For many families in Canada, income security is an elusive dream, according to a new study released by the Vanier Institute for the Family. The report, The Current State of Canadian Family Finances, shows that income inequality is increasing. Canadian families continue to struggle with their overall debt load, which averages $103 000 per family. And seniors are either staying in the workforce longer, or returning to work after retirement to make up pension shortfalls.
Vanier Institute CEO Nora Spinks says, “More young people are living with their parents longer and staying in school longer. Grandparents are spending increasing amounts of time in the work force. Parents are stretched, often providing care and financial support to both young and old, while trying to plan and save for their own retirement.”
Some stats and highlights:
- Average family debt stood at $103,000 in 2011
- 1.7 million families have a debt servicing ratio of 40%, making them vulnerable to rising interest rates or job loss
- Family saving rates dwindled to 4% of disposable income in 2011, down from 13% in 1990.
- Over the last 20 years, the number of Canadians over 65 who have declared bankruptcy has gone up by an incredible seventeen hundred percent
- Increases in hourly earnings in 2011 did not kept pace with inflation
- Income inequality is increasing as the gap between the haves and have-nots continues to expand.
- 5.3% of working Canadians hold down a second job, many of them using self-employment to supplement a wage-paying job.
- Real estate now accounts for half of the net worth of Canadian households.
The Vanier Institute for the Family provides quality research and analysis of the trends which influence the well-being of Canada’s 8.9 million families.