In 2015, per capita disposable income rose in Québec

Québec, March 13, 2017. – In 2015, Québec’s per capita disposable income in current dollars rose by 2.7%, a growth rate higher than the 1.9% increase observed in 2014. In real terms, per capita disposable income was up 1.9% in 2015, comparatively to 0.4% a year earlier. This accelerated growth was primarily attributable to the combined effect of a stronger rise in federal transfer payments to individuals, the upturn of the net income of sole proprietorships and a slower rise in personal income tax and social insurance plan contributions.

Despite its accelerated increase in Québec, the province’s real growth remained lower than the 2.5% rate noted for Canada as a whole. The country’s performance improved on account of the faster rise of net property income, net mixed income and employee compensation. These observations were drawn from the findings on disposable income updated by the Institut de la statistique du Québec and posted today on its website.

Québec still ranked among the lowest

In 2015, Québec and Prince Edward Island continued to trail the other provinces and territories, with per capita disposable income of $26,857 and $27,280, respectively. The Northwest Territories ($41,678) had the highest per capita disposable income in the country.

Disposable income up in every administrative region

In 2015, per capita disposable income in current dollars increased in every administrative region, though at different degrees. With its 5.0% increase, Chaudière-Appalaches was the administrative region with the strongest growth, while Côte-Nord (+ 0.2%) recorded the weakest.

For the third consecutive year, Capitale-Nationale is the administrative region with the highest per capita income ($28,279), with Montérégie ($28,026) and Laurentides ($27,654) following close behind. Conversely, Nord-du-Québec ($24,085), Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine ($24,458), Bas-Saint-Laurent ($24,465) and Mauricie ($24,477) continue to find themselves on the lowest rungs of the ladder.

Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA): Québec still ahead of Montréal

With per capita disposable income of $28,755 in 2015, Québec was at the forefront among CMAs for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Montréal ($27,631), the only other CMA whose disposable income was higher than that observed for the rest of the province. Next were the CMAs of Gatineau ($26,142), Saguenay ($25,897), Sherbrooke ($25,687) and Trois-Rivières ($25,453).

The CMA of Québec also stood out on account of the sharp increase in disposable income (3.7%) in its metropolitan areas in 2015. This was a result of the jump in net property income and financial corporations.

Drop in three RCMs in Côte-Nord

In 2015, per capita disposable income was up from the previous year in all of Québec’s Regional County Municipalities (RCM), except for three supralocal areas in Côte-Nord: Minganie (–0.3%), Caniapiscau (–1.0%) and Sept-Rivières (–1.7%).

Despite a slight drop, the RCM of Caniapiscau, whose largest municipality is Fermont, continued to have the highest level of per capita disposal income in the province: $34,892 in 2015. This was followed by L’Île-d’Orléans ($33,559) in Capitale-Nationale and Les Pays-d’en-Haut ($32,802) in Laurentides.

What is disposable income?

Disposable income is the sum of all sources of revenue (salary, net sole proprietorship income, net property income, government social benefits, etc.) to the residents of a given area, less certain current transfers paid by those residents through direct taxes, contributions to social insurance plans, and contributions to lump-sum benefit and defined contribution pension plans. In short, disposable income is the amount available to individuals for savings and the final consumption of goods and services.


The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for carrying out all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.

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