featured Poverty

Nova Scotia’s richest 20% own two-thirds of province’s wealth

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Nova Scotia’s wealthiest 20% own 64% of Nova Scotia’s total net worth, according to newly released wealth data by Statistics Canada.

Meanwhile, the poorest 20% of Nova Scotians can’t claim any share of the collective wealth. Instead as a group they owe, because their debts exceed their assets.

The poorest 40% of Nova Scotians can lay claim on only 3% of all wealth in Nova Scotia. Add to that the next quintile, and the poorer 60% of Nova Scotians control a mere 13% of all wealth in the province.

Statistics pertaining to the top 1% or top 10% of Nova Scotians would no doubt paint an even starker picture. As well, data for urban Halifax would likely show a higher percentage of wealth in the hands of the top 20%. However, in either case Statistics Canada does not provide those numbers.   

Rich-poor ratios in Nova Scotia are similar to those in other Canadian provinces.  

Drawing by Georg Grosz

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  1. As Tim Bousquet has written – “why aren’t we rioting in the streets?” With austerity obsessed governments hewing to a neoliberal path with no sign of ever veering off of it, things will only get worse. How bad does it have to get? Will we have had enough when the top 20% own 70%? 80%? 90%? of all the wealth? Why are we not out there throwing rocks…

  2. Worth noting that, if you follow the link for the data given in the article, the fraction owned by the top 20% has been dropping. There are only 4 data points, because Stats Can has only studied this four times, but here’s the fraction of the Province’s citizens’ net wealth held by the wealthiest top 20%:

    1999: 62%
    2005: 67%
    2012: 66%
    2016: 64%

    So – I’m not saying it’s fair, but it’s actually moving in the right direction.

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