The Average Canadian is Now Richer than the Average American

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David G. Miller / Getty Images

Canadian currency ranging from $1 (loonie) and $2 (toonie) coins, to $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills.

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.)

(MORE: Ten Things That Cost More Outside the U.S.)

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%.

(MORE: Canada to Ban Visas for Foreign Strippers)

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.

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304 comments
MarkJamesHill
MarkJamesHill

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/01/canada-us-economy-gdp_n_2220164.html

if your Canadian just read the above article if you dont have time let me just point out how dependant you are to your southern neighbors your arrogant pricks. "73 per cent of Canada’s exports go to the U.S." do ya get that? and by the way your parade isn't lasting your on your way down ... again. Canada is just a big city You need to learn more respect for your big brother.

MarkJamesHill
MarkJamesHill

you cannot compare a country with over 300 million people with the largest GDP in the world with a large city like Canada which has a little over 10% of the population. Besides this will only last for a few years and then the Canadian Dollar will drop again. Americans do have too much debt and with all the refugees and poor immigrants I can see why. Nothing wrong with welcoming poor immigrants and refugees its what America- The USA was built on. Canadians have an identity crisis and always seem to be comparing themselves with America. It must be nice to have a very strong military just over the border so you dont have to spend mega bucks on it.

Noone of Consequence
Noone of Consequence

yeah, but they can only use their money to build houses and hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place...

Michael Bochenski
Michael Bochenski

Congratulation Canada! I shall now refer to you as America Senior and we will be America Junior ....well at least until we become  Central America.

KECanuck
KECanuck

WOW, talk about ignorance and complete lack of understanding from a lot of you americans that like to think you know everything, or worse yet have an uneducated opinion on things you haven't a clue about.

Canada is first a foremost a democracy. Our health care system is by far better than anything the good old USA has or more than likely will ever have. The one fact that remains is that your government hasn't been able to fix your system and more than likely never will be able to figure out a health care system that works for everyone in the USA. Your government is spineless and bows to the system that is controlled by the corporations, and health care providers.

I live in British Columbia, and I pay less than $70 dollars a month for health care for myself. That $70 dollars provides me with almost all my health care coverage, especially major medical like cancer treatment, surgery, xrays, lab tests, visits to the doctor, the list goes on and on. We do pay some things like prescriptions and a few minor services, but if we get sick, we are taken care of without worrying about having a bill sent to us for hundreds of thousands of dollars. We do have extended care we can purchase, but a lot of  companies in Canada pay for this as a benefit to their employees.

As Far as being ahead of the USA and being personally richer on the whole than americans, big deal! I really don't care if I am perceived by you lot south of the border as richer or poorer than you. I live in the greatest country in the world!! I am fortunate to be born and rasied in Canada, I served my country in the military and have travelled the globe including the USA. I can tell you this, there is no place on earth that can compare to Canada.

So for all you americans that have no idea what your talking about when it comes to Canada, do everyone a favor, keep you uniformed and un-educated opinions to yourselves. The world as a whole already has a low enough opinion of you as a nation, don't make it any worse.

Michael
Michael

As a Canadian who studied economics and who's lived in the U.S. for half his adult life, perhaps I can lend some perspective. I also founded Parallel-49, a company that Canadianizes American advertising. Forgive the plug, but it goes to credibility. 

The article's headline is based on net worth (assets), and the Canadian housing bubble hasn't popped yet. The U.S. still leads the world in annual income. See the recently published Wall St. Journal rankings, which also show near-perfect correlation between free markets (capitalism) and income, which benefits rich and poor alike. 

True, to call Canada (or Sweden) socialist is incorrect in the absolute, yet correct in relative terms. Those countries are more socialist, but the U.S. is doing its best to catch up.

Monopolies exist only where government gives them the power. The closer one gets to a monopoly system, the more consumers get hurt. Canada has duopoly in airlines, and oligopoly in mobile phones and banking. Not coincidentally, Canadians pay ludicrous prices / fees for these things.

