The opportunity to move up the economic ladder has remained stable for Canadians born between 1970 and 1984, according to a new study from Statistics Canada (StatsCan) published on Tuesday.
The study looks at absolute income mobility, focusing on the share of young Canadians between the ages of 33 and 47 whose family income matches — or exceeds — that of their parents’ when they were all at the age of 30.
Specifically, of those who turned 30 years of age between 2000 and 2014, about 59% to 67% had a comparable income to that of their parents when they were 30, depending on the year in question, the StatsCan report finds.
Economic conditions account for the variations seen over time, the StatsCan study reports. Those who came of age during the economic recession in 2008 and 2009, namely, children born in 1979, 1980, 1982 or 1984, for example, saw a “modest decline” in economic opportunity compared with the earlier cohorts under study. Within this bracket, income mobility rates by the age of 30 ranged from 64% to 66%, making their “incomes more sensitive to business-cycle fluctuations” than those of their parents.
Nevertheless, economic mobility hasn’t evaded those who start off on the lower rung of the economic ladder.
In particular, children whose parents fall in the lowest income percentile were most likely to reach a higher family income at 30 years of age than their parents were at the same age, the StatsCan study finds. In contrast, children whose parents were at the highest income percentiles may have less of a chance of scaling the income ladder.
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