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Canadians vastly underestimate wealth gap: survey
December 17,2014   By:Xinhua

OTTAWA, Dec. 17,2014-- Canadians vastly underestimate the wealth gap in Canada and want a much more balanced distribution, said a survey report "Wealth Gap: Perceptions and Misconceptions in Canada" issued by Canadian Broadbent Institute Tuesday.

According to the online survey of 3,000 Canadians aged 18 and older from Sept. 10 to 23, 2014, the ideal wealth distribution would see a healthy middle class with 60 percent of Canadians in the middle owning roughly 60 percent of the wealth. The richest 20 percent would be three times richer than the poorest 20 percent, who would still own a significant share of the pie -- 11.5 percent.

Canadians think the actual distribution of wealth in the country is much more unequal than the idea. They think the richest 20 percent in Canada own 10 times the wealth of the poorest 20 percent -- 55.5 percent of the wealth compared to 5.8 percent. They think there is still a sizable middle class, though, and the poorest own at least some share of the pie.

As bad as Canadians think wealth inequality is, the reality is much worse. The richest 20 percent hold 67.4 percent of all wealth, while the poorest 20 percent do not control any wealth at all.

This desire for a fairer distribution holds regardless of demographics and past political preferences, the report said.

Other key findings of the survey include:

Canadians think the middle 20 percent hold 13.5 percent of all wealth while their actual wealth distribution totals only 9 percent.

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