Then you need to understand your income prospects in each province. Did you know, for example, that the average Ontarian makes about $7,000 more a year than the average Nova Scotian?
Canada's a big country, and the income earned by its citizens varies from province to province. Albertans enjoy the highest individual average income while Quebecers boast the highest average household income of the provinces.
This guide provides an overview of the average income in Ontario vs other provinces, prevailing industries and other salient financial points for each of Canada's ten provinces.
Note: Average household income is calculated after taxes.
Average Household Income in Ontario, $80,322
Ontario is easily Canada's most populous province, with a population of 14.57 million. Because of this high population, the service industry employs 79% of Ontarians.
Other dominant industries in Ontario include:
Ontario is also Canada's second-largest province geographically.
Average Income in Toronto
Toronto is one of the most loved travel destinations by Canadians. The bustling, multicultural city is bursting with entertainment options - from music to theatre, to sports - and home to the rapid expansion of the financial and tech sectors.
Ontario is home to 50% of Canada's employees in high-tech, financial services and other knowledge-intensive industries, and many of those folks call Toronto home. Other leading industries in Ontario's capital include real estate and wholesale and retail trade.
The average Toronto household income is $78,373 which is necessary for a city where the cost of living is high. Experts agree that the average Torontonian needs to make at least $22.08/hour to live comfortably in the city.
Average Household Income in Alberta, $80,449
Alberta may be home to Canada's highest average household income, but its population is a fraction of Ontario's at 4.37 million. It's also home to one of Canada's lowest poverty rates and has held that status for some time.
In terms of poverty levels, the provinces with economies based around natural resource industries tend to have lower rates. This comes as no surprise in Alberta, where the main industry is the oil and gas sector, which comprises 16% of the province's GDP.
Other significant industries include:
Finance and insurance
Service industry jobs are also on the rise across Alberta.
Average Income in Edmonton
In Alberta's capital, the average household income is an impressive $97,800. The capital is also just a four-hour drive away from Jasper National Park, which, along with Banff National Park, are two of the most popular travel spots for Canadians. Both are located in the Rocky Mountains which divide Alberta from British Columbia.
In Edmonton, the Alberta Living Wage Network has indicated that an average hourly wage of $18.10 is enough to live comfortably.
Although it's hard to predict what will become of the oil and gas sector as Canadians grapple with a changing climate, the rise of the finance and insurance sector and business and commercial services in cities like Edmonton means that Alberta is likely to remain a leading place to live.
Average Household Income in Newfoundland and Labrador, $82,540
From the rich lives of the Inuit of northern Labrador to postcard-perfect Gros Morne National Park on Newfoundland's west coast to North America's most easterly point, Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador is an unforgettable place.
Main industries include:
Pulp and paper
The province of 521 thousand is home to some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet, and natural resources are at the heart of the province's economy.
Average Income in St. John's
The average income in St. John's lands below the province's average at $59,000 and the recommended living wage is $18.85 an hour.
Although it was fishing that brought St. John's to prominence, the city is now known as an import/export centre with an impressive port and oil mining offshore in the Atlantic Ocean. The city contributes almost half of the province's overall economic output.
Average Household Income in Saskatchewan, $78,000
With a population of 1.17 million, Saskatchewan is the heartland of Canada's prairies. About 35% of the province's residents live in rural areas, making it one of the highest-ranking provinces in terms of rural living.
As Canada's farming heartland, it's no surprise that Saskatchewan's lead industries derive from the agricultural sector, including:
Manufacturing focuses particularly on agricultural machinery, transportation and industrial equipment.
Average Income in Regina
Saskatchewan's capital Regina is home to nearly 229 thousand people. Its residents make, on average, about $3,000 more than the provincial average, with an annual household income of $81,000 a year.
As a smaller city, Regina has a lower recommended living wage than many other Canadian provinces, coming in at $16.46 an hour. Leading employment sectors include steel and manufacturing, information technology and energy.
The cost of buying a house in Regina has decreased in recent years, making it an attractive place for would-be homeowners or downsizers to consider getting a mortgage.
Average Household Income in British Columbia, $72,000
While Canadians are notorious for travelling south during hard winters, the COVID-19 pandemic made such travel challenging. Where are Canadians jetting off to this winter instead?
British Columbia, a province known for its mild winters, has emerged as a popular domestic tourism destination. The province of 5 million is associated strongly with forestry, but has a diversified economy, employing residents in many sectors.
Leading industries include:
Finance and insurance
The province is also home to popular tourist destinations like Whistler, a ski resort town in the Rocky Mountains.
Average Income in Vancouver
Vancouver sits on Canada's western border and is home to scenic vistas of mountains and ocean, a major port, and a transit hub on a cross-country railway line. As a port city, trade plays a significant role in Vancouver's economy, but its temperate weather has also made it a go-to destination for the tourism and film and TV industries.
The city's population is just over 631 thousand, and the average annual household income for locals is $80,000. As a rapidly developing and trendy city, Vancouver's recommended living wage is about $20.52 per hour.
Average Household Income in Quebec, $87,080
"Bienvenue au Québec", the signs read as you enter Canada's geographically largest province. Quebec is the centre of French culture in Canada and the second-largest province by population, with over 8 million Canadians calling it home.
