Skip Header Navigation

About RBC > Media Newsroom > News Releases > Study finds Canadians have fewer opportunities to create wealth than citizens in other countries

Study finds Canadians have fewer opportunities to create wealth than citizens in other countries

Canada has fourth highest population of high net worth individuals, and is set to overtake the U.K. in 10 years

TORONTO, December 20, 2019 - According to a study from RBC Wealth Management, Canada sits squarely in the middle of the pack among 15 high and middle income countries in opportunities for its citizens to create wealth. The 2019 Wealth Opportunity Index -- produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit for RBC Wealth Management – studied four pillars – economic fundamentals, market dynamics, innovation and risk – to develop the country rankings.

Canada ranked seventh overall (49%) in opportunities for citizens to generate wealth while the United States (57.7%) was number one followed by China (55.9%) and Singapore (54.9%). India, Hong Kong (SAR) and Australia rounded out the top six.

“Wealth creation is an important focus for high net worth individuals globally and the countries at the top of the index have found the magic formula that includes a holistic approach,” said Samantha Grenville, Americas Consulting Director with The Economist Intelligence Unit. “Countries with a solid mix of the four pillars are showing strong results and opportunities to create and build wealth, while for those with lower rankings, the index provide insights as to where they may be lagging and where they can focus attention to drive positive wealth growth.”

Canadians fare better in market dynamics and risk
Canada’s strong property prices helped to propel it to the third spot (44.3%) in the market dynamics category which examined market openness, attractiveness and activities that are contributors to wealth generation. In this category, strong stock market performance landed the United States in first place (80.4%) with India (45.7%) in the second spot.

Unsurprisingly, Canada’s stable macroeconomic, financial and political climate helped its highest index ranking – second place in the risk category (84.5%), topped only by Switzerland (84.8%).

Work to be done on innovation, economic fundamentals
Canada dipped into the bottom half of the ranking in the area of innovation, which looks at a country’s predisposition to generate new businesses, products and services, and research and development. Canada’s weakness in this area resulted in an eighth place ranking (50.7%) while Japan (77%), Singapore (72.1%) and the United States (68.9%) have the strongest innovation environments for wealth opportunity supported by high research and development spending and patent applications.

Similarly, Canada ranked eighth in the category of economic fundamentals which examined macroeconomic and demographic drivers including real GDP growth, population age and its forecasted growth, personal disposable income growth, gross national savings and household debt. In this category, China (66.7%) was number one, followed closely by India (66.4%) with the strongest growth in GDP income per head.

“Most clients today need to explore a variety of tactics through a holistic lens to build and preserve wealth,” says Tony Maiorino, Head, RBC Wealth Management Services. “While investment and portfolio management remain a priority, increasingly, we find that our high-net-worth clients are asking us for guidance and support in the areas of tax strategy, wealth preservation, estate planning and philanthropy.”

Canada’s high net worth population projected to grow
RBC Wealth Management’s High Net Worth (HNW) Market Sizing Report reveals distribution and growth potential of HNW individuals in six countries from 2019 to 2030. Findings include:

  • Canada has the fourth largest population of HNW individuals in the world with just over 375,000 people, but by 2030, it will have grown 5.7 per cent to overtake the United Kingdom for third place
  • The share of female HNW individuals is increasing across all six countries with females making up 32 per cent of the Canadian HNW population
  • The United States has the highest number of HNW individuals in the world. China is second but it is the fastest growing market over the forecast period (2019-30).

For more details on the reports and methodology, visit

About RBC Wealth Management
RBC Wealth Management
 is one of the world’s top five largest wealth managers*. RBC Wealth Management directly serves affluent, high net worth and ultra high net worth clients globally with a full suite of banking, investment, trust and other wealth management solutions, from our key operational hubs in Canada, the United States, the British Isles, and Asia. The business also provides asset management products and services directly and through RBC and third party distributors to institutional and individual clients, through its RBC Global Asset Management business (which includes BlueBay Asset Management). RBC Wealth Management has C$1.06 trillion of assets under administration, C$756 billion of assets under management and more than 4,800 financial consultants, advisors, private bankers, and trust officers. For more information, please visit

*Scorpio Partnership Global Private Banking KPI Benchmark 2018. In the United States, securities are offered through RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 85,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at

- 30 -

For more information:
Louise Armstrong, RBC Wealth Management, 437-994-0916,