News Release

Homosexual men have significantly lower personal incomes than heterosexual individuals

Homosexual women have higher incomes than straight women

Peer-Reviewed Publication


Montreal, Canada – October 29, 2008 – A new study in the Canadian Journal of Economics provides the first evidence on sexual orientation and economic outcomes in Canada. The study found that gay men have 12 percent lower personal incomes and lesbians have 15 percent higher personal incomes than heterosexual men and women.

Christopher S. Carpenter of The Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California Irvine used data from the Canadian Community Health Survey which includes standard demographic questions as well as self-reports on sexual orientation.

Like previous patterns found in the U.S. and the U.K., results show that gay men have significantly lower personal incomes than similarly situated straight individuals, while lesbians have significantly higher personal incomes than straight women.

Also, similar to gay and straight differences in the U.S., gay men and lesbians in Canada are more likely to live in urban areas and more highly educated than heterosexuals in Canada.

"This is the first work to document statistically and economically meaningful differentials associated with sexual orientation in Canada," Carpenter concludes. "The long-term significance of the study will be to further the call for more research into the causes and consequences of gay/straight differences in Canada and elsewhere."


This study is published in the November 2008 issue of the Canadian Journal of Economics. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact

Christopher S. Carpenter is affiliated with The Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California Irvine and can be reached for questions at

The Canadian Journal of Economics (CJE)/Revue canadienne d'économique is the journal of the Canadian Economics Association (CEA), and is the primary academic economics journal in Canada. While the CJE is the premier outlet for high-quality papers concerning the Canadian economy and policy issues, the editors seek to maintain and enhance the position of the CJE as a major, internationally recognized journal by publishing papers on all economics topics -- theoretical or empirical -- and international in scope.

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