How Many Millionaires in Canada in 2021?

The Great White North is a land of prosperity, where people go to find their fortune. Well, many Canadians have already found theirs, with plenty having more than $1 million at their disposal.

Today, we’ll answer a fascinating question:

How many millionaires in Canada in 2021?

Some people might want to know this simply out of curiosity. For others, learning about the number of millionaires in Canada can be very important because they plan to open a luxury business in the second-largest country in the world.

In addition:

We’ll also see how millionaires are dispersed across Canada, whether they are concentrated in certain areas or if they’re all over the place and, of course, give a definitive Canadian millionaires list.

Without any further ado, let’s dive right in.


How Many Millionaires Are There in Canada in 2021?

There are 1,681,969 Canadians with a net worth greater than $1 million. Being a millionaire in Canada is a bit complicated because sometimes it’s not clear what’s the golden standard for millionaires – having a million US dollars or a million Canadian dollars. Because the Canadian dollar is usually weaker than the US dollar, the latter is the better criterion. Besides, it’s used much more often across the world thanks to US influence.


What Is Considered a Millionaire in Canada?

In Canada, as elsewhere, a millionaire is someone who has more than $1 million. 

And how many multi-millionaires in Canada? 

A multi-millionaire is, of course, anyone who has $2 million or more at their disposal. It’s pretty challenging to find this stat online, as most surveys inquire about millionaires and serious millionaires ( the top 1%). The number of multi-millionaires in Canada is below one million, while the number of Canadian millionaires is set to grow to two million by 2023.

More specifically, Bank Suisse predicted a 54% growth in the number of billionaires between 2018 and 2023, ranking Canada alongside the likes of China and Russia, the two countries which are also rapidly increasing their millionaire clubs. 

The bottom line is: 

Millionaires in Canada mostly owe their wealth to high property prices. Click To Tweet

In 2020 alone, 246,000 Canadians joined the exclusive millionaire club. It might come as a surprise, but many people continued to profit during the pandemic – and we’re not talking about Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos here. 

Not everything is as it appears, though. According to the Financial Post, banks in Canada lowered interest rates as a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, which triggered significant turbulence in the real estate market. 

What’s more:

Property prices in Canada have increased, indirectly leading to the making of many more millionaires. 


What City in Canada Has the Most Millionaires?

It might come as a surprise, but Calgary has the most millionaires per capita – 225 per 100,000 residents.

The per capita ratio is perhaps more relevant than the absolute number of millionaires in a city. 

Why? 

Because the per capita ratio of millionaires gives a more realistic picture. Beijing, for instance, has a lot more millionaires than Calgary could ever dream of. But take a walk across Beijing, and you’ll see a lot of rich people but also innumerable poor people working in factories.

On the other hand, Calgary is uniformly rich. So, you tend to come across millionaires quite often because they will literally be around every corner. 

That being said:

Calgary is not necessarily a place for extremely rich people. They are more likely to be found in Ontario and British Columbia, as these are the provinces where the most serious business is done. 

Here’s the deal:

Toronto, with more than 100,000 millionaires, has by far the most millionaires on an absolute basis. Click To Tweet

Keep in mind that these are older stats (from 2013), but they still help us approximate how many millionaires there are in Toronto – probably 150,000 by now. Toronto is followed by Montreal with more than 50,000 millionaires and Calgary with around 30,000. 

Somewhat surprisingly, Vancouver only takes fourth place with around 20,000 millionaires. Ottawa is not even in the first five, but this is understandable considering that it has fewer than one million residents. 

When we look at Canadian millionaires by province, we see they are concentrated in a few powerful provinces – Ontario and British Columbia, most importantly. In contrast, provinces like Saskatchewan or Newfoundland and Labrador are not places for seriously rich people. Perhaps they have luxurious log cabins there, but they prefer to live where the business is. 


How Much Does the Top 1% Make in Canada?

According to official government statistics, in 2018, the top 1% in Canada made  $244,800 per year. This represents a slight increase from 2014 when the top 1% earned around $227,000. From then on, incomes increased, with a small dip in 2016 ($226,000), but this was only temporary.

Women earn less. The top 1% of women bring home $160,000 per year, which is drastically lower than the average for men $276,000. 

What’s more:

The creme de la creme of the top 1%, around 3,000 Canadians, earn a whopping $2.6 million per year. Click To Tweet

Speaking of less lucky but still wealthy Canadians, they earn $120,000 (top 5%) and $80,000 (top 10%) on a yearly basis. When it comes to the top 1 percent net worth in Canada, they have $9million worth of various assets – real estate, cars, valuables, etc. 

