Here are the provinces with the highest and lowest family net worth

Families in British Columbia are wealthiest but those in Manitoba have seen the fastest growth in their net worth. Getty Images

The median net worth of Canadian families was $295,100 in 2016, new data from Statistics Canada shows. That’s up nearly 15 per cent since 2012 and more than twice what it was in 1999.

Net worth is the value of assets minus outstanding debt. The survey measured the net worth of both families living under the same roof and individuals living alone or with others with whom they are not related.

READ MORE: Are you earning a middle-class income? Here’s what it takes in Canada, based on where you live

Rising housing prices inflated both Canadians’ wealth and their debt, the data shows. But while the value of all assets owned by Canadians increased by 21 per cent between 2012 and 2016, their total debt was up by 24 per cent.

The median home value was $349,000 last year, up over 10 per cent since 2012. The median mortgage debt, meanwhile, has grown twice as fast, growing 20 per cent since 2012 to $190,000.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Wealthy baby boomers may be keeping Canada unequal by helping their kids buy homes: report

Unsurprisingly, the two provinces where housing prices have been shooting through the roof, British Columbia and Ontario, have the highest median family net worth, at $429,400 and $365,700 respectively. At the other end of the spectrum is New Brunswick, where the median net worth fell short of $160,000.

But it was Manitoba where average families saw the strongest growth in net asset values. The median net worth has leapt by over 35 per cent since 2012, from $237,200 to $320,800.

Here’s the full breakdown:

Median net worth in 2016 (dollars)
British Columbia429,400
Nova Scotia225,200
Newfoundland and Labrador211,800
Prince Edward Island204,000
New Brunswick158,400


Median net worth 2012-2016: % change
Prince Edward Island28.6
Newfoundland and Labrador19.6
British Columbia18.3
Nova Scotia11
New Brunswick-14.2

WATCH: Middle class incomes in cities across the country

Click to play video: 'Middle class incomes in cities across the country' Middle class incomes in cities across the country
Middle class incomes in cities across the country – Nov 6, 2017

Percentage of debt-free families shrinking, especially among seniors

The share of Canadian families with no debt is now just shy of 30 per cent, down from almost 33 per cent in 1999.

Story continues below advertisement

That decrease was led by seniors, among whom the share of debt-free families has plummeted from over 70 per cent in 1999 to less than 60 per cent in 2016.

READ MORE: Boomers, gen-X, millennials: How living costs compare then and now

The typical senior family with debt now has $25,000 in liabilities, StatCan said. And nearly 14 per cent of families led by someone in their sunset years still has a mortgage, nearly double the rate seen in 1999.

Canadians under 35, on the other hand, were less likely to have debt, with the share of debt-free families rising from 20 per cent to 23 per cent.

Sponsored content