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Toronto Vital Signs Report – Issue One: Income and Wealth

Toronto Foundation has just released Vital Signs Report 2019: Growing Pains and Narrow Gains. This report provides a consolidated snapshot of the trends and issues affecting the quality of life in our city and each of the interconnected issue areas is critical to the wellbeing of Toronto and its residents.

Vital Signs examines ten issue areas. We are going to explore highlights of each of these sections. Issue One is Income and Wealth:

By many measures, Toronto is the city with the most inequality in Canada, and this inequality has grown extremely rapidly over recent decades.

  • Over the last 35 years, racialized populations, newcomers, and young people have had no income growth, while the rest of the population has often had greater than 50% income growth.
  • Poverty rates have started to decline in the last several years, but poverty rates remain among the highest of any city in the country for most people, with particularly high poverty rates for certain demographics, including racialized populations, newcomers, and single parents.
  • Toronto is the most expensive major city in which to live in Canada, and costs of childcare, tuition, transit, and housing have all skyrocketed, while incomes for most people have barely budged.
  • The top 20% have had their net worth increase by an average of more than $600,000 from 1999 to 2016, while the bottom 20% have had their net worth grow by $2,100.
  • Indebtedness among low-income groups in the city is incredibly high, with the debt of the lowest-income group in Toronto more than four times their after-tax income.

Read the full report here.


Are you doing work that addresses income and wealth inequality? Become a CSI member, and let us help you make a difference.

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