Understanding Top 1 Percent Net Worth in Canada

Data regarding net worth has always been fascinating for me. Even though we’re not supposed to compare ourselves to others (and comparison to others is the thief of joy) we still like to do it anyway. The top one percent net worth percentile information of Canadians is fascinating. This refers to the wealthiest one percent of individuals in the country, the elite who hold a significant portion of the country’s wealth. As of 2023, the top 1 percent net worth in Canada is pegged at over whopping $10 million CAD. Just imagine the number of maple syrup bottles you could buy with that!

When you find out the average savings by age in Canada, or that only a little over 400,000 Canadians have a net worth of more than $1,000,000 USD, you also get curious about the top 1 percent net worth in Canada.

Now, let’s get a deeper understanding of net worth and how it’s calculated, so we can better comprehend how some Canadians are swimming in bathtubs full of Robert Bordens while the rest of us are scrounging for loonies and toonies.

Defining Net Worth

Net worth is a pretty straightforward concept. It’s the difference between what you own (your assets) and what you owe (your liabilities). As mentioned earlier, the top 1% net worth of Canadians have over $10,000,000. This means that these high net worth individuals have assets minus liabilities that are worth over ten million dollars. That’s a lot of poutine, eh?

How it’s Calculated

Calculating net worth isn’t as complicated as it sounds. It’s a simple matter of adding up all your assets (things that you own). Then you subtract all your liabilities, which could be your mortgage, student loans, credit card debt, or any other form of debt. The result is your net worth.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to calculate net worth.

I use Wealthica to check my portfolio and liquid net worth regularly (it’s free).

Cash flow is more important than net worth.

Personal Capital of Canada Net Worth Tracker

A Breakdown of the Top 1 Percent Net Worth in Canada

The top 1% income in Canada and the top 1% net worth in Canada are not the same thing.

Sure, having a 1% income in Canada is difficult to achieve (and no doubt very impressive) but we know in our heart of hearts that income does not equate to wealth.

If you’re too busy spending money, buying a flashy Porsche Cayenne, wearing Moncler down jackets, having countless Louis Vuitton bags, investing in Bitcoin at the top, or generally just trying to impress the Joneses…. even with a $250,000 income it won’t go very far. Which, $250,000, by the way, is approximately a top 1% income in Canada.

Because of that, I like to look at net worth, in particular liquid net worth but that’s more difficult to achieve since much of Canadians’ net worth and wealth is tied to real estate (which is, illiquid).

This post will look at the top 1% net worth in Canada, the top 5% net worth in Canada, and the top 10% of net worth in Canada using Statistics Canada net worth data.

According to this Financial Post article:

  • Less than 1% of Canadians have $1-5 Million USD in investable assets, considered high net worth
  • Less than 0.1% or 30,000 Canadians have $5-30 million USD in investable assets, considered mid-tier millionaires
  • More than $30 million USD in investable assets, considered ultra high net worth, with only 3300 Canadians who can claim this title as of 2015 (I’m sure it’s higher now)

According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the updated High Net Worth Family Database (2019 data) shows that the top one percent of high-net-worth families in Canada holds 24.8 percent of the country’s total net wealth.

This publication is an occasional survey and is the most recent data available according to Statistics Canada. I contacted Statistics Canada in August 2023 and the Survey of Financial Security (SFS) is an occasional survey, however I will keep my eye sand ears posted for an update.

What’s the top 1 percent net worth in Canada? Well, the threshold top 1 percent net worth in Canada is $6,300,000 according to 2019 data.

That means according to 2019 data from Statistics Canada, the top 1% net worth Canadians have at least $6,300,000.

Percentile of Household WealthNet worth Threshold
Share of total net wealth in Canada
Top 0.01%$129,000,0005%
Top 0.05%$28,800,00011.2%
Top 0.1%$9,900,00019.5%
Top 1%$6,300,00024.8%
Top 5%$2,400,00043.5%
Top 10%$1,600,00056.9%
Top 20%$1,000,00073.9%
Middle 20%$100,000 to $1,000,00025.1%
Bottom 40%Under $100,0001.1%

The cut-off for the top one percent of family net wealth is $6.3 million. Projecting that to 2021 from the PBO, this would be about $7,300,000.

According to the Kickass Entrepreneur, the top 1% net worth in Canada for 2023 is $10,029,110.