Needless to say:

As is the case in most of the world, Canada’s net worth distribution is “positively asymmetric.” This means it deviates from the normal distribution in a way that there are few extremely rich people, a lot of people with relatively low incomes, and a considerable number of poor people. If the distribution were normal, the number of fabulously rich people would be equal to that of impoverished people, which is almost never the case. 


How Many Billionaires in Canada? 

There were 53 billionaires in Canada in 2020. Seven Canadians joined this exclusive club that year. In this respect, Canada is twelfth in the world, behind giants like China and the US but also Germany, Russia, Hong Kong, and Switzerland.

As we can see, the list of Canadian billionaires is quite long, so we’ll only mention the most powerful ones. Here are the top 10 billionaires in Canada, who are at the same time the 10 richest Canadians as of October 2021:

  1. David Thomson (and family), media magnate and hereditary peer – US$ 51 billion
  2. Tobi Lutke, founder of Spotify – US$ 11.6 billion
  3. David Cheriton, computer scientist and businessman – US$11.1 billion
  4. Jim Pattison, head of a group that deals with food, packaging, and entertainment – US$10 billion
  5. Joseph Tsai, Alibaba co-founder – US$9.8 billion
  6. Galen Weston Jr. and family, food industry – US$7 billion
  7. Huang Chulong, Galaxy Group (hotels, shopping malls, office spaces etc.) – US$6.2 billion
  8. Chip Wilson, retail apparel – US$5.9 billion
  9. Mark Scheinberg, investor (real estate, luxury hospitality) – US$4.9 billion
  10. James Irving (frozen food, retail, shipbuilding, etc.) – US$4.5 billion

Who Is the Richest Person in Canada?

We can see that David Thomson is by far the wealthiest man in Canada. The wealth distribution is so asymmetrical that serious gaps exist even in the top 10 club! Moreover, you have to take these millionaire statistics with a pinch of salt because the wealth fluctuates and changes literally every day. 

So, if you really need to have an update on, say, Tobi Lutke’s wealth, you can always check his Forbes page, which is updated pretty regularly and is perhaps the most objective source of info. 

Now:

The wealthiest people in Canada either deal with the tech industry, food, real estate, hotels, and heavy industry. Wow, they really are a diverse bunch! And we really mean it – some of these people have spread their tentacles everywhere – like James Irving, for instance. 

The list is also indicative of Canada’s most affluent families. Wealth gets spilled over, of course, and it’s not like these people are greedy; they like to share their wealth… sort of. 


Which Country Has the Most Millionaires?

By now, we’ve seen how many millionaires there are in Canada. Now, let’s focus on the global picture. 

Here’s the scoop:

As far as countries with the highest proportions of millionaires are concerned, Switzerland is the absolute winner – 14.9% of the general population has at least $1 million worth of assets. Next comes, perhaps a bit surprisingly, Australia – with 9.4% of the population crossing the millionaire line.

The third place is taken by the usual suspect – the US – which has 8.8% millionaires, same as Luxemburg. Then comes Hong Kong (8.3%), the Netherlands (7.7%), Sweden (7.3%), and Denmark (6.7%), which is followed by New Zealand (6.3%), Belgium (5.7%), and Canada (5.6%). 

As far as absolute numbers are concerned, here’s how the deal goes (all numbers are approximations):

  • US – 22 million millionaires
  • China – 5.2 million
  • Japan – 3.6 million
  • Germany – 3 million
  • UK – 2.5 million

As a wrap-up – the total number of millionaires in the world is 56 million


Is it Easy to Be a Millionaire in Canada? 

Suppose you’re thinking in terms of Canadian dollars, then yes. In that case, it is a bit easier to be a millionaire in Canada because the Canadian dollar is somewhat weaker than the US. It’s a bit like saying you’re a millionaire, but you’re counting in Japanese yen (100 yen equals approximately US$1). 

Perhaps a better question would be: 

Is it easy to become a millionaire in Canada? 

And the answer would be: 

While it’s rarely easy to become a millionaire, doing this in Canada is more likely than in, say, Italy, Germany, Taiwan, or Japan. We’ve mentioned these countries on purpose because we all know how well people live there. However, they all have lower proportions of millionaires than Canada (5.6%). 

So, if we want to get really technical, you have a 0.056 probability of becoming a millionaire in Canada. So, it’s not really all that probable – but it’s still more likely than in most other countries. 


Final Thoughts

There you have it: 

Everything you need to know about millionaire statistics from Canada. From the wealthiest persons and families in Canada to the wealthiest provinces, we’ve seen it all. You now know how many millionaires in Canada there are, all about wealth distribution in the Great White North, and perhaps a thing or two about the global picture.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this journey. Catch you on the next one!

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