The income gap in Manitoba is widening and researchers at the University of Manitoba's faculty of medicine have found that wealthier people are also healthier.
The study, Growing Gaps in Wealth and Health for Manitobans, found the gap in average household incomes in the province has more than doubled for both rural and urban communities in the last 20 years. In 1986 the average wealthiest rural households in the province earned over $21,000 more than the poorest households in rural Manitoba. Twenty years later the difference was $47,000, according to the study. The gap is even wider in Winnipeg and Brandon where, on average, the wealthiest urban households earned $114,000, while the poorest households made about $34,000.
Researchers also found the growing gap "was accompanied in many cases by profound and growing gaps in health.". Those in the poorest 20 per cent of the population are more likely to die a premature death, have a pregnant teen and contract tuberculosis, researchers found.
Over the 20-year study period, there was little or no improvement in high school graduation rates for the poorest Manitobans.