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Wealth of Canadians divided along racial lines: report

Wealth divided by race

Canadians who identify as visible minorities do not have the same access to investments and other sources of wealth as non-racialized people, suggests a new report on income inequality that looks at the financial impact of racism beyond jobs and wages.

"Employment income is the sole or main source of income for most Canadians, and labour market policies play a major role in improving or worsening income inequality," says a newly published report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which looks at income inequality along racial lines.

"But labour markets are part of a broader political-economic context, where past and current policies have favoured some population groups over others," says the report. "This history of wealth accumulation for some but not others is a crucial contributor to racialized economic inequality today."

There is little Canadian data when it comes to examining wealth according to race, but Statistics Canada did include some details on income linked to net wealth — specifically, capital gains and income from investments — broken down by visible minority status in the 2016 Census.

The analysis in the report suggests a discrepancy between racialized Canadians, which is how the co-authors refer to those who identified in the 2016 Census as visible minorities, and non-racialized, or white, Canadians. The data on visible minorities does not include Indigenous Peoples.

Eight per cent of racialized Canadians over the age of 15 reported some capital gains in 2015, compared to about 12 per cent of non-racialized people. There was also a gap in the amounts, with racialized Canadians receiving, on average, $10,828 — 29 per cent below the average for white Canadians.

There was also gap when it came to money received through investments, such as rental income from real estate holdings or dividends from stocks.

The analysis shows about 25 per cent of racialized people earned income from investments in 2015, while nearly 31 per cent of non-racialized Canadians received money through investments that year. The average amount earned was $7,774 for racialized people, and $11,428 for white people.



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