According to 78.2% of working Canadians earn under $100,000.

A new stat (21.8% of Canadians earn over $100,000) came across my desk today and I started wondering how many people working in Canada, can afford to live here?

  • On I found 2024 income distributions for Canada.
  • On I found average housing costs for April 2024 in Canada.
  • On I found average rent costs for May 2024.

In the associated chart I calculated the number of people employed fulltime, needed in each income bracket be able to carry the costs for each housing type. As an example, 10.1% of the population in Canada earns minimum wage or less. Assuming they somehow saved enough for a down payment, it would take 4-people working fulltime to carry the average home, 5 to carry a single-family home, 4 to carry a townhouse, 3 to carry a condo, or 3 to rent an apartment. A household of 3-fulltime minimum wage earners is required to carry the average rental apartment in Canada.

Also shown in the chart is a cost to rent an apartment of $643,800. I have always been under the impression that renting provided an opportunity to save for a down payment. The average monthly rent in Canada according to hit $2,146 for an apartment. This means that to afford rent, you need to earn $85,840/year and after 25-years (assuming the current 11% rent increases does not continue) you will have spent $643,800. If you could save 30% of your income to use as a down payment, in 25-months you would have enough for a 10% down payment on a condo, converting renting to ownership. Note: these rates do not include condo fees, that can easily push the carrying costs beyond affordable. If you have a partner, together you have more options.

In summary, if you are in the 78.2% of working Canadians that earn under $86,000 per year, you can’t afford to live here.