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Perspectives on Labour and Income - September 2007

High-income Canadians

Brian Murphy, Paul Roberts and Michael Wolfson

  • In 2004, 5% of Canadian taxfilers had an income of $89,000 or more; only 1% reached $181,000 or more.
  • In 2004, the top 5% of taxfilers received 25% of total income and paid 36% of income and payroll taxes.
  • The prevalence of high income peaks in the 45-to-64 age group. In 2004, individuals of that age represented less than a third of all income recipients, but made up more than half of the top 5%.
  • Calgary had the highest proportion of families with income over $250,000 in 2004, but Toronto had by far the most families with such incomes, almost one-third of the national total.
  • Of the 1.2 million taxfilers who made up the top 5% of income recipients in 2004, three-quarters were men, even though men accounted for less than half of all taxfilers. However, since 1982 there has been an 11% increase in the portion of women in the top 5% of tax filers.

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Brian Murphy is with the Income Statistics Division and can be reached at 613-951-3769. Paul Roberts is also with the Income Statistics Division and can be reached at 613-951-5811. Michael Wolfson is with the Analysis and Development Field and can be reached at 613-951-8216. All three can be reached at

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