There are almost 162,000 families in Canada in that group, so there are 162,000 families in Canada that are in the top 1% of net worth in Canada with at least $7,300,000 in net worth (net worth equal to assets minus liabilities).

There are approximately 3 million families in Canada with net wealth above one million dollars (which is about the top 20% of net worth in Canada).

Collectively, these families (the top 20% of Canadians, those with $1,000,000 net worth) hold 73 percent of the total wealth in Canada.

In addition to being the 1% in net worth in Canada, those that meet the threshold for $7,300,000 also likely fall into having a HNW (high net worth), meaning having over $1,000,000 USD in liquid assets. Less than 1% of Canadians fall into this category (and fewer even have ultra high net worth in Canada).

For the rest of the world, according to this 2023 Bloomberg article, you need $12.4 million USD to be in the to 1% if you live in Monaco, and $5.1 million USD to be in the top 1% in the United States.

Wealth Distribution: The Top 5 Percent Net Worth in Canada

What is the top 5% net worth in Canada?

The top 5 percent net worth in Canada is a threshold of $2,800,000 using the 2021 numbers from the PBO.

That means that if you have a household net worth of over $2,800,000 you are in the top 5% of all Canadians.

Over 800,000 other Canadian families share this designation with you.

These are still rich Canadians. Now, I know that’s a lot of dough, but keep in mind, we’re talking about the top 5% here, and not your average Joe!

An Overview of The Top 10 Percent Net Worth in Canada

Now let’s look at the next Canada net worth percentile.

What is the top 10 percent of net worth in Canada?

The top 10 percent net worth in Canada is achieved with a threshold household net worth of $1,900,000 using the 2021 numbers.

If you have a household net worth of over $1,900,000 you are in the top 10% of Canadians, and over 1,600,000 other Canadian families share this status with you.

However, according to Kickass Entrepreneur with 2023 data, if you’re a household with a net worth of over $1,900,000 in 2023, you belong to this group.

Not too shabby, eh? In fact, you’d be in good company, with over 1,600,000 other Canadian families sharing this status with you.

Average Canadian Net Worth at Retirement

What’s the average Canadian net worth at retirement?

Well you could extrapolate the typical retirement age of 65 years old and this would mean that the average retirement savings is around $283,000 for a household or economic family, using 2019 data.

The average RRSP savings by age in Canada is as follows:

AgeAverage RRSP Savings
(Economic Family)
Average RRSP Savings
(Individual)
Under 35$51,300$20,300
35 to 44 years old$90,900$47,200
45 to 54 years old$158,200$118,200
55 to 64 years old$244,500$150,500
65 years and older$283,000$147,600

As we know, RRSP isn’t the only retirement savings vehicle up Canadians’ sleeves.

Looking at it from another angle, and including things like the TFSA or pension savings and non-RRSP savings, the average savings at retirement age (assuming 65 as the typical retirement age), the average net worth at retirement is around $384,100.

AVERAGE SAVINGS BY AGE OF INDIVIDUAL CANADIANS IN 2019

AgeRetirement SavingsAverage RRSP, RRIF, LIRAAverage TFSAAverage Non-RRSP or Pension SavingsAverage Savings
Under 35$40,100$20,300$14,200$18,800$58,900
35 to 44 years old$89,700$47,200$15,400$36,200$125,900
45 to 54 years old$290,900$118,200$22,000$59,600$350,500
55 to 64 years old$377,300$150,500$30,300$69,200$446,500
65 years and older$272,100$147,600$40,100$112,000$384,100

Average Canadian Net Worth

Finally, let’s look at the average Canadian net worth by age. This is from 2019 Statistics Canada Survey of Financial Security median net worth data.

AgeMedian net worth
Under 35$48,800
35 to 44$234,400
45 to 54$521,100
55 to 64$690,000
65 and older$543,200

So to summarize, and based on 2019 data, the:

  • Top 1% net worth in Canada has $6,300,000 at minimum in net worth
  • Top 5% net worth in Canada has $2,400,000 at minimum in net worth
  • Top 10% net worth in Canada has $1,600,000 at minimum in net worth

The Impact of Income on Canadian Net Worth

Now, you might be wondering, how does income factor into all this? Well, obviously it plays a significant role in determining a person’s net worth. Remember, your net worth isn’t just about how much money you make; it’s about what you keep (and save and invest). So, if you’re earning a high income but you’re also spending like a drunken sailor, your net worth might not be as high as you’d expect.

