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Incomes in Alberta, part 1

Incomes in Alberta, part 1

Posted on: 7/12/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

New data from Statistics Canada based on personal income tax returns allow us to compare the incomes of Albertans living in different parts of the province and how they have changed over time.

Of Alberta’s 18 Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations,* Wood Buffalo stands out with the highest median after-tax family income in 2017 ($103,310). This figure reflects the large number of Wood Buffalo residents with relatively high-paying oil sector jobs. Median income in Wood Buffalo, however, was down by 3.5 per cent in 2017 compared to 2014.

Okotoks is a distant second at $80,520 followed by Cold Lake ($72,010).

At the other end of the list are Camrose ($57,240), Brooks ($57,050) and Wetaskiwin ($50,790). Median income outside the CMAs and CAs was $59,030.

The median after-tax family income for Alberta as a whole was $62,950 in 2017, well above the national figure of $52,330. The negative effects of the recession are evident, however, with the national figure rising by 7.2 per cent since 2014 compared to an increase of just 0.5 per cent in Alberta (these figures do not take into account inflation).

In fact, median income fell between 2014 and 2017 in 10 out of the 18 large urban areas in the province with families in the Alberta part of Lloydminster losing the most ground (-7.0 per cent) followed by Sylvan Lake (-5.8 per cent. Lethbridge has seen the largest increase since 2014 at 5.7 per cent followed by Canmore at 4.1 per cent.

Monday’s Owl will unpack income by family type and source.

*A Census Metropolitan Area or Census Agglomeration consists of one or more neighbouring municipalities situated around a core. A Census Metropolitan Area must have a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more live in the core. A census agglomeration must have a core population of at least 10,000.

Median after-tax family income 2019, graph​​

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