Ontario’s Lost Decade: 2007–2016

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Ontario’s Lost Decade: 2007–2016


  • Between 2007 and 2016, Ontario was mired in a prolonged period of economic weakness during which it lost ground compared to the rest of the country on many important economic indicators.
  • This bulletin examines the extent of Ontario’s economic weakness during this decade by examining a range of economic metrics.
  • Ontario underperformed the rest of the country in each of the metrics examined in this study, specifically, real economic growth per person, private sector job growth, progress in real median household incomes, or debt accumulated per capita.
  • In fact, out of the 10 provinces, Ontario finishes near the bottom of the provincial pack (between 7th and 10th place) for each of the indicators examined.
  • Such a prolonged and severe period of economic weakness will have long-lasting implications for Ontario’s prosperity. As such, we characterize the period as a “lost decade” of economic growth for Ontario.
  • Ontario’s economy picked up in 2017, but it will take more than one year of solid growth for Ontario to make up for the lost ground of the preceding decade and reclaim its historical place as a leading economy within Canada.

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