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Average Income in Canada: Salary and Pay Statistics for 2024

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What does “average income in Canada” mean? Defining this provides an economic baseline. It helps benchmark salaries, inform career choices, guide financial planning, and reveal inequalities.

But averages don’t tell the whole story. To honestly assess, we must analyze income data by location, job, age, gender, and other factors. Segmenting averages reveals a richer narrative.
This guide analyzes current income stats in Canada.

It uncovers critical trends and variations. The insights clarify how your earnings compare and explain the country’s economic landscape.

We will examine average wages nationally and provincially, highlighting higher- and lower-earning jobs. We will compare urban and rural discrepancies, break down salaries by age and education, analyze the gender pay gap, consider race and immigration factors, outline income inequality, and weigh cost-of-living to show real purchasing power.

This definitive resource provides both high-level and granular views. It aims to define average, reasonable, and high income in Canada today.

Earning in Canada: A Look at Average Income with 2024 Salary Statistics IDC
Earning in Canada: A Look at Average Income with 2024 Salary Statistics

Average Income in Canada and Provincial Incomes

Starting at the broadest level, Canada’s nationwide average income is $685,000 annually as of the end of 2021 (Source). This represents all workers’ total pre-tax salaries, wages, and other earnings.

After federal and provincial taxes, the average take-home income drops to approximately $59,300 per year or $4,942 monthly. These country-wide figures provide an overall baseline.

However, averages differ greatly based on geography. Canada is a large and diverse country, with economies, industries, and living costs varying significantly between provinces and territories. Here are the average incomes by province in 2021:

  • British Columbia – $53,416
  • Alberta – $61,865
  • Saskatchewan – $54,371
  • Manitoba – $49,661
  • Ontario – $55,524
  • Quebec – $51,735
  • New Brunswick – $49,511
  • Nova Scotia – $48,470
  • Prince Edward Island – $45,912
  • Newfoundland and Labrador – $55,508
  • Northwest Territories – $65,017
  • Yukon – $61,812
  • Nunavut – $87,355

Several patterns emerge in the provincial data. Average salaries tend to be higher in resource-rich provinces like Alberta, Newfoundland, and Labrador. Major urban labour markets also drive averages up in provinces like Ontario and BC. Remote northern regions with very high living costs have the highest incomes.

Source: https://www.dundaslife.com/blog/average-income-in-canada

Income Range for Major Occupations

Beyond location, specific occupations greatly influence earning potential in Canada. Those working in lucrative fields like medicine, law, engineering, management, or finance enjoy far greater lifetime earnings than most average salaries.

Here are average annual salary for some of Canada’s top high-paying professional roles:

  • Surgeon – $325,732
  • Physician – $286,000
  • Pathologist – $250,012
  • Psychologist – $201,367
  • Dentist – $170,564
  • Speech-Language Therapist – $148,405
  • Firefighter – $140,885
  • Criminal Investigator – $117,214
  • Lawyer – $116,480

Source: https://www.robertsoncollege.com/blog/career-advice/highest-paying-jobs-in-canada/

Conversely, many everyday jobs in retail, food service, care work, trades, and clerical roles pay far below national averages. Here are typical hourly incomes for some of Canada’s lowest-earning occupations:

  • Bartender – $17 per hour
  • Hotel front desk clerk – $16 per hour
  • Cleaning person – $16.61 per hour
  • Cook – $15.50 per hour
  • Server – $15 per hour
  • Dishwasher – $14 per hour
  • Food prep worker – $14 per hour
  • Fast food maker – $14 per hour
  • Cashier – $14 per hour
  • Gas station worker – $14 per hour

Source: https://explore.careerbeacon.com/highest-lowest-paying-jobs-canada

Income Comparisons Between Urban and Rural Areas

Another key income divider is geography, specifically cities versus rural and remote regions. Urban centres offer far more high-salary professional roles that skew average incomes upwards.

