Save. Spend. Splurge.

The Top 10% of Millennials in Canada hold 55% of their generation’s wealth

Found this infographic on StatsCan comparing Gen X with Millennials, and what really caught my eye was the bottom graph:

Millennials in the top 10% had accumulated $588,600 in net worth and even more, they held 55% of the total wealth for their generation.

Wow. Being an older millennial (the cutoff was 1980), I am surprised and not surprised.

Guilty as charged.

The richer cohort in recent years across all age groups, has been getting.. well, richer. Across the board, we have more money, period.

You can read more about how millennials are doing in the study here, but the highlights are as follows:

Compared to Gen-Xers, the mortgage debt is much higher

Young Gen-Xers had an 80% debt to after-tax income ratio, but millennials had 216%.

Median mortgage debt reached $218,000 or over 2.5X the value of their median income ($83,200).

But bigger mortgages, mean a bigger net worth as well, as those without homes, don’t fare as well.

Homeowners have higher net worths, especially in Toronto or Vancouver

However, without that mortgage debt, our median wealth would not be as high.

Median wealth for homeowners aged 30 – 34 was $261,900 and those without houses: $18,400, a difference of $243,500, almost a quarter of a million.

Those who lived in Toronto or Vancouver, had a higher net worth than all the rest of the country:

  • Median Canadian Millennial Median Net Worth: $70,600
  • Median Toronto Millennial Median Net Worth: $145,000
  • Median Vancouver Millennial Median Net Worth: $91,000

Vancouver was surprising to me, I thought it would have a higher median net worth than Toronto.

These differences were pronounced when the principal residence asset values reached $650,000 in Vancouver and Toronto, more than double the levels observed at the national level ($320,000).

Those with more than a high school education also have a higher net worth

This is not a surprise to anyone, right?

  • Median net worth with a degree: $116,000
  • Median net worth with high school degree or less: $34,100

Millennials also beat out Gen-Xers, with $66,500 in household income versus Gen-Xer’s at $51,000 in 1999.

The top 10% hold 55% of the generational wealth

The top 10% in Vancouver or Toronto had almost $1M in net worth. Like me, but I am an outlier in Montreal.

In comparison, the median net worth is again:

  • Canada: $70,600
  • Toronto: $145,000
  • Vancouver: $91,000

For some comparison:

  • Bottom 25% Millennial Net Worth: $9500 versus Gen-X at $6200
  • Top 25% Millennial Net Worth: $253,900 versus Gen-X at $126,900



We have more money and net worth than previous generations, due to home ownership (mostly because housing prices have skyrocketed), and those with higher educations have a higher net worth.

I am definitely not surprised by any of this.

The real ‘winners’ are living in Toronto and Vancouver mostly, but I suspect their net worths are really tied into their house prices going up more than anything else.

It is why I am so concentrated on getting my home as a smaller percentage of my overall net worth, down to 25% of my portfolio, rather than the 31% it is at right now. This is all tied to the stock market (if my portfolio dips, but my house stays the same municipal value, that sucks).



  • Steveark

    Very interesting, I think the concentration of wealth holds true for every generation. There are always a few, like you, who are particularly adept at making money and a few of those few, like you, who are also adept at saving and investing it. It is also interesting how much of people‘s net worth is tied up in housing. We’ve got a nice big four bedroom four bathroom house on two acres in rural US and it isn’t even worth $200,000. Certainly very different than Toronto or Vancouver.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      The US is incredible for very low cost of living homes, while being very large and spacious. Especially in Texas, I have seen the home prices there and was quite envious…
      US Cost of living is also much lower than in Canada. We pay so much more in general for everything, including things like cellphones, etc. When I lived there, I was blown away by how cheap everything was in Dallas for instance.

      As for their homes tied up in their net worth – this is very normal. Because home prices are so high, friends of mine I am sure have their net worth tied up in their $1M+ homes and not much else in savings, or at least, not until their mortgage is done and kids are out of college.

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