How Many Millionaires Are There in Canada?

By Arthur Dubois | Published on 06 Oct 2022


The population of Canada counts over 39 million people, according to a real-time model from Statistics Canada. There are more than one million Canadians who have a net worth of at least one million dollars. This group represents 4.3% of the Canadian population. Of that 4.3%, over 5,000 of those millionaires have a net worth of over $100,000,000.

This article will give you several numbers about the richest people in Canada. Including where they live and how they have become millionaires. This information will be useful to those who are curious to know key facts about the richest people in Canada. Those who want to open a business in the country and plan to target wealthy individuals will also benefit from this article.

What is a millionaire?

While there is no method to define someone as rich, it’s easy to determine whether someone is a millionaire. Anyone with a net worth of at least $1,000,000 is considered a millionaire. Anyone with a net worth of at least two million is a multimillionaire.

It’s worth saying that not all surveys will give you the same number of millionaires. According to some definitions, millionaires are only those who have assets of at least one million. By this definition, to be considered a millionaire, you need to have a disposable income that you can use for investments worth over $1,000,000.

For the purpose of this article, we will use the most common definition of a millionaire. Namely, a person who has invested assets, plus real estate assets (principal housing), minus their debts, that together are worth at least $1,000,000.

Canadian millionaires: key statistics

According to the Global Wealth Report, the mean annual wealth per adult in Canada is $409,300, and the median wealth per adult is $151,250. By both mean and median wealth per adult, Canadians are the 7th richest people in the world. The Swiss are the richest, followed by people in the U.S. and Hong Kong. The study from the Global Wealth Report estimates that the number of millionaires in Canada will get close to 2,000,000 by 2023.

How many millionaires are there in Canada?

In addition, Canada has 3.7% of the world’s millionaires, ranked 7th in the world. The U.S., China, and Japan ranked first, second, and third. The total number of millionaires in Canada is 1,681,961, making up about 4.3% of the total population. In what concerns ultra-high-net-worth individuals with a net worth above $100 million, Canada ranks 4th, having a total of 5,510 individuals in this category.

Wealth & income in Canada

According to Statistics Canada, in 2020, the average annual median income in Canada was $66,800. The top 1% of richest Canadians hold 25% of the overall wealth, while the bottom 60% own 15.5% of the overall wealth. While these numbers do show a significant disparity in wealth distribution between the poor and the rich, the figure is below the global average, according to which the top 1% own around 40% of the global wealth.

The average income provides a global view of the income distribution. However, its value can be skewed in one direction or the other by extreme values. For instance, average pay in some industries, such as finance, is much higher than in sectors such as hospitality. On the other hand, median values provide a more clear view of the range of values within which most of the data lies. For this reason, it is no surprise that Canada’s mean annual wealth per adult is much higher than the yearly median wealth per adult.

The impact of the pandemic on wealth

Global Wealth Data shows that the 2020 recession did not lower the number of millionaires, but instead increased it by 246,000. This is likely explained by the fact that governments and central banks, in an attempt to avoid the effects of the 2008 Economic Crisis, enacted several measures to counteract the effects of the recession. These measures include lowering interest rates and providing financial support to individuals and businesses.

What about billionaires?

Canada also has many billionaires, although it is well behind the U.S., China, or Russia in this regard. According to a billionaire census from 2021, Canada hosts 53 billionaires, ranked 13th in the world, on par with Brazil. Canada’s billionaires hold a total wealth of $100 billion.

Canada is not only a country that produces millionaires, but also one that attracts many. In a recent report, the country was ranked as the 9th favourite country for millionaires who want to move. The top three countries are United Arab Emirates, Australia, and Singapore. The most popular areas in Canada for millionaires are Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver.

Wealth distribution in Canada

Generally speaking, millionaires are more likely to be located in the Canadian provinces where most business is conducted. Ontario and British Columbia are prominent examples. However, one should note that areas with large populations will also usually have a higher number of millionaires. A more interesting indicator is the number of millionaires per capita, that is, the number of millionaires per total number of inhabitants.

For example, Ontario is home to around 200,000 millionaires, and over half of them (118,000) live in Toronto. Next to Toronto is Montreal, which has 50,000 millionaires, and Calgary, which has 30,000 millionaires. However, while Toronto has the most millionaires, Calgary has the most millionaires per capita, with over 200 per 100,000 residents. A significant part of the city’s wealth results from a large presence of oil and gas industries.

Alberta’s millionaires

As is often the case, in Alberta there is a correlation between the number of millionaires per capita and the province’s overall level of wealth. For instance, about 15% of Alberta’s residents make over $100,000 per year, which is the highest figure in the country.

The fossil fuel industry is expected to decline and eventually disappear in the near future. However, Calgary still has a chance of keeping its status as the place with the largest number of millionaires per capita. This is due to the fact that the city is an important centre of financial services and belongs to the Canadian province with the highest median household income in the country ($77,700).