The massive province has a strong natural resource economy, and its main industries include:
Generation of electric power
Pulp and paper
French is the official language in Quebec and being fluent in the language will make living in the province much easier.
Average Income in Quebec City
If you're wondering what are the top travel destinations for Canadians, Quebec houses two of these: Montreal and the province's capital, Quebec City.
Quebec City is regularly featured on lists of the 'most European cities in North America.' The city's cobbled streets, many bakeries, and old architecture along the St. Lawrence River evoke images of strolling the Seine in Paris for many.
It's no surprise, then, that tourism is a considerable part of the city's economy. But so too are technology and life sciences, food and nutrition, and insurance and financial services.
The average annual household income ($47,320) in the city is quite low, in part because the province has a lower minimum wage compared to less populous Canadian provinces. To compensate, it also had a lower cost of living compared to other urban centres, with $18 an hour the recommended hourly wage for comfortable living.
Average Household Income in Manitoba, $84,130
Manitoba is known worldwide as the polar bear capital of the world, but it's home to many other attractions as well. The province of approximately 1.37 million people is on the eastern edge of Canada's prairies and as such, farming and agriculture are key industries.
Other major industries include:
Churchill, a city in Manitoba's north, is the tourist destination most famously associated with viewing polar bears.
Average Income in Winnipeg
The provincial capital Winnipeg is also Manitoba's largest city, with a population of nearly 750 thousand. It's situated at the meeting of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers and is home to diverse cultural groups and a number of music and theatre festivals.
Winnipeg has a number of unique key employment sectors including aerospace, advanced manufacturing, creative industries and agribusiness. The average household income of $79,813 is comparable when measured against other major Canadian municipalities, and a comfortable living wage clocks in at $14.54 an hour which is lower than in cities of comparable size.
Average Household Income in New Brunswick, $59,000
One of Canada's three maritime provinces, New Brunswick is home to 776 thousand people. It has the unique honour of being Canada's only bilingual province and visitors will encounter both French and English speakers throughout.
New Brunswick is another Canadian province lush in natural resources. Although the province's service sector is growing, its main industries include:
French speakers dominate in particular on New Brunswick's Acadian north shore.
Average Income in Fredericton
Fredericton is a city of 58 thousand located on the St. John River in central-west New Brunswick. The city's economy is diverse, including jobs in natural resources and biotechnology, information and communications technology, oil and gas, and engineering. A living wage in Fredericton is approximately $20.17 an hour, and the average household income in the city is $60,000 a year.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, job changes and remote work have encouraged many Canadians to relocate. Fredericton, with Canada's lowest average house price as of April 2020 of 2020, has become a common destination for Canadians who are priced out in expensive urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver.
If you're contemplating relocating, consider Canada's east coast. Friendly people, scenic surroundings and a slower pace of life are just a few of the many draws. The low cost of a mortgage certainly isn't the only perk!
Average Household Income in Nova Scotia, $53,000
Nova Scotia is home to just under a million people and is what many consider the most vibrant of Canada's maritime provinces.
Like other provinces, Nova Scotia is seeing a change in major industries. Where once resource-based industries reigned supreme, the province is now seeing the rise of a service sector. Here's how the province's main industries break down:
Manufacturing and services
From the bustling port city of Halifax to the nearby Cape Breton Highlands, the province is rich in both social and natural activities.
Average Income in Halifax
Halifax is another provincial capital that is also a port city. The picturesque city of 403 thousand has an average household income of $55,000 a year and a recommended living wage of $22.05 an hour. The city is known for its historic architecture, lively art and music scene and growing downtown nightlife.
Main industries are similar to those favoured throughout the province, with the addition of a few niche areas like financial services, ocean technology and information technology, which includes gaming and digital media services.
Average Household Income in Prince Edward Island, $78,000
Prince Edward Island (PEI) is Canada's smallest province both geographically and in population. The entire island is home to just 142 thousand people. But its residents make up in spirit what they lack in number and Canadians will tell you Islanders are some of the most friendly people you'll ever meet.
The island, famed for its unique red sand and strong potato harvests, has several key industries:
To arrive in PEI, visitors can either take a ferry or drive across Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick.
Average Income in Charlottetown
Charlottetown is a quaint city of over 40 thousand people. It was famously home to the Charlottetown Conference of 1846 which was the beginning of the Canadian confederation.
Like the province itself, the small city's main industries are agriculture, fisheries and tourism. Other niche industries include aerospace, bioscience, information technology and renewable energy.
Charlottetown may be for you if you like smaller towns. Its average household income is a generous $78,000 a year, and the recommended living wage is $19.30 an hour.
How Does Your Salary Measure Up?
Where do you fall compared to the average income in your province?
Regardless of whether you are above or below the average, being aware of this information is the first step to making positive changes in your life and career. You've got a grasp on the average income in Ontario vs other provinces now.
Use this data as you contemplate your next career steps or salary negotiation. Explore your options in the leading industries in a province, or take advantage of the low cost of living in some of Canada's major cities.
Folks who are comparing their income side by side to the other provincial averages, are obviously conscious of their finances. Have you thought about insurance yet? That's where Insurdinary comes in. Our team will shop the entire Canadian market for you in order to secure the best rates, for bottom line prices. Contact us today. We look forward to working with you.