Don Ho
Don Ho

Yes but we the U.S. have more bombs and guns. That's how we like to spend our resources.

truongvoky
truongvoky

Thanks to Obama importing millions of illegal immigrants so Social security, Welfare , unemployment  will be fully paid while the jobs available are worth to work than to stay home and get paid.

zzz05
zzz05

In other new:

"Average citizen of Roman Empire no longer wealthiest in world"

zzz05
zzz05

But they have gun control, so all we have to do is go up there and take it all. 

stevecarington2012
stevecarington2012

 One thing that keeps coming up in reading on American history, is the

participation of blacks and Hispanics in Communist parties of the

1940s-1960s. And the KKK used to inveigh against "Marxist n***ers" and

so forth. I'm curious how much of our anxiety over socialism, is from

the Red Scares of the 20s and 50s, and how much was from Southern

segregationists. Obama is a fusion of such fears: a black man of the

"Left" (even though he is nowhere close to what Greens or Socialists

hope for).@LoudRambler:disqus  what Edward replied I

didn't even know that some people can get paid $4007 in 1 month on the computer.

did you see this website  http://easygreennow.blogspot.c...

Richard Rhoda
Richard Rhoda

You confuse "median" with "average".  The US "average" net worth is higher than Canada's.  "Median Net Worth" Canada - $89,014; USA - $52,752. "Average Net Worth: Canada - $245,455; USA - $248,395. www.financemy money.com. Obviously, wealth is

far more concentrated in the USA.

Richard Rhoda
Richard Rhoda

You are confusing "average" with "median."   They differences can be enormous. I though journalists were better.   The ultra rich in the USA push the "average in the USA  above the "average" in Canada.   Canada and US net worth data:

 

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

Is that MEAN household income or MEDIAN? It may well be that the US continues to be richer than Canada in gross terms, but that most of the money is tied up by the super-rich, whereas in Canada it's spread around more evenly.

Ricardo Bocaz Bocaz
Ricardo Bocaz Bocaz

Wrong!!!!   Canadians ARE Americans. They share the same continent as many other countries...like USA.

Delors
Delors

To be "socialist" means that the goverment and state priorities MUST be focused on people, not on corporations. The dictionary has to be reviewed also...many words are "much too far" from the actual meaning... Way to go Canadians...!!!

Agarbeau
Agarbeau

Canada does not have despots who piss away trillions on losers all over the third world or the GOP that blocks every attempt to get this country rolling again.

gprovida
gprovida

Wait wait, "socialist" Canada with high tax rates, gun control, universal health care, ... gee maybe we can get a clue.

Marc Schluper
Marc Schluper

This is not a fair comparison. The Canadians don't fight wars all the time, like we do, so they save a lot of money. They also have no filthy rich people who park the money they extracted out of our economy in secret foreign bank accounts. Moreover, they have very cost-effective universal health care.

If we had all that, and a Congress that was not corrupt, we'd still beat them!

Don_Randall
Don_Randall

Except for the Canadian health-care system, I would hardly refer to Canada as a socialist country. In fact, Canada is becoming increasingly capitalistic and our social programs are rapidly deteriorating. In regards to Canadians becoming wealthier, that simply isn't the case. Back in 1967 the distribution of wealth in both the U.S. and Canada was at its peak. Since that time gentrification, poverty and homelessness have increased in both the U.S. and Canada. Moreover, the decline in housing prices in the U.S. could make housing more affordable for Americans. In Canada housing prices are absolutely ridiculous for average people.

matuzelatogo
matuzelatogo

It is about time americans learnt from the Canadian Experience and established a Universal Health Care System for all because they have become a more sympatising Nation and I am not really surprised that They are now more wealthy than Americans.

Right here in Ghana the Rate of the Canadian Dollar is quite low even By Western Standards for I bought 20 Canadian Dollars for40 Ghana Cedis that is quite cheap and moreover I do not know the rate in Ottawa and in Toronto Canada.

So cheerios and hoping to migrate to Canada in the Year 2013.

By the way Americans will please stop lambasting your Canadian Neighbours they have great potential Skills in the Telecom and Information Communications Sector for   your Information.

Yep the Canadian Dollar like no other Currency even ousting the Euro and the British Pound Sterlings.

If America is the wealthiest Country on Earth then it is a shame that it can have the political will to ensure all its residents have access to Adequate Health Insurance to all its residents when even Less Wealthier Countries are doing the favour for their residents and their Citizens.

Allah Wetin Americans better wake up for the Mightiness and Elevation of their Country for it seems she is falling in the Indicators of the Rankings in so many areas of Human Endeavour.

