Incomes lag in London-St. Thomas
New census data shows area near bottom of the pack
London’s reputation as a prosperous city has been busted by just-released 2016 census data.
The annual median household income in this area — the so-called London Census Metropolitan Area, which also includes Strathroy and St. Thomas — is $64,743, the second-lowest among big cities province-wide, and well below national and provincial averages.
The median household income has actually fallen by 2.1 per cent compared to a decade ago, while the median income across Canada grew by 10.8 per cent during the same period, to $70,366.
Windsor fares even worse during that decade, with a 6.4 per cent drop in household income in the past decade, although the average household income in that city is higher than London at $65,983.
Median is the point at which half of households earn less than that amount, and half earn more. It is not the average.
London’s poor showing comes as no surprise to Sister Sue Wilson of the King’s University College Poverty Research Centre.
“We need to wake up to what’s happening in London and how individuals are being affected,” said Wilson.
The research centre is doing a series of meetings this fall focusing on precarious employment in London. Wilson said the city needs a diverse strategy that helps different populations including the working poor, the homeless and seniors.
Per the 2016 census data, Oshawa had the top median household income among Ontario cities, $86,451. St. Catharines was at the bottom, $63,001.
In the London region, StrathroyCaradoc fared best, with a median household income of $71,882, while Chatham-Kent was at the bottom at $58,264. The median household income for St. Thomas was $59,755.
The city of London, (excluding surrounding municipalities) was in the middle for this area, at $62,011.