In a First, Canada's Middle Class Is Richer Than US'
New York Times breaks down world income
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2014 7:13 PM CDT
Updated Apr 26, 2014 2:46 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Sorry, middle-class residents of the US. Your long reign as the richest middle class in the world has come to an end, reports the New York Times. Canada, which caught up to America in 2010 with a median after-tax income of $75,000 for a family of four, is the new No. 1. Or at least is "very likely" the new No. 1, given income surveys in both countries conducted since then, write David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy in a lengthy analysis of international incomes.

“The idea that the median American has so much more income than the middle class in all other parts of the world is not true these days,” says Harvard economist Lawrence Katz. “In 1960, we were massively richer than anyone else. In 1980, we were richer. In the 1990s, we were still richer.” No more, however, despite the fact that the US is still the richest large country overall. Rising income inequality takes the blame there. The US middle class still leads countries in Europe, but the gap has narrowed substantially of late in most nations. Among poor people—those in the 20th percentile of income distribution—it's even worse. The US trails badly in comparison to Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland, or the Netherlands, a reversal from 35 years ago. Click for the full analysis.

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Showing 3 of 295 comments
Arthur Vandelay
Apr 28, 2014 1:46 PM CDT
I thought "hope & change" would have brought more prosperity to America.
PoppyRockz
Apr 28, 2014 10:01 AM CDT
How do you like your "Change" now? Well done Obama
NotAngryOldWhiteGuy
Apr 27, 2014 1:32 PM CDT
Impossible. How could all these socialists actually be making more per capita than us? With their national health care and all. Only two possible solutions...the tea party version, where we just dissolve the government completely and descend into Postman-style anarchy...or Fox news where we just simply deny the facts and create our own counter-factual alternate universe. Somewhere a right wing think tank is hiring servile economists to rejigger the numbers so we make more now and forever. U.S.! U.S.! U.S.! No problem so big that it can't be run away from.