Math and  Science Results from the United States are falling behing Europe The Middle East Asia and Africa and American High School and University Students have better to improve their Score Skills.

Yours Computerly James Bedu Kodjo Graham.

wootendw
wootendw

Canada ought to be the richest nation on earth by far.  It has vast land and natural resources split up amongst a mere 35m people.  And it has a huge trading partner directly to its south.  That the average Canadian isn't several times wealthier than the average American suggests that it is very poorly governed or over-governed.

manroj1
manroj1

Yeah, they don't spend as much on unnecessary health care or unnecessary wars.

duif100
duif100

It would have been nice if that had happened because of a booming Canadian economy.

It is sad that it happened because Obama destroyed 40% of America's wealth and is still destroying more.

It is the same as winning the game because the other team fortfeited the game.

You did not win the game but you get credit for the win.

It only emphasises how bad Obama is for America!

GimmeAnotherTacoWillYaPlease
GimmeAnotherTacoWillYaPlease

Come on, stop this nonsense once and for all. Canada is not socialist and never has been- end the silly inaccurate stereo types and the foolish comparisons to Europe.

Canada is sturdy, sober and CONSERVATIVE  on financial and fiscal matters. It's that simple and it works.

Firozali A.Mulla
Firozali A.Mulla

The

Barclay scandal has rocked the cash that we now look at this repeatedly. US

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has warned that reform of libor will not be

left "completely to the British" because their earlier efforts did

not solve the problem. The blunt warning came just hours after Sir Mervyn King,

the Governor of the Bank of England, invited the heads of the world's central

banks to a dinner in September to discuss reforming Libor.More than a dozen of

the world's biggest banks are under investigation for allegedly trying to

manipulate Libor, an interest rate that is used as the basis for more than

200trillion pounds in loans. You cannot compare Canada with UK or US. Well, if you say IGNORE, why? We need to

dig deeper Human has always been curious and went to moon to find water,

nothing. Tried many space shuttle, came back with sand that is now is museum

and you pay to see this. Is this to cover the cost of the ride to moon? Say we

are stingy in our daily lives. Elite looks down on poor to keep them poor. Is

that the economy? BRIC was tops now China is looking deeply into her cash flow

as India .I think there is the problem with Canada too. Remember long time we

used to say, economy in Canada is great but the politics is lousy. Times do

change but the economy all over the world is sitting on one thing. HOLD ON

someone is doing something. The problem with us is, we have no honest leaders.

Name one. Can you? I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

 

Firozali A.Mulla
Firozali A.Mulla

What I love is, there is a report or the study says.

Is there no validity in these studies? Why the reports come, as “Subject to” That

exactly is the study says like the Readers Digest once wrote, (“They say, but

never know who?) International Business Machines (IBM: 188.25,

+4.60, +2.50%) revealed quarterly profits and a full-year outlook that bested

Wall Street's expectations. However, the blue-chip tech company's sales came in

shy of forecasts. The Armonk, New York-based Company posted a

second-quarter net income of $3.9 billion, up 6% from the same three months in

2011. Excluding charges, IBM's EPS was $3.51, stronger than the $3.42 the

Street expected. Revenues came in at $25.8 billion, shy of the $26.27 billion

Wall Street was looking for. A stronger dollar, which reduces the value of

international sales, lobbed roughly $1 billion off the company's top-line

number. Sales across IBM's software division rose 4%, adjusting for

currency, while revenues in the hardware division slumped 7% on the same basis.

However, IBM made up for the weakness in revenues by boosting its total

operating margin, a key profitability metric, to 48.2% from 46.8% in the same

quarter in 2011. IBM President and Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty

said in a release accompanying the report that the performance "reflects

continued strength in our growth initiatives and investments in higher value

opportunities." Rometty added that "looking ahead, we are well

positioned to deliver greater value to a wider range of clients and to our

shareholders.." There’s a study out there that says the net worth of

Canadians is now higher than that of Americans. The study is

impenetrably absurd, and so are the pundits touting it. The study from

Environics Analytics of Toronto says the average Canadian household had a net

worth of $363,202 at the end of last year, versus $319,970 for the average

American household. The average Canadian household now looks to be more than

$44,000 richer than the average American household, the study says. Set aside

the oversights, including that it appears the study uses U.S. government

statistics that leave out Americans’ massive 401(k) accounts, as Americans are

not required to report these retirement accounts on tax returns. The study

attempted to use estimates here, but the disclosures are poor. Similar, too, is

the fact that the study ignores Canada’s microscopic defence spending, which

amounts to a fraction of the U.S. military budget. For decades, Canada has

relied on the U.S. for its own defence and protection, and instead blows its

money on a flawed single-payer health system that is growing more expensive and

whose long wait times for exams and doctor or hospital visits has Canadians

flying down to the U.S. for health care. Does Obama or Romney Have a Better Vision for America’s Future? What

