Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Appeal of Middle Class Economics

Hennessy’s Index is a monthly listing of numbers, written by the CCPA's Trish Hennessy, about Canada and its place in the world. For other months, visit:
  • 52% is the percentage of Canadians who self-identify as middle class when asked to describe their “social and financial place in society”, according to a November 2014 Pollara poll. 
  • 73%  is the Percentage of Quebecers who said they were middle class – the province most likely to do so, followed by Alberta (57%), the Prairies (47%), B.C. (46%), Atlantic provinces (44%), and Ontario (43%). 
  • 57% is the Percentage of men who said they think of themselves as middle class, compared to 47% of women.
  • 67%  is the Percentage of Canadians earning between $60,000-$100,000 who said they’re middle class. For context, the 2012 after-tax median income of all families consisting of two or more people was $71,700. 
  • 3%  is the Percentage of Canadians who considered themselves upper class, thank you very much. 
  • 36%   is the Percentage of Canadians who said they’re working class, not middle class. 
  • 9%  is the Percentage of Canadians who considered themselves poor. For context, Statistics Canada said 16.3 per cent of children under 17 lived in low-income households in 2012.
  • 82%  is the Percentage of self-described middle class Canadians who own their home: home ownership is a very middle class symbol in Canada. 
  • 49%  is the Percentage of Canadians who said they feel confident that they can move up the socio-economic ladder through hard work, though the answer differs greatly depending on where you sit along the income ladder.
  • 20%  is the Percentage of self-ascribed poor Canadians who said they are confident in merit-based social mobility, compared to 47% of the working class, 53% of the middle class, and 73% of the very confident upper class. 
  • 45%  is thePercentage of Canadians who are optimistic about the future of Canada’s middle class. 
  • 90%  is the Percentage of Canadians who don’t feel financially secure.
Sources for all factoids: Only one-in-ten Canadians feels financially secure (The Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy);  In Search of “The Middle Class”: Canadians Under Financial (The Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy); and Poverty In Canada: 1 In 7 Lived In Low-Income Families In 2012, StatsCan Says (The Canadian Press).
AUTHOR(S): Trish Hennessy
FEBRUARY 1, 2015

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