A number is never just a number: The appeal of middle-class economics

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Percentage of Canadians who self-identify as middle class when asked to describe their "social and financial place in society," according to a November 2014 Pollara poll.


Percentage of Quebecers who said they were middle class -- the province most likely to do so, followed by Alberta (57%), the Prairies (47%), B.C. (46%), Atlantic provinces (44%), and Ontario (43%).


Percentage of men who said they think of themselves as middle class, compared to 47% of women.


Percentage of Canadians earning between $60,000-$100,000 who said they're middle class. For context, the 2012 after-tax median income of all families consisting of two or more people was $71,700.


Percentage of Canadians who considered themselves upper class, thank you very much.


Percentage of Canadians who said they're working class, not middle class.


Percentage of Canadians who considered themselves poor. For context, Statistics Canada said 16.3 per cent of children under 17 lived in low-income households in 2012.


Percentage of self-described middle-class Canadians who own their home: home ownership is a very middle-class symbol in Canada.


Percentage of Canadians who said they feel confident that they can move up the socio-economic ladder through hard work, though the answer differs greatly depending on where you sit along the income ladder.


Percentage of self-ascribed poor Canadians who said they are confident in merit-based social mobility, compared to 47% of the working class, 53% of the middle class, and 73% of the very confident upper class.


Percentage of Canadians who are optimistic about the future of Canada's middle class.


Percentage of Canadians who don't feel financially secure.

(Source and source)

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative's Trish Hennessy has long been a fan of Harper Magazine's one-page list of eye-popping statistics, Harper's Index. Instead of wishing for a Canadian version to magically appear, she's created her own index -- a monthly listing of numbers about Canada and its place in the world. Hennessy's Index -- A number is never just a number -- comes out on the first of each month in rabble.ca.

Photo: Prentiss Riddle/flickr

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