I like about this is the repeat   of the

news. All are trying to gain time for the next 4 year. All say I do not know

…smile(the lady is smiling while my net is revolving  reload..   .. and people do not want to say no to Obama

but if the public cane get something in change on $250,000 tax, increase or

increase suspending lowering The Barclay scandal has rocked the cash

that we now look at this repeatedly. US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has

warned that reform of libor will not be left "completely to the

British" because their earlier efforts did not solve the problem. The

blunt warning came just hours after Sir Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank

of England, invited the heads of the world's central banks to a dinner in

September to discuss reforming Libor.More than a dozen of the world's biggest

banks are under investigation for allegedly trying to manipulate Libor, an

interest rate that is used as the basis for more than 200trillion pounds in

loans. You cannot compare Canada with UK or US. Well,

if you say IGNORE, why? We need to dig deeper Human has always been curious and

went to moon to find water, nothing. Tried many space shuttle, came back with

sand that is now is museum and you pay to see this. Is this to cover the cost

of the ride to moon? Say we are stingy in our daily lives. Elite looks down on

poor to keep them poor. Is that the economy? BRIC was tops now China is looking

deeply into her cash flow as India .I think there is the problem with Canada

too. Remember long time we used to say, economy in Canada is great but the

politics is lousy. Times do change but the economy all over the world is

sitting on one thing. HOLD ON someone is doing something. The problem with us

is, we have no honest leaders. Name one. Can you? I thank you Firozali A.Mulla

DBA

garydpdx
garydpdx

This would surprise most Canadians since the US is seen as a destination for high value jobs. But the flip side is that 25% of the US work force is considered 'low wage' while that's just above 20% for Canada (and also the UK). Add to that increased inequality (while Canada has the highest rate of growth in inequality, it would take over a decade to reach present US levels), reduced social mobility (mostly from an increase in downward mobility as well as slowed upward mobility - Pew Social Mobility Project) and discovery of more damage from the Great Recession than previously thought (e.g., NAR revising down house sales figures from the last three years). Canada's mid-paced midwestern-style economy has traditionally been viewed as the tortoise versus the American hare, but the tortoise looks good when the hare stumbles. 

 

BTW for unemployment figures, the Bureau of Labor Statistics re-crunches other countries' data using its own formula and for Canada, its BLS unemployment would be

6.3%! 

 

The parts of the US economy that are working, are working very, very, very well. The problem is that a big chunk of it is still offline.

Alvin Lee
Alvin Lee

Are the averages AFTER Canadian taxes? Haha. 

nofluff2
nofluff2

what about the lifestyle itself? The issue of wealth as described doesn't compare what amenities are regularly enjoyed by people who live at roughly the same income level. For instance, try to buy a modern 3000 sq ft home with a 1 acre yard in Canada an see what income bracket you need to be in to afford it. Compare the price of quality clothes, food, energy (petrol for instance), and consumer goods across the board. The lifestyle of the US still outranks Canada and they know which is why they run down here to buy clothes and every dam# thing else they can, when they can. enough said 

monarda
monarda

 According to Washington Post's Wonkblog, http://www.washingtonpost.com/..."The average Canadian is not wealthier than the average American for “the first time in recent history.” He’s been wealthier all along" Not only that 'It turns out, if anything, [the recent study] lowballs Canadians’ wealth advantage." Furthermore, "not only does Canada beat the United States on median net worth. Just about every developed country save Sweden and Denmark does. The UK, Japan, Italy (!) and Australia more than double the U.S. median."

gracetoday
gracetoday

Is it that hard to do a little research and learn that Canada has been governed by a conservative government - one of the most conservative in the Northern Hemisphere - since 2006. We are not a socialist country and our socialised healthcare has nothing to do with our current economic success. The current trend in healthcare up here is towards privatisation. The one exception is the province of Quebec, which is our slowest growing economy, go figure.