Millionaires by province

There is no data available about the number of Canadian millionaires in each province. However, available data allows us to list the first 10 cities in Canada where the average household net worth is over $1,000,000.

CityAverage Household Worth
West Vancouver$4,536,269
Rocky View County$3,324,565
Oak Bay$2,269,821
Foothills No. 31$2,200,516
Whitchurch Stouffville$2,150,564
North Saanich$1,919,655
North Vancouver $1,869,495

As we can see from the table, there are several cities in Canada where the average household worth is well over $1,000,000. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these numbers represent household income as opposed to individual income. The values also take into account real estate assets.

Take West Vancouver, for example. This is Canada’s wealthiest municipality, but also home to very large and expensive properties. Some properties are selling for over $20,000,000. About 95% of the houses in West Vancouver are worth over $1 million.

In other words, while West Vancouver’s high household worth is suggestive of how well off its residents are, one should not conclude that most of its residents have over one million in disposable income.

That being said, West Vancouver is a good place for new and existing businesses. The economy is primarily based on the recreational, retail, and services industries. Also, many companies are attracted by its low tax rates.

How do people become millionaires in Canada?

Canada’s population represents 0.46% of the world’s total population. However, 3% of the world’s millionaires are Canadians. This data suggests that Canada is a good place to become a millionaire, which is not surprising given the country’s level of economic development and political stability.

Higher education

According to one study reviewed in the Financial Post, 67% of Canadian millionaires became wealthy on their own. While this news gives hope, socio-demographic indicators suggest millionaires are more likely to belong to specific categories. For instance, individuals who become millionaires are significantly more likely to have an undergraduate (80%) or a graduate/professional degree (46%) than the general population.

A study conducted by Fidelity Investment found that common sources of income for self-made millionaires were investments/capital appreciation, compensation, and employee stock options/profit sharing.

Real estate

Another significant wealth generator in Canada is the housing market. Some middle-class Canadians who acquired houses several years ago are now millionaires due to increased housing prices. While being a millionaire on paper might not be as comforting as being one in practical terms, this data shows just how much net worth one can acquire by making an inspired real estate investment.

Self-starters & the C-suite

In Canada, entrepreneurs and investors make up a significant percentage of millionaires, especially those involved in the tech industry. Other professions that include a lot of millionaires are physicians and corporate management.

Social media

In the last decade or so, a new type of millionaire has emerged. Social media influencers from YouTube, Instagram, and, more recently, TikTok. While becoming a social media influencer may seem like a no-risk business, given it’s not necessary to invest any money, it’s worth mentioning that this category still represents a tiny portion of the overall millionaire category. On the other hand, there are probably millions of people in Canada trying to make money with social media.

Of course, there is no universal recipe for becoming a millionaire in Canada, or in any other country on the planet. However, certain financial advice applies to anyone who wants to acquire wealth, and it may even help them become millionaires.

Good financial management & investing

When it comes to financial management, common tips include saving money, avoiding debt, and taking risks. You may want to implement these principles across all your financial endeavours.

As already mentioned, one way in which many people become millionaires is by investing in assets. For example, you could invest in things such as stocks, bonds, and ETFs. Other investment opportunities include fine art, real estate, and, more recently, cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

[Offer productType=”CryptoExchange” api_id=”61a0001c149d52071313dfba” id=”167412″]

Keep in mind that investments come with a risk. This is why you should never forget the aforementioned principles. Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose, and don’t invest in anything that you do not understand. If you are planning to invest a large sum of money, it’s always best to consult with a financial advisor unless you are an expert. Before deciding to invest in something, familiarize yourself with key financial concepts such as return on investment (ROI) or compound interest.

Multiple income streams

Many wealthy individuals have multiple income streams. If your daily job doesn’t provide enough income to allow you to invest any money, you can consider some side hustles. Some examples are getting a second job or starting a business that doesn’t require a lot of capital.

Finally, fully funding your Registered Retirement Saving Plan (RRSP), contributing to a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), or opening a high-interest savings account could also help you become a millionaire in the long run.

Bottom line: Canada is a good place to become a self-made millionaire

There is no universal recipe for becoming a millionaire. That being said, having a graduate or at least an undergraduate degree and working in specific industries such as engineering will statistically increase your chance of becoming a millionaire.

When income is used as a criterion, Canadians are the 7th most prosperous people in the world, and about 4.5% of the population are millionaires. These numbers suggest that Canada is a good place to become a self-made millionaire, and also a good location to operate businesses that depend on a wealthy clientele.

Arthur Dubois is a personal finance writer at Hardbacon. Since relocating to Canada, he has successfully built his credit score from scratch and begun investing in the stock market. In addition to his work at Hardbacon, Arthur has contributed to Metro newspaper and several other publications