L’évolution et la composition de la richesse des ménages Québécois

This research note examines the evolution and composition of household wealth in Quebec, in comparison with Ontario and Canada, using data from the Survey of Financial Security (SFS) for the years 1999, 2005, 2012, 2016 and 2019. The main points to note are as follows:

1.  Evolution of wealth

  • Household wealth in Quebec was already lower than in Ontario in 1999, and this disparity has grown over time.
  • This growth in the wealth gap is not due to simple differences in growth in the number of households, to the data used, or to a parallel gap in growth in household income.

2.  Wealth by age and education

  • The wealth growth gap between Quebec and Canada is not attributable to a single or even a few education groups: the growth gap is similar for all groups.
  • While age is a factor with some impact on wealth levels, it doesn't appear to be a central factor in explaining wealth differences between Quebec and Ontario, or Canada.

3. Wealth concentration

  • The share of wealth held by the richest has fallen slightly in Quebec, while remaining unchanged in Ontario and Canada, so that slow wealth growth among the wealthiest counts for little in explaining the divergent wealth trajectories.

4. Comparative portfolio analysis

  • Real estate wealth is a key factor in the wealth differences between Quebec, Ontario and Canada.
  • In 1999, real estate accounted for more than half of the average household wealth gap between Quebec and Ontario. This proportion has risen to almost 80% in 2019.
  • The wealth growth gap between Quebec and Ontario (and Canadian) households is entirely due to real estate.
  • Non-real estate wealth growth in Quebec from 1999 to 2019 is not lagging behind Ontario and Canada. On the contrary, it's slightly higher.
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