Census Data Points to a Life of Poverty, Debt and Less Time With Our Families for the Average Canadian.

Even though the new census data is skewed and is likely painting a shinier picture of Canada than is the reality.  The news coming out on our fair country is still pretty bleak.  The pretty bouquet that the we were picked still looks wilted.

wilted flowers

Statistics Canada is refusing to draw comparisons to historical data because they believe Steven Harper’s new voluntary census is inaccurate. They suggest that the data is likely biased towards wealthier, upper class Canadians, since everyone else spends more time paying for their houses and feeding themselves than filling out voluntary forms.

Even with this bias the highlights are still dismal.  Canada’s population has climbed above 35 million, of that most of us are crammed into smaller, more expensive homes in urban centers, working at right around the poverty line and are spending an unsustainable amount on maintaining a place to live, with fewer people home to look after our kids.

The median household income is just $27,600 (meaning that just as many people make less than that as make more).  While the median household income (combination of all the people who live together) climbs up to $76,000. This means that in more than half of the households reporting, more than 2 people are working to pay the bills.  Most Canadians have to choose between time with family and bringing home enough to eat after work.

The average cost to maintain our homes ranges from just over $8,000 to about $16,000 a year. However for a great many of us, especially in the lower-income brackets, mortgages eat up 30% or more of our incomes.  As any of our banker friends or anyone who owned a house in the 80’s should be able to tell you, this is with interest at unheard of lows!  If this level of dept continues and interest rates inevitably rise, we will see hundreds of thousands of people no longer able to pay for their homes.

It’s not all bad though!  The super rich are doing just fine.  The top 100,000 earners in Canada all reported incomes well over $300,000 a year.  The census data also shows that: contrary to the public image of a, “more diverse workforce” this top group is almost mostly, married, white, males, aged 45-52.  So much for equal opportunity to all, through less government and more market freedom?

I just wonder how bad it would have looked if the conservatives had allowed a real census rather than this falsely flowery one?

To read more click links below:

Stats Canada Census Data

CBC Article