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High-income trends among Canadian taxfilers, 2011

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Released: 2013-12-09

High income tax filers received virtually the same share of the nation's total income in 2011 as in 2010, according to new data from the Longitudinal Administrative Databank. Top income shares fell in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and were relatively stable in 2010 and 2011.

The top 5% of tax filers held 23.8% of the nation's income in both 2010 and 2011 while the shares for the top 1%, top 0.1% and 0.01% were 10.6%, 3.7%, and 1.3% respectively in both years.

The shares of provincial total income held by high income Canadians increased in four provinces and the territories between 2010 and 2011. All of the top income groups experienced a growth in total income shares in Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta and the territories.

Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island saw growth in total income shares for the top 50%, top 10% and top 5%. However, the growth did not extend to the highest income groups.

The growth in these provinces was offset by declines in top income shares in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.

  Note to readers

Data for 2011 have been added to the Longitudinal Administrative Databank (LAD). This databank now spans 30 years, from 1982 to 2011, and contains information about individuals and census families.

The LAD consists of a 20% longitudinal sample of Canadian tax filers and provides researchers and analysts with a tool for studying the changes in income experienced by individuals and their families. The LAD contains a wide variety of income and demographic variables such as employment income, self-employment income, Registered Retirement Savings Plan contributions, alimony, age, sex, and census family composition. Its large sample ensures reliable data for Canada, the provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas, and some sub-provincial regions, based on aggregations of postal codes.

The LAD also contains information from the Longitudinal Immigration Database. It covers immigrants landed between 1980 and 2010 and provides information on their key characteristics at landing. Information from Tax Free Savings Accounts for 2011 has also been added to the LAD.

Derived from the LAD, data for 1982 to 2011 on Canadian tax filers with high incomes are now available on CANSIM for various provinces and selected census metropolitan areas.

To be part of the top 1%, top 5%, top 10% and top 50% of taxfilers in 2011, one needed to make a total income of at least $209,600, $108,300, $84,100 and $29,700 respectively. If one made less than $29,700, one would be counted as in the bottom half of taxfilers.

All dollar figures in this release are expressed in 2011 constant dollars unless otherwise noted.

Total (or before-tax) income consists of income from earnings, investments, pensions, spousal support payments and other taxable income plus government transfers and refundable tax credits.

Since not all individuals file income tax returns, statistics contained in these tables should be interpreted in the context of living tax filers, not the whole population.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Brian Murphy (613-951-3769;, Income Statistics Division.

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