Watch out, Americans: Your thrifty, socialist neighbors to the north have stealthily become richer than you.
Over the past five years, the average net worth of Canadian households has exceeded that of American households. So for the the first time in history, Canadians are wealthier than Americans — by more than $40,000, on average. In 2011, the average net worth of a Canadian household was $363,202, compared to $319,970 in the U.S., according to Environics Analytics WealthScapes data published in the Globe and Mail. (‘Average net worth’ measures the total combined value of a household’s liquid and real estate assets, minus debt.)
The figure takes into account the relative weakness of the U.S. economy right now, as well as the recent strength of the Canadian dollar, which is now almost on par with the U.S. dollar, the Globe and Mail points out. These figures also ignore public-sector debt, which accounts for a higher proportion of GDP in the U.S than in Canada. And according to the latest jobs numbers, Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 7.2%, while the United States’ remained stagnant at 8.2%.
The major reasons for Canada’s economic triumph over its neighbor to the south, it seems, are rooted in the 2008 recession that rocked the United States’ economy and collapsed its housing market. American house prices plunged, and now Canadian real estate holds more value. And that’s not even taking into account the recent spike in Justin Bieber-inspired tourism.