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Average Canadian family paid 43 per cent of its income on taxes
Fraser Institute
/ Categories: News, Ontario, Economy

Average Canadian family paid 43 per cent of its income on taxes

than it did on housing, food and clothing combined

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~~  September 24, 2022 (LSNews)  The average Canadian family spent 43 per cent of its income on taxes in 2021—more than housing, food and clothing costs combined, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Taxes remain the largest household expense for families in Canada,” said Jake Fuss, Associate Director of Fiscal Studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Taxes versus the Necessities of Life: The Canadian Consumer Tax Index 2022 Edition.

In 2021, the average Canadian family earned an income of $99,030 and paid in total taxes equaling $42,547.

In other words, the average Canadian family spent 43.0 per cent of its income on taxes compared to 35.7 per cent on basic necessities.

This is a dramatic shift since 1961 when the average Canadian family spent much less of its income on taxes (33.5 per cent) than the basic necessities (56.5 per cent). Taxes have grown much more rapidly than any other single expenditure for the average Canadian family. The total tax bill for Canadians includes visible and hidden taxes (paid to the federal, provincial and local governments) including income, payroll, sales, property, carbon, health, fuel and alcohol taxes

Moreover, since 1961, the average Canadian family’s total tax bill has increased nominally by 2,440 per cent, dwarfing increases in annual housing costs (1,751 per cent), clothing (643 per cent) and food (790 per cent). “Considering the sheer amount of income that goes towards taxes in this country, Canadians may question whether or not we’re getting good value for our money,” Fuss said.

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Summary

  • The Canadian Consumer Tax Index tracks the total tax bill of the average Canadian family from 1961 to 2021. Including all types of taxes, that bill has increased by 2,440% since 1961.
  • Taxes have grown much more rapidly than any other single expenditure for the average Canadian family: from 1961 to 2021, expenditures on shelter increased by 1,751%, clothing by 643%, and food by 790%.
  • The 2,440% increase in the tax bill has also greatly outpaced the increase in the Consumer Price Index (802%), which measures the average price that consumers pay for food, shelter, clothing, transportation, health and personal care, education, and other items.
  • The average Canadian family now spends more of its income on taxes (43.0%) than it does on basic necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing combined (35.7%). By comparison, 33.5% of the average family’s income went to pay taxes in 1961 while 56.5% went to basic necessities.
  • In 2021, the average Canadian family earned an income of $99,030 and paid total taxes equaling $42,547 (43.0%). In 1961, the average family had an income of $5,000 and paid a total tax bill of $1,675 (33.5%).

Authors:


Jake Fuss
Associate Director, Fiscal Studies, Fraser Institute

Evin Ryan
Intern, Fraser Institute

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    The Fraser Institute is an independent, non-partisan research and educational organization based in Canada. We have offices in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Visit our Website 

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