For example, here is how annual salaries differ between Canada’s most extensive metro areas and the rest of their respective provinces:

  • Vancouver: $72,000 vs BC average $64,400
  • Calgary: $82,000 vs Alberta average $74,000
  • Edmonton: $77,000 vs Alberta average $74,000
  • Toronto: $78,000 vs Ontario average $68,000
  • Ottawa: $77,000 vs Ontario average $68,000
  • Montreal: $60,000 vs Quebec average $56,500
Beyond Numbers: Salary Insights and Average Income in Canada for 2024 IDC
Beyond Numbers: Salary Insights and Average Income in Canada for 2024

Rural, remote regions lag far behind the earning power of big cities:

  • Rural Manitoba: $45,000 vs Manitoba average $61,200
  • Rural Saskatchewan: $52,000 vs Saskatchewan average $68,500
  • Rural New Brunswick: $36,000 vs NB average $51,600
  • Rural PEI: $38,000 vs PEI average $51,100
  • Rural Newfoundland: $52,000 vs Nfld average $63,500

This urban-rural divide highlights why nationwide or provincial averages only tell part of the story. Location matters immensely.

Average Yearly Income in Canada by Demographic

Average Income by Age Group

Beyond geography and occupations, age is another crucial determinant of earnings in Canada. Incomes rise steadily as Canadians gain skills, experience, and seniority in the workforce before declining again in retirement.

Here are annual income averages by age segment:

  • 16 to 24 years old – $16,800
  • 25 to 34 years old – $47,000
  • 35 to 44 years old – $60,900
  • 45 to 54 years old – $68,400
  • 55 to 64 years old – $55,300
  • 65 years and older – 41,500

Source: https://primusworkforce.com/blog/average-canadian-salary-by-age-group/

Incomes peak for Canadians aged 45 to 54, in their prime earning years. Workers start gaining career traction in their 30s before hitting high points in their 40s and 50s. Retirees over 65 see the most significant income drop-off.

However, generational differences also come into play. For example, prime earnings for middle-aged millennials today are still 7% lower than those of the same-aged Generation Xers in the early 2000s. This reflects more challenging economic conditions.

Average Income Differences by Gender

The gender pay gap remains a significant issue in Canada, with women earning substantially less than men on average:

  • Average income for men in Canada (2021): $59,200
  • Average income for women in Canada (2021): 43,200

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1314929/average-employment-income-canada-gender/

This $16,000 annual difference stems from systemic biases, gender imbalances in high-paying fields, more women in part-time low-paying roles, lack of flexible work arrangements, lack of childcare support, and other inequality factors.

The gender gap is slightly narrower for younger Canadians but still significant:

  • Men aged 25-34 (2021): $62,400 average income
  • Women aged 25-34 (2021): $51,500 average income

Source: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1110023901

Education helps narrow the divide, though it does not eliminate it:

  • Women with Bachelor’s degrees: $60,000
  • Men with Bachelor’s degrees: $76,000

Canada has made some progress in reducing gender pay inequity over the decades but still lags behind leading countries, especially in higher-earning occupations.

Income and Race in Canada

Beyond gender, average incomes also vary significantly based on race and ethnicity. Certain minority groups face substantial wage discrimination and career limitations that suppress earning potential.

Here are average incomes for Canada’s largest racial groups (2021):

  • Latin American: $47,800
  • Black: $43,800
  • Arab: $46,300
  • South Asian: $44,900
  • Chinese: $48,800
  • Filipino: $43,800
  • Southeast Asian: $44,300
  • Métis: $44,300

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1395916/average-median-total-income-canada-minority-indigenous-identity/

Wallet Check: Navigating Average Income - Pay Trends in Canada for 2024 IDC
Wallet Check: Navigating Average Income – Pay Trends in Canada for 2024

Systemic bias, employer discrimination, lack of workplace diversity, and unequal access to high-paying roles contribute to lower incomes among Black, Indigenous, and other minority Canadians.

Recent immigrants to Canada also see initial income gaps that take years to narrow:

  • Recent immigrants: $42,000
  • Established immigrants (10+ years): $68,000
  • Canadian-born population: $69,000

However, immigrants’ children reach income parity, indicating that career limitations are situational rather than inherent.

Related: The Bright Career Prospects in Canada

The Extent of Income Inequality in Canada

While the average Canadian income is $59,300, this national mean distorts the picture when a small number of ultra-high incomes skew the distribution. To understand income fully, we need to examine inequality.

Here are key income percentiles nationally:

  • Top 1% of earners: $300,000+
  • Top 10%: $120,000+
  • Top 20%: $95,000+
  • Next 40% (Middle class): $45,000 to $95,000
  • Bottom 20% (Low income): $20,000 and under
  • Bottom 10% (Poverty level): $15,000 and under

A small slice of the population earns vastly more than most working Canadians. The top 10% make at least $120,000 versus just $45,000 for the middle 40%. This skews the average upwards.

