Measuring Ontario’s Regional Prosperity Gap

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Measuring Ontario’s Regional Prosperity Gap


  • By global standards, Ontario is a prosperous place. Ontarians enjoy living standards and access to opportunities that are the envy of much of the world.
  • However, within its own economic region, Ontario is an economic laggard.
  • This bulletin compares overall prosperity in Ontario (measured as Gross Domestic Product per person) to that of the eight American states in the Great Lakes region and its neighbouring province, Quebec. It also compares the economic growth rates of jurisdictions in the region in recent years.
  • The study shows that Ontario has the second lowest GDP per person in the region, ahead only of Quebec. The region’s GDP per capita taken as a whole is 27.1 percent higher than Ontario’s.
  • Over the past two decades, Ontario has fallen increasingly behind its regional neighbours. While real inflation-adjusted GDP has increased by 20 percent in the entire region since 2000, Ontario’s real per person economy has grown by just 13 percent.
  • The large and growing prosperity gap between Ontario and its neighbours should concern Ontarians generally and policymakers specifically. Strong GDP growth contributes to job creation, wage growth, and other indicators of well-being.

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