Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Canada: relatively equal in an unequal world

The world is a very unequal place. As can be seen graphically on the figure to the right. The world's lowest ten per cent of income earners average $266 US per year, the highest 10 per cent average $89,703 US. The average wage in Canada is $51,000. Not only is there a huge discrepancy between the world's rich and poor countries but the poorest countries also have the greatest inequality.

As to the income split between capital and labour, according to the International Labour Organization, 51.4 per cent of total global income went to labour and 48.6 per cent to capital. Canadian workers do much better than that, however, taking 61 per cent of the pie. This is the third highest among the developed countries behind only Switzerland and Belgium.

The labour portion is distributed very unevenly across the globe with the top 10 per cent of workers earning almost half of it while the share of the bottom 50 per cent is just over six per cent. In Canada, the top 10 per cent are much harder done by, earning only 24 per cent, half the world average. Furthermore, Canada's middle class is increasing its share while in the U.S. and the U.K. their share is declining. The top 10 per cent in the U.S. and Britain get about a third of the income.

Canada is doing well both in the amount of income and the distribution of it relative to most other nations. But then that's an easy standard to meet.

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