Census Reveals That Gay Couples are Out-Earning Straight Pairs in Mississauga and Beyond

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Recently released census data has illuminated a few interesting facts about Mississauga, namely that its growth is slowing (its population grew quite minimally between 2011 and 2016) and that it, like other major metropolitan centres in Canada, is home to more single-person households than ever before.

It also revealed that women are slowly closing the wage gap and that same-sex couples are more likely to be economic powerhouses than their straight counterparts.

Fortunately, data regarding income has revealed that Mississauga residents are, thankfully, bringing home a little more dough.

According to the census, the median total income of households in 2015 was $83,018—up from the $70,336 that was recorded in a previous census. While that household income won't necessarily promise anyone a $900K detached house, it's a substantial (and encouraging) climb from several years ago.

For households with just one person, the median income sits at a modest $41,597. For households with two or more people, it sits at $95,353.

As for Canada overall, the facts are interesting.

The data suggests that the median total income of Canadian households rose from $63,457 in 2005 to $70,336 in 2015, a 10.8 per cent increase. That said, growth has slowed in Ontario. According to the census, the median household income in Ontario was $74,287 in 2015, ranking sixth among the provinces and territories, and $3,951 above the Canadian median.

The data indicates that Ontario had the slowest growth in median income (+3.8 per cent) of any province or territory over the decade, and as a result, its rank fell three places from third highest in 2005, when it was $8,077 above the Canadian median.

As far as major social shifts go, the latest numbers suggest that nearly one-third of couples in the country have fairly equal incomes—a sure sign that women are becoming more economically empowered over time.

"There were 8.2 million married or common-law couples in Canada in 2016. Among the vast majority of these couples (95.9%), each partner received some form of income in 2015, up significantly from about two-thirds of couples in the mid-1970s," the census reads. "Although one partner often received substantially more than the other, the incomes of nearly one-third (32.0%) of couples were fairly equal (both earning from 40 per cent to 60 per cent of the couple’s total income). This was up from 30 years ago, when 20.6 per cent of couples had fairly equal incomes."

But while women are participating more and more in the workforce and moving towards closing the wage gap, data indicates that men are still more likely to be the higher income recipient. The census indicates that in 50.7 per cent of couples, the male had a relatively higher income. Only 17.3 per cent of couples boast a woman who earns substantially more than her male partner.

That said, times are changing. The data reveals that in 1985, a man boasted a relatively higher income in 71.3 per cent of couples (compared with just 8.0 per cent for women).

Interestingly enough, the census revealed that same-sex couples have higher incomes than heterosexual ones.

"Median incomes were higher in same-sex couples than in opposite-sex couples, in part because a greater proportion of same-sex couples are in their prime working years," the census reads. "Female same-sex couples had a median total income of $92,857 in 2015, while male same-sex couples had a median income of $100,707--the highest among all couple types. In fact, over 12 per cent of male same-sex couples had incomes over $200,000, compared with 7.5 per cent of female same-sex couples and 8.4 per cent of opposite-sex couples.

Lower income partners in same-sex couples also had higher median incomes than their opposite sex counterparts. The median income of lower income partners was $31,192 in male same-sex couples and $30,942 in female same-sex couples compared with $24,969 in opposite-sex couples.

As far as saving and investing go, the census points out that lower-income households are more likely to contribute to TFSAs than to RRSPs or RPPs, and contribution rates generally increase with income.

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