Canada, in that majority range and with an overall tax-to-GDP ratio of 33 per cent, was 23rd out of 34 OECD countries or essentially at the top of the bottom third. Some might see this as good news; that Canada is quite competitive on the international tax front. However, there are two caveats illustrated in the below chart, which plots the tax-to-GDP ratios from 1965 to 2018 for Canada, the U.S. and the OECD average.
First, our major economic competitor and the OECD country with which we have the highest degree of economic integration—the U.S.—had a substantially lower tax-to-GDP ratio of 24.3 per cent in 2018. Indeed, the gap between the two countries grew from the mid-1960s (when the tax-to-GDP ratios were almost identical) to a peak gap in the early-1990s and then shrank somewhat.