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.
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.
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)|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||211,800|
|Prince Edward Island||204,000|
|Median net worth 2012-2016: % change|
|Prince Edward Island||28.6|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||19.6|
WATCH: Middle class incomes in cities across the country
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.
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.
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.