Cash poor, asset rich – and by asset rich, we mean house rich. Statistics Canada revealed today that British Columbian families have the highest net worth in the country.
The federal agency reported that B.C.’s median net worth of $344,000, which is more than double the median of those living in Newfoundland and Labrador ($167,900) and Prince Edward Island ($150,300). After British Columbia, family units living in Saskatchewan had the next highest median net worth at $271,400, followed closely by Alberta ($267,500) and Ontario ($265,700).
Comparing 1999 with 2012, median net worth in British Columbia more than doubled, rising from $150,700 in 1999 when the province ranked fourth nationally.
Family units living in Ontario had the largest share of total net worth in Canada, holding $3.1 trillion or 38.8 per cent of Canada’s net worth in 2012. This share is in line with the proportion of the national total of family units residing in Ontario (37.4%). In contrast, family units living in British Columbia held $1.4 trillion or 17 per cent of Canada’s net worth, with 13.6 per cent of family units living in the province.
The total value of assets held by Canadian family units in 2012 was $9.4 trillion, composed of financial assets (pension and non-pension), non-financial assets and equity in business. As in 1999 and 2005, the principal residence was the largest asset in 2012, representing one-third of the total value of assets. For those who owned their principal residence, the median reported value of their residence was $300,000 in 2012, up 83.2 per cent from 1999 and 46.6 per cent more than in 2005.
Median net worth was highest for family units where the person with the highest income was 55 to 64 years old ($533,600) in 2012. This was almost three times higher than for family units where the highest income recipient was 35 to 44 ($182,500).
This is also more than double the amount B.C. families reported in 1999 when net worth averaged $150,700 in the province. B.C. was the only province where net worth doubled over this period, although Newfoundland and Labrador (up 99%) and Quebec (up 98%) came close.
Canadian families had total assets of $9.4 trillion as of 2012. The main assets included in the calculation were the families’ principal residences, making up one-third of the total asset base. This was followed by private pension assets at 30 per cent.
The median net worth of Canadian family units was $243,800 in 2012, up 44.5 per cent from 2005 and almost 80 per cent more than the 1999 median of $137,000, adjusted for inflation.
Across the country, those between the ages of 55 and 64 had the highest net worth, with an average of $533,600. This was followed by Canadians over 65, with $460,700.
Couples without children under 18 years old had higher net worths ($365,200) than those with children ($302,100). The demographic with the lowest net worth was lone-parent families, at $37,000.
Image: Net worth increase via Shutterstock