Toronto – May 29, 2015 – The proportion of Canadian households in debt and the amount owed has grown over the past decade according to a new Statistics Canada report. The report revealed that between 1999 and 2012, the value of debt and assets held by Canadian families both rose.
In 2012, 71% of all Canadian families had some debt, up from 67% in 1999. Debt includes mortgages and consumer debt such as car loans, lines of credit, vehicle loans, personal loans and student debt.
Between 1999 and 2012, the median debt held by indebted families– the value separating the top half of families with the most debt from the bottom half–increased by $23,400 to $60,100.
The median assets of Canadian families with debt rose by $179,800 over the same period to $405,200. Assets include financial assets (i.e. pensions) and non-financial assets such as real estate.
Median debt for Canadians grew by 64% during 1999-2012.
Among families with children under 18, median debt more than doubled, increasing by $87,400 over the 13-year period.
Among families in the 35-44 age group, median debt rose by $79,600 or a 126% increase, while median assets for the age group rose by 77%. By comparison, the median debt of families in the 55-64 age group rose by $23,100 over the period.
Between 1999-2012, the median debt-to-income ratio of Canadian families with debt increased, the median Canadian family had a debt corresponding to 110% of the family after-tax income in 2012 (up from 78% in 1999).
One-third of Canadian families had a debt-to-income ratio above 2.0 in 2012, meaning that their overall debt level was 200% the level of their annual after-tax income. This was the case of less than one-quarter of Canadian families in 1999.
Sources: Statistics Canada, 2015. "Study: Changes in debt and assets of Canadian families, 1999 to 2012"