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The economic output of non-profits in 2020

The real GDP of the non-profit sector grew by 1.5 per cent in 2020 while the economy as a whole contracted by 5.4 per cent

By ATB Economics 30 March 2021 1 min read

Canada’s non-profit sector as a whole managed to grow in 2020.

New data from Statistics Canada show that the real annual GDP of the non-profit sector grew by 1.5 per cent in 2020 while the economy as a whole contracted by 5.4 per cent. (Provincial data are not available at this time.)

The picture is different when we drill down and look at the sector's component parts.

The economic output of community non-profits ended the year 1.9 per cent smaller than it was in 2019 before the pandemic.

Business non-profits lost the most ground, with their real GDP off by 7.9 per cent in 2020 versus 2019.

The overall growth occurred due to increased output on the part of government non-profit institutions. This category of non-profits saw its real GDP rise by 3.5 per cent in 2020.

It’s important to remember that the situation will vary from non-profit to non-profit within these broad categories and that changes in GDP are not necessarily a reflection of the operational circumstances of individual organizations.

With that said, the fact that the economic output of community and business non-profits declined last year is a timely reminder that the good work done by these groups tends to rely on the generosity of volunteers and donors and that now may be a particularly important time to help them out if you can.

According to Statistics Canada:

Community non-profits institutions include organizations engaged, for example, in social services, advocacy or sports and recreation.

Business non-profits institutions include, for example, business associations, chambers of commerce and condominium associations.

Government non-profits institutions include hospitals, some residential care facilities, universities and colleges.

Answer to the previous trivia question: The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has over 95,000 members.

Today’s trivia question: Which British monarch is associated with the definition of charitable organizations in Canada to this day?

The GDP of government non-profits did not lose any ground during the pandemic

The GDP of government non-profits did not lose any ground during the pandemic


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