for Research on Public Policy, inequality in family market income increased substantially over a 35-year period.

What Jobs Do the Top 1% Have?

The top 1% of income earners in Canada come from a diverse range of professions. While some are business executives and entrepreneurs, others are medical professionals, software engineers, and other high-paying jobs.

According to Statistics Canada, the top 1% of income earners are typically found in fields such as technology and health-related professions.

Here are some of the highest-paying jobs in Canada:

Job TitleNational Average SalaryJob DescriptionJob Qualifications
Anesthesiologist$358,908 per yearSpecialist physician who keeps patients unconscious and safe during surgery; expert in anesthetic drugs and pain managementMedical degree, 5 years of residency program specializing in anesthesiology
Psychiatrist$298,065 per yearPhysician who specializes in mental health and mental health disorders; diagnoses, treats, and can prescribe medicationMedical degree, residency program focusing on mental health and mental health disorders
Cardiologist$280,591 per yearFocuses on the heart and cardiovascular system; diagnoses, treats, and helps prevent cardiovascular diseasesMedical degree, 4-5 years of residency training, registration with the College of Physicians and Surgeons in the province or territory
Surgeon$279,646 per yearMedical doctor who performs surgery on patients; also responsible for administrative duties such as post-surgery careMedical degree, 4-5 years of residency, 2 years of studying a surgical specialty
Physician$254,847 per yearMedical doctor who treats and diagnoses medical issues; can work in a family practice, hospital or specialized clinicMedical degree, residency program
Orthodontist$209,373 per yearDentist who specializes in treating misaligned teeth; helps in prevention and diagnosis of misaligned bite patternsDentistry degree, specialty license, registration with the dental regulatory body
Software Engineering Manager$143,044 per yearLeads development and creation of software programs or applications; point of contact for different departments to ensure qualifications are metUniversity degree in systems analysis, business administration, computer science, engineering or a related degree, management experience
Vice President$135,578 per yearKey executive who helps run and manage an organization’s internal operations; works with other senior executives to identify and fix problemsVaries by industry, may require a four-year college degree or Master’s degree
Director of Information Technology$117,890 per yearOversees the information technology department of a company; develops strategies and implements new technologyBachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology or a related field, several years of experience in IT management
Chief Marketing Officer$109,196 per yearOversees a company’s marketing strategies and initiatives; reduces costs and grows revenue through various strategiesUniversity degree in marketing, communications, business administration or a related field, MBA

Household Income in Canada by Percentile

In Canada, the household income percentile is calculated based on the combined income of all members of a household, also called a Census Family.

The household income in Canada varies significantly based on the percentile that a household falls under.

The average household net worth was $940,558 as of the second quarter of 2022. The wealthiest households (the top 20%) held more than two-thirds (67.1%) of all net worth in Canada.

Top 1% Income in Canada by Province

The income of the top 1% of earners in Canada varies significantly based on the province they live in. Using 2020 tax information, data has been collected to find out what the average income of the top 1% earners is in each province.

ProvinceAverage Income of the Top 1% Earners
British Columbia$512,900
New Brunswick$473,400
Nova Scotia$453,400
Newfoundland and Labrador$416,300
Prince Edward Island$380,900
The Territories$357,800

Top 1 Percent Income in Canada by City

In addition to the variation in income based on province, the income of the top 1% of earners in Canada also varies based on the city they live in.

Using 2020 tax information, Toronto had the highest concentration of top 1% income earners, with 80,425 individuals earning at least $253,900. Calgary and Vancouver were the second- and third-highest cities, with 23,465 and 28,120 individuals, respectively.

What is the Average Canadian Income?

While the top 1% of earners in Canada earn a significant amount of money, the average Canadian income is much lower.

In 2020, the average Canadian income was around $54,200 per year. This means that the top 1% of earners in Canada earn nearly ten times more than the average Canadian.

It’s worth noting that the average Canadian income can vary significantly depending on factors such as age, location, and industry.

For example, younger Canadians and those living in major urban centers tend to earn more than older Canadians and those living in rural areas.

Additionally, certain industries, such as technology and the health sciences, tend to pay higher salaries than others.


What is Canada’s top 5% income?

In Canada, the top 5% of income earners earn at least $132,200 per year. The average income of this group is $238,500.

What net worth is considered rich in Canada?

Individuals with a net worth of $1 million or higher are considered high-net-worth in Canada. Net worth is calculated as total assets less liabilities, like mortgages and other debt. But this amount can vary based on factors such as location and age.

How many Canadians make over $150,000?

In 2020, around 7.6% of Canadian tax filers reported an income of $150,000 or more. This equates to around 1,047,240 million individuals.

Is $200k a good salary in Canada?

Yes, $200,000 is a good salary in Canada, considering that the average income was $54,200 in 2020. This salary represents almost four times the average income.

Is $120k a good salary in Canada?

An annual income of $120,000 would place an individual in the top 10% of income earners in Canada. Most Canadians would consider this income to be high, and it would be enough to live a comfortable life.


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Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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