Also, income taxes, especially provincial income taxes, can take a big chunk out of your earnings. So, it’s essential to factor in taxes when considering your net worth. After all, it’s not what you make, but what you keep that counts, right?

So, to increase your net worth, it’s not just about making more money, but also about saving and investing wisely.

So, there you have it. A brief overview of the top 1 percent, top 5 percent, and top 10 percent net worth in Canada, and how income impacts net worth. Remember, wealth isn’t just about making money; it’s about making smart financial decisions and maximizing what you keep.

The Road to Wealth: How to Increase Your Net Worth

Reading about the top 1% net worth in Canada naturally has you thinking how to increase your net worth. Here are a few ways to increase your net worth.

Invest Wisely

If you really want your net worth to grow, you need to think beyond just saving. Consider investing in assets that will appreciate over time, like low-risk exchange-traded funds (ETF) or another well-diversified portfolio. Index investing is becoming more and more popular amongst Canadians.

Start a Side Hustle

The gig economy had an unprecedented rise during the COVID pandemic. With the rise of the gig economy, there are a lot of opportunities to make money on the side. Whether it’s selling your thrift shop finds on eBay or assembling IKEA tables for the less handy, a side hustle is a great way to create additional income streams. More money means more to invest back into growing your net worth. It’s a win-win!

Move Up the Career Ladder

Finally, don’t be afraid to aim higher on the career ladder if that is something that you want. Whether it’s seeking promotions, switching jobs, or even moving to a different part of Canada where housing is more affordable, these can all be strategies to increase your income.

Further Education or Training

As a personal finance enthusiast, I believe in continuous learning. One way to increase your net worth is by furthering your education or training. Upskilling is a proven method to climb the professional ladder. In Canada, there’s a growing demand for highly skilled workers. This doesn’t mean you need a fancy university degree.

Average Canadian Net Worth: A Snapshot

According to Stats Canada, the average net worth for a Canadian household in 2019 was around $283,000. This includes all assets, minus debts like mortgage and student loans. The research shows a considerable wealth gap, with the top 1 percent holding a significant portion of Canadian wealth. Remember, these are only averages and actual net worth can vary greatly depending on income levels, disposable income, and how wisely financial tools are used. For instance, living in Nova Scotia could mean lower housing costs, hence less mortgage debt.

Distinctions by Age and Region

Net worth also varies by age and region. The latest data from Statistics Canada shows the median net worth for Canadians, broken down by age group and geographical area. Younger individuals tend to have lower net worth due to factors like student loans and starting salaries. As people progress in their careers and pay off debts, their net worth typically increases. Similarly, net worth can be higher or lower depending on the cost of living in different regions.

What Does Retirement Look Like for the Average Canadian?

So, what does retirement look like for the average Canadian?

Based on the typical retirement age of 65, the average Canadian has about $283,000 in retirement savings. Remember, this is just an average. Your own retirement savings could be higher or lower depending on your income, savings habits, and investment decisions. The key is to start planning for retirement early and make wise financial decisions along the way in order to smooth our your retirement planning.

Closing Thoughts: The Journey to Top 1 Percent Net Worth in Canada.

Reaching the top 1 percent net worth in Canada is a journey, not a sprint. It’s a path peppered with smart personal finance decisions, strategic investments, and yes, a bit of luck.

So, what’s the journey like? Well, the top 5% of net worth holders in Canada had a threshold of $1,009,400 in 2023.

The top 10% were at $865,200, while the top 50% stood at $496,460.

Even if you’re not close to the $6,300,000 needed for the top 1 percent, remember, every million dollars counts. If you manage to grow your net worth to 1 million USD or even 30 million USD, you’re doing just fine.

What do you think of these numbers, do you think they fit the top 1 percent net worth in Canada?

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10 thoughts on “Understanding Top 1 Percent Net Worth in Canada”

  1. Your table has a typo. Top 0.05% < Top 0.1%, but it shows that 0.1% are richer than 0.05%. I'm guessing you meant to type 0.5%, not 0.05%.

    Reply
  2. really need some post COVID 2023 data…what good is 2019 metrics when we were are the 25% percentile and using 2019 values we’re inflated to think we’re in the top 2.5% based on stale quantified expired metrics which may or may not gauge a measure of progression to success.

    Reply

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