In Money, Wealth

Average Net Worth by Age in Canada (& Growth between 2019 versus 2020)

Net worth benchmarking has always motivated me. Yes, I can feel jealous or “ugh why am I not here”, sometimes, but it helps me see that maybe, I could aim for the moon but land among the stars. So I like it when net worth benchmarks show up once in a while in statistics, and I can update my charts / ideas of how to reach them.

Of course, some of these higher net worth households may have already had a lot of external help that isn’t shown in the numbers such as family aid (paying for schooling), family gifts (large sums every year), family and friend connections (who you go to school with or are related to, can really boost your earnings), and so on.

But, this is all we have to work with. A few notes before we dive in:

These are averages not the median

Median to me, is far more indicative of a real average, because you have lots of people who skew the average up WAY HIGHER than it should be.

Just think of the example of looking at Millennials. People with a lot of money (in the billions) like the Kardashians, Jenners, even the Zuckerbergs, skew all of the Millennial money averages WAY UP. You could have $100K in debt as an individual, but it is a drop in the bucket in averages against billions and billions of dollars.

Fortunately, we do not have as many outlier billionaires in Canada as in the U.S. Unfortunately, we only have averages to deal with.

The household net worth is attributed to the age of the main income earner

This means someone who makes $150K in the household, and is 29, and someone who lives with them who makes $75K as their net worth and is 28, will have an average household net worth of the BOTH of them together, but with the age of the main household earner which is 29.

So if they have $100K net worth together, it is all attributed to the age of 29.

Now let’s look at the chart

StatsCan: Net worth, average value per household, by age group of major income earner, 2019 to fourth quarter 2020, Canada 

Average Household net worth between 2019 and 2020 ($ difference and % difference)

2019 2020 $ Diff. % Diff.
Canada (all) $747,637.00 $817,378.00 $69,741.00 9.33%
Younger than 35 years $204,573.00 $231,036.00 $26,463.00 12.94%
35 to 44 years $500,334.00 $553,461.00 $53,127.00 10.62%
45 to 54 years $847,517.00 $929,731.00 $82,214.00 9.70%
55 to 64 years $1,228,140.00 $1,335,146.00 $107,006.00 8.71%
65 years and older $898,352.00 $976,099.00 $77,747.00 8.65%

Average Individual net worth between 2019 and 2020 ($ difference and % difference)

I took a household factor of 2.47 (that is the average size of a household) and divided all the net worths by that to get a single approximation of net worth by individual.

I did this because households can be made up of one person, two people, or even multiple families. So an individual seeing household net worth averages, might feel discouraged when they shouldn’t.

Sure, it isn’t perfect at 2.47 rather than a whole number like 3 (how can you have .47 of a person!?), but it is a good general factor to use as a guesstimate, in lieu of the government actually giving the information I need.

And here we go:

2019 2020 $ Diff. % Diff.
Canada (all) $302,687.04 $330,922.27 $28,235.22 9.33%
Younger than 35 years $82,823.08 $93,536.84 $10,713.77 12.94%
35 to 44 years $202,564.37 $224,073.28 $21,508.91 10.62%
45 to 54 years $343,124.29 $376,409.31 $33,285.02 9.70%
55 to 64 years $497,222.67 $540,544.94 $43,322.27 8.71%
65 years and older $363,705.26 $395,181.78 $31,476.52 8.65%

Savings rates increased by 783%

You can see that between 2019 and 2020, the overall wealth and net worth went up quite a bit. Of course, there are many who lost their jobs, and I am more than certain it is the top 50% of the country or higher, that saw their fortunes shoot up astronomically, which is what is driving these percentages to look higher than a if we considered the median.

We can also extrapolate that the pandemic has helped people save money – they started saving more out of panic and fear, realizing they weren’t prepared for the train to go off the financial tracks, and they stopped going out and traveling as often as they did before.

In fact, Canadian savings rates went from 3.6% before the pandemic to 28.2%!

Of course, after the pandemic, it doesn’t mean it will stay this way and people will be able to keep such a fat, disciplined savings rate, but I daresay it was a bit of a wakeup call for some people that they weren’t saving enough to weather such a storm.

Thoughts?

If you’re interested in net worth benchmarks:

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