WM Market Reports

Ranks Of HNW Canadians Increased In 2012, Reversing Earlier Decline - WealthInsight

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 10 April 2013

Ranks Of HNW Canadians Increased In 2012, Reversing Earlier Decline - WealthInsight

The number of high net worth individuals in Canada grew by 7.7 per cent in 2012 to reach 422,000, reversing a 3.6 per cent decline in 2011, according to new research from WealthInsight.

Having examined millionaire performance between 2007 and 2012, the UK-based firm found that these Canadian HNW individuals hold about $1.53 billion in wealth, which is equal to 26 per cent of the total individual wealth held in the country. It also found that, while global HNW volumes decreased by 0.3 per cent, numbers in Canada rose by 1.8 per cent during the review period.

With some 198,000 millionaires accounting for 47 per cent of its total HNW population, Ontario is Canada's largest state in terms of HNW volumes. There are also sizeable populations in Quebec (81,800), Alberta (58,700), British Columbia (49,700) and Manitoba (10,500), WealthInsight found.

Among Canada’s cities, Toronto leads the pack with 116,000 individuals representing 28 per cent of its total HNW population. The city also grew in HNW volume by 4 per cent over the review period, which is just above the country’s average of 1.8 per cent. Other HNW hotspots include Montreal (52,700), Calgary (32,100), Vancouver (25,600) and Edmonton (14,100).

In terms of performance, however, Ottawa was the best-performing Canadian city, with millionaire numbers rising by 11 per cent from about 9,000 in 2007 to over 10,000 in 2012. This was driven by strong growth in the hi-tech sector, the firm said.

Likewise, the number of HNW individuals in Calgary and Edmonton - the oil and gas capitals of Canada - rose by 8 and 5 per cent respectively over the review period. This was “heavily assisted” by rising commodity prices, as oil prices simultaneously rose by 53 per cent.

In other findings, as at end-2012 Canadian HNW individuals held 26 per cent ($372 billion) of their wealth outside of the country. This is in line with the “worldwide norm” of between 20 per cent and 30 per cent, according to the report.

Looking ahead through 2017, WealthInsight projects that Edmonton and Ottawa will be the highest and lowest regions for HNW growth, at 45 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

The research is part of the firm's upcoming report on Canada, 2013 Wealth Book: Land of the Tar Sands. 

WealthInsight defines HNW individuals as those with net assets of at least $1 million, excluding their primary residence.

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