Using Strings to Demonstrate the Distribution of Wealth in Canada

Get 100 inches of string.

Cut it in 4 pieces as follows:

The poorest fifth of Canadians are represented by nothing because they are in debt.

1 piece is 1.3 inches long representing the wealth of the second poorest fifth of Canadians;
1 piece is 6.9 inches long representing the wealth of the middle fifth of Canadians;
1 piece is 17.4 inches long representing the wealth of the second richest fifth of Canadians;
1 piece is 75 inches long representing the wealth of the richest fifth of Canadians;

Script

Say:  I am going to show the distribution of wealth in Canada using these strings.  I have one hundred inches of string representing 100% of the personal wealth in Canada.  It is cut into 5 pieces and each piece represents one fifth of the population of Canada, about 6 million people.

#1. Hold up nothing:  Say:  the poorest fifth of Canadians have no wealth.  They are in debt by an average of over $9000 for each family unit.

#2.  Hold up the 1.3 inch string:  Say:  the second poorest fifth of Canadians have this much wealth:  1.3%.

#3.  Hold up the 6.9 inch string:  Say:  the middle fifth of Canadians have this much wealth:  6.9%.

#4.  Hold up the 17.4 inch string:  Say:  the second to richest fifth of Canadians have this much wealth:  17.4 %.

#5:  Hold up the 75 inch string:  Say:  the richest fifth of Canadians have this much wealth:  75% .

Say:  this information is from a Statistics Canada report in 2006.