Hennessy‘s Index: May 2014

Middle Class Angst

Hennessy's Index

Hennessy’s Index is a monthly listing of numbers, written by the CCPA's Trish Hennessy, about Canada and its place in the world. For other months, visit: http://policyalternatives.ca/index

  • 47

Percentage of Canadians who self-identify as middle class. That’s down from almost 70 per cent in 2002. [Source]

  • $1,600

The decline in median market household income between 2008 and 2011. In 2008 median market family was $49,300. [Source]

  • 5

Percentage increase in the market income of the richest 20 per cent of Canadian households in 2011 compared to 2006. [Source]

  • 6

Percentage drop in the market income of the poorest 20 per cent of Canadian households in 2011 compared to 2006. [Source]

  • 59

Percentage increase in the number of Canadians who were working for the minimum wage in 2012 compared to 2006. That’s a large increase and it doesn’t appear to be going down post-recession. [Source]

  • 32

Share of income gains from economic growth that Canada’s richest 1 per cent enjoyed between 1997 and 2007. [Source]

  • 3

Number of Canada’s big cities in which the bottom 90 per cent of Canadians make less in than they did in 1982. Vancouver’s bottom 90 per cent saw a drop in income of $4,300, Toronto’s lost $1,900 and Montreal’s lost $224. [Source]

  • 165

Percentage of Canadians’ household incomes that was taken up by household debt in 2012. That amount of household debt is worse than in the U.S. or U.K. [Source]

  • 105

Percentage of Canadians’ household income that was taken up by mortgage debt in 2012. That’s a big increase from 82 per cent in 2006. Canada’s mortgage debt is rising while Americans’ is dropping. [Source]

  • #1

Canada tops the list of countries with the worst (that is, highest) price-to-rent ratio ­­– an indicator some economists interpret as having an overvalued housing market. [Source]

  • 11 

Percentage of Canadians working in the private sector who are covered by a traditional (defined benefit) pension plan. That’s down considerably from 28.6 per cent in 1982, leaving far more Canadian workers without an adequate retirement cushion. [Source]

  • 53

Percentage of Canadians who think Canada is in some kind of recession. [Source]

May 1, 2014