Canada has less inequality than the US but does lag behind its European peers. Taxes and transfers reduce the wealth gap somewhat, but not entirely. Income mobility is also relatively low.

How Income Translates to Cost of Living

Nominal average incomes only reveal part of the financial picture. The relative cost of living determines real purchasing power. Certain cities and regions of Canada have much higher costs that erode disposable incomes.

Here is an overview of average after-tax incomes adjusted for living costs in Canada’s major urban centres:

CityAvg. Annual IncomeAvg. Monthly RentReal Income Index

Index scores above 1.0 indicate cities with higher remaining incomes after housing costs, while scores below 1.0 reflect lower real incomes. Unsurprisingly, Canada’s most expensive cities, like Toronto and Vancouver, see the biggest hit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered a good salary in Canada?

According to income distributions, individuals with incomes between $60,000 and $100,000 are generally considered solidly middle class in Canada today. However, perceptions of a "good" income are highly subjective and depend greatly on location, occupation, and family size. The cost of living is a critical factor.

What income is considered rich in Canada?

The top 10% of Canadian earners make at least $120,000 annually. However, incomes of $200,000+ likely need to be considered genuinely affluent or wealthy after accounting for higher costs in major metro areas and larger family sizes. Approximately 7% of Canadians qualify as rich under this definition.

Is a $100,000 salary good in Canada?

A $100,000 annual income represents a top-tier salary that exceeds average Canadian incomes by around 50%. However, in high-cost-of-living cities like Vancouver and Toronto, $100,000 is considered closer to a middle-class income, especially for larger households. It provides a comfortable, upper-middle lifestyle in most of Canada.

Do you need six figures to live comfortably in Canada?

Canadians can undoubtedly enjoy decent, middle-class lifestyles on incomes under $100,000, especially in affordable cities or smaller towns. However, cracking the 6 figure threshold provides greater financial flexibility and purchasing power in all areas of the country. Over $100,000 is often viewed as the start of upper-middle-class living.

What annual salary is the poverty level in Canada?

There is no official government poverty measure in Canada. However, low-income cut-offs used for statistics define poverty approximately as earnings below $25,000 per year for single individuals and $45,000 for four households. Around 10% of Canadians fall under these low-income poverty lines.

Why do some provinces make more than others?

Provincial average income differences reflect underlying economic factors. Provinces like Alberta and Newfoundland, with lucrative oil, gas and mining sectors, see higher wages. Significant financial and tech hubs also attract high-paying jobs. Poorer provinces rely more on lower-wage industries like tourism. Rural regions trail urban centres significantly in salaries.


Dollars and Sense: The Latest Salary and Pay Statistics for 2024 in Canada IDC
Dollars and Sense: The Latest Salary and Pay Statistics for 2024 in Canada

This comprehensive income analysis aimed to dig beneath basic averages to uncover key trends, variations, and influencers. While nationwide statistics provide a baseline, detailed breakdowns tell a fuller story. Your job, location, experience level, education, demographics, and household size mainly define your income and purchasing power. Benchmarking against incomes across Canada can help put your earnings and standard of living into perspective.

Article Sources

At Ebsource, our mission is to provide Canadians with comprehensive and factual information to help them make informed decisions about employee benefits and human resources topics. We tap into the expertise of veteran finance professionals to ensure our guidance aligns with industry best practices. The statistics we cite come from reputable governmental and industry organizations like Statistics Canada and the CLHIA to guarantee accuracy.

Our recommendations stem from thorough, impartial research on the major employee benefits providers in Canada. This allows us to offer advice tailored to individuals’ specific budgets and needs. Ebsource upholds high standards of objectivity, transparency, and independence in all of our content. We take pride in delivering insights readers can trust by referencing credible sources and adhering to editorial principles. As Canada’s most dependable outlet for employee benefits news and HR insights, we are dedicated to empowering Canadians to make optimal benefits decisions.

Average Household Income Canada: How Much An Average Canadian Household Earns Every Year? – incometaxgujarat.org
What is the average income in Canada (2024)? policyadvisor.com
Taxes consume more than 45% of household income for average Canadian family – fraserinstitute.org

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