Dan Skilleter on wealth inequality in Canada

On this week’s episode of Free Lunch by The Peak, we sat down with Dan Skilleter from Social Capital Partners to talk about why Canada isn't that much more equal than the U.S. 

What’s the difference between wealth inequality and income inequality?

Wealth measures the accumulation of capital, money, and assets you have over not just your lifetime but the lifetime of your family over generations. Wealth inequality, if you look at the concentration at the very top, is a bigger problem than income inequality in Canada.”

Can you tell us what you found in your research on this? 

”Statistics Canada does not capture the wealth concentrated in the top 0.1% of families well. We know inequality isn’t that far off from the U.S., in terms of how much wealth they own as a percentage of all the wealth in Canada. In the U.S. it’s ~16%, and in Canada, it’s ~12%.”

So StatCan doesn’t think the top 0.1% owns 12% of the wealth?

“StatCan would give you a number just shy of 4%. It invites about 20,000 families across Canada to participate in an optional survey. Research shows that the richer you are, the less likely you are to agree to participate in these surveys, so it skews that data at the top end.” 

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. Listen to the full conversation here.