cover image: Ontario’s Two Lost Economic Decades: 2002-2022


Ontario’s Two Lost Economic Decades: 2002-2022

9 May 2024

  • This bulletin takes a big picture look at several indicators of Ontario’s broad economic health from 2002-2022 in order to assess the overall performance of the provincial economy during this period.
  • Ontario ranked ninth out of 10 provinces in inflation-adjusted GDP growth per person. At 0.7 percent annual growth, Ontario was 0.2 percentage points per year behind the average for the rest of the country at 0.9 percent.
  • Ontario’s median income-growth performance during this time span was even worse. Ontario finished in last place, with real median income growth of just 7.2 percent over a 20-year period. This was far less than the second-worst performing province, Alberta, which saw total growth of 17.4 percent.
  • Ontario also performed poorly with respect to business investment per worker. On average, the rest of the country received 65 percent more business investment per worker than Ontario.
  • We find that taken together, these indicators paint a picture of minimal economic progress for Ontario and lost ground relative to much of the country, such that the period from 2002– 2022 can be considered two “lost decades” of economic progress and growth.


Ben Eisen, Joel Emes

Published in