Big catch-up in living standards… but we’re still struggling!

Big catch-up in living standards… but we’re still struggling!
Big catch-up in living standards… but we’re still struggling!

Despite the fact that 25% of Quebec households are unable to live with dignity due to an income below the “viable income” threshold, Quebec has still made a big step in terms of collective wealth!

In fact, since 2018, we have managed to reduce the gap that separates us from Ontario and the three other Canadian provinces which are ahead of us in terms of household disposable income per capita.

It is obviously a very good sign to see Quebec making such a catch-up in terms of this important indicator of collective wealth, since the CAQ government of François Legault came to power.

In Quebec, according to the most recent data from Statistique Québec, our disposable income per capita in 2022 amounted to $36,826. This is equivalent to all gross income (remuneration, other income, government benefits) that Quebec households earned in 2022, less taxes and social contributions paid to governments. The amount of disposable income obtained, or $319.3 billion, was subsequently divided by the population of the province (8.67 million people). Result: $36,826 per capita.

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Our disposable income per capita thus increased from an amount of $29,543 in 2018 to $36,826 in 2022, for an appreciation of $7,283, or 24.7% in four years.

We are ahead of the growth in disposable income that the wealthier Canadian provinces recorded during this same four-year period. From 2018 to 2022, disposable income per capita increased by 15.7% in Ontario; 19.7% in British Columbia; 21.1% in Saskatchewan; and 12.9% in Alberta.

As we can see, Quebec achieved a good performance in terms of this important indicator of collective wealth.

But…

It’s a long way from cutting lips! We are still significantly behind the four provinces that are ahead of us in terms of disposable income per capita. As proof, here is the said disposable income in these provinces, with their monetary advance on us in 2022.

  • Ontario: $38,591 ($1765 more than in Quebec)
  • Alberta: $43,775 ($6,949 more)
  • British Columbia: $41,723 ($4,897 more)
  • Saskatchewan: $40,334 ($3,508 more)
Median income

In terms of income median after tax, Quebec has also made solid catch-up with all the other Canadian provinces.

This is what emerges from Statistics Canada’s new study on the evolution of median after-tax income, from 2018 to 2022, in constant 2022 dollars, that is to say after taking into account inflation.

In 2018, the median after-tax income of Quebec households was $59,300. In 2022, it reached $64,600, for an increase of $5,300, or 8.9% in constant dollars.

For comparison, the appreciation of said median after-tax income in Canada as a whole was limited to only 2.9% during these four years.

Despite our solid growth in median after-tax income, we continue to fall significantly behind households in the five provinces that are ahead of us in this regard.

Here is the said median income in these five provinces, with their respective gap compared to our median income of $64,600:

  • Ontario: $74,600 ($10,000 more than in Quebec)
  • Alberta: $82,700 ($18,100 more)
  • Saskatchewan: $72,100 ($7,500 more))
  • Manitoba: $66,900 ($2,300 more)
  • British Columbia: $70,600 ($6,000 more)

Although we have made a solid catch-up since 2018, the fact remains that we continue to lag significantly behind households in these five Canadian provinces.

We still have crusts to eat!

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