Canadians saw their national wealth drop in the last quarter of 2018. The ‘national wealth’ of a single Canadian fell from $304,085 to $296,933. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Canadians saw their national wealth drop in the last quarter of 2018. The ‘national wealth’ of a single Canadian fell from $304,085 to $296,933. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Canadians are getting poorer and are borrowing money

National wealth dropped by more than two per cent to $11.1 trillion, while personal debt rose

Dropping real estate values and natural resource prices have made Canadians poorer.

According to Statistics Canada, the ‘national wealth’ of a single Canadian fell from $304,085 to $296,933 during the last three months of 2018.

This recorded drop reflects a decline of Canada’s national wealth by 2.2 per cent to $11.1 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter.

RELATED: 46% of Canadians $200 or less away from financial insolvency: poll

“This was primarily due to a 23.5 [per cent] decrease in the value of natural resources,” the agency said in a report. Weaker crude oil prices in the fourth quarter accounted for the drop. “A decline in the value of residential real estate [down $72.5 billion] also contributed to the fourth quarter decrease, as housing prices continued to edge down.”

Canadians are also borrowing more money relative to their incomes.

The household debt service ratio, which measures payments on the principal and interest of credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income, rose 14.9 per cent in the fourth quarter, as growth in total debt payments outpaced the growth in disposable income.

RELATED: 731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Overall, the average Canadian owes $1.79 in credit market debt for every dollar that they earn towards their disposable household income.

A 2017 OCED study found that Canadians borrow far more than the rest of the world. It found Canadian household debt exceeded the total value of Canada’s per-capita Gross Domestic Product by one per cent. In other words, the Canadian economy does not produce enough wealth to cover the private household debts of Canadians, leaving one per cent unpaid if all GDP were to go towards that single item.

According to the OCED, higher-than-usual real estate prices accounted for the global debt leadership of Canadians. Worse, Canadians will find it more difficult to recover the value of their debt-fueled investment against the backdrop of declining real estate prices.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Caden Tart and Luke Geisbrecht host Scratch the Scripture. Photo: Submitted
Two Castlegar teens launch faith podcast

Scratch the Scripture aims to answer teen’s questions about God

Interfor’s Castlegar mill is getting $35 million in upgrades. Photo by: John Boivin
Interfor to invest $35 million at Castlegar mill

Project will enhance productivity and competitiveness

Cliffe Churches helped create the Robson Fire Department. Photo: Submitted
Robson Fire Department honours Cliffe Churches

Cliffe Churches helped create the Robson Fire Department

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Most Read