Estrie house­hold in­comes among low­est in Canada

Sherbrooke Record - - LOCAL NEWS -

Record Staff

been among the low­est in the coun­try for ten years, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est cen­sus data.

Me­dian in­come in­creased by al­most 9 per cent in the ten years after 2005, com­pared to the 36.5 per cent in­crease that reached in $75,412 in Saskatchewan for the same pe­riod, an in­crease caused by the growth of the oil and nat­u­ral gas sec­tors.

Que­bec ranks sec­ond last among the prov­inces and ter­ri­to­ries ahead of only New Brunswick, whose me­dian in­come was $59,347, a dif­fer­ence of $475.

The re­port high­lights the 2005-2015 growth gap be­tween the western and the east­ern prov­inces of the coun­try - with the ex­cep­tion of New­found­land and Labrador, be­fore the fall in oil prices.

All prov­inces and ter­ri­to­ries ex­pe­ri­enced in­creases in the me­dian house­hold in­come, but there was con­sid­er­able vari­a­tion from one re­gion to an­other.

The growth of the petroleum in­dus­try in Al­berta, Saskatchewan and New­found­land and Labrador dur­ing th­ese ten years boosted the me­dian in­come in Canada from $63,457 to $70,336, an in­crease of 10.8 per cent.

"It's not just hy­dro­car­bons, it's all the in­vest­ments that ac­com­pany it, like con­struc­tion and ser­vices to help the op­er­a­tion," said Statis­tics Canada's Chief of Rev­enue, Eric Ol­son.

At the same time, the slow­down in the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor that has taken place in Que­bec and On­tario has had an im­pact on house­hold in­come in th­ese prov­inces. On­tario, which lost 318,000 jobs over the ten years, recorded the slow­est rev­enue growth at 3.8 per cent. The me­dian in­come still $74,287, left the prov­ince in sixth place.

On­tario and Que­bec are the two prov­inces with the low­est in­crease in house­hold in­come over the decade but de­spite this, some cen­sus metropoli­tan ar­eas in Que­bec en­joyed im­pres­sive in­creases, par­tic­u­larly from min­ing. For ex­am­ple, the re­gions of Rouyn-no­randa and Val-d'or, in the Abitibi re­gion, saw a me­dian in­come growth ex­ceed­ing 15 per cent. They are closely fol­lowed by Sept-îles (13.4 per cent) and Que­bec City (11.1 per cent).

1.2 mil­lion chil­dren live in poverty

Al­most one in four chil­dren in the coun­try lives in poverty, a pro­por­tion that has been de­clin­ing since the 1990s.

Que­bec has the low­est child poverty rate after Al­berta (12.8 per cent), de­spite hav­ing the low­est fam­ily in­comes in the coun­try. Some 14.3 per cent of Que­bec chil­dren live in low-in­come house­holds, com­pared with 14.7 per cent of adults. This is due to the low cost of child care and higher child ben­e­fits in Que­bec than in the rest of the coun­try.

Nova Sco­tia and New Brunswick are the two prov­inces with the high­est rate of chil­dren liv­ing in poverty at 22.2 per cent.

The over­all rate of low-in­come house­holds re­mained sta­ble across the coun­try, but is dis­trib­uted dif­fer­ently than in 2005. On­tario had more low-in­come fam­i­lies in 2015, while the pro­por­tion de­creased in Al­berta.

Cen­sus data in­clude, for the first time, statis­tics on the sav­ings of Cana­di­ans de­rived from in­for­ma­tion pro­vided to the Canada Rev­enue Agency. Two-thirds of house­holds con­trib­uted to a Reg­is­tered Re­tire­ment Sav­ings Plan (RRSP), Reg­is­tered Pen­sion Plan (RPP), or a Sav­ings Ac­count

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