RomeBurnsAgain
RomeBurnsAgain

Canadians:

1. Don't pay for imperialistic wars

2. Live much healthier lifestyles

3. Support their elderly on a family level

4. Less crime and thus law enforcement is not overburdened

5. Kids care to learn.

6. Natural resources like oil and timber

USA:

1. We love wars because it protects us against countries that we have screwed before.

2. Love Mickey Ds. God forbid someone doesn't have meat everyday.

3. Medicare and Social Security. Plus, your in laws don't want you around.

4. Guns and drugs. F tha police.

5. Teachers are overpaid (and so are doctors soon). I shouldn't be responsible for my loser kid even if I'm a loser who teaches no value.

6. Whining, saturated fat. Plus imports for our excess consumerism.

Hmm... How could the most powerful nation become less important over time? Maybe the apathy and lack of responsibility are catching up. Oh, don't worry. Social programs will fix that mindset. What can a greedy lazy corrupt politician do wrong except pander for your vote without any assets to back up their fantasy ideas?

Toomuchdebt
Toomuchdebt

I am Canadian and take this story with a big grain of salt.  The bulk of the wealth that this article speaks of is because we have our own property bubble here in Canada. All of that household wealth is in the form of paper equity in peoples homes.  Our bubble is beginning to pop now, so lets revisit these numbers in a few years.  

Check out these fine examples of how big the bubble is.

http://www.realtor.ca/property... 

http://www.realtor.ca/property... 

http://www.realtor.ca/property... 

http://www.realtor.ca/property... 

We are not in any better shape than Americans we have just as much personal debt, we are just a bit behind you with our property bubble, don't fret we will be catching up  in the very near future.  

Kim Tymecki
Kim Tymecki

Funny, as a Canadian I don't *feel* richer than anyone!  If I have more money in my pocket, it's because I live on a border and do all my shopping in Port Huron, MI.  There's a lot of talk about it being because we have "free" health care (which isn't true, just our sales tax is 14%)  There are good and bad things about living on either side of the border.  Personally, I've never understood why the US is so against Universal Health Care.  You have "socialist" fire departments, and road crews and mail carriers.  Although I read somewhere that some states don't even provide fire services if you don't pay yearly.  Why can't the American government take a small portion of the billions that go into war and put it in a small effort to take care of the average citizen?  Perhaps it would lower the impotent anger that a lot of the world views Americans as having, which would lower the crime rate.  Yes, we have crime in Canada-and it's increasingly bizarre and large scale, but it is still much lower.  I think that's cause we're mostly a content people.  (Also, I know the difference between American Politician and American.  The first makes me fearful, the second have all been considerate and kind to me.)

Dam Spahn
Dam Spahn

Well, look at that!  The socialists are richer than the serfs.  But our billionaires can beat up your billionaires!

Martin Hutnik
Martin Hutnik

how does this author have a job? did you do some actual reporting on this and learn some perspective? 

Joe Carlin
Joe Carlin

You mean investments in education, healthcare and reasonable regulations make people richer? You don't say! 

RichinCanada
RichinCanada

A few things:

1) Canada was recently rated more economically free than the US for the first time ever.  The US is strangling itself with regulation, litigation, and taxation.

2) Canada is far more aggressive in monetizing its natural wealth.  America, again, seems to want to play with one arm tied behind its back.

3) Canada, a country I love and live in, does not have the same risk taking appetite that the US does.  You have a terrific VC network in Silicon Valley (and other areas), excellent corporate law and a culture that views failure as a learning experience and not a mark of shame.

I think Canada will be rich because we manage our finances fairly carefully, have a land mass bigger than the US with 1/10 of the population and we work hard.  But in the long run, the US will regain its spot as top banana if they can just unleash the natural talents of their 300 million citizens and get out of their way. 

bvonmoss
bvonmoss

Canada has mineral wealth, which is high value in a world of fiat currency.

Abram Larson
Abram Larson

This article is severely misleading.  The average net worth is a meaningless number to compare, when (at least in the US) the top 5% of households own over 50% of the net worth. Using the average net worth, means that over 80% of households fall below the mark. How useful is that info really? 

The median net worth (that is the the point at which 50% of households are above the number and 50% are below) difference between the US and Canada has been in favor of the Canadians for at least the last 5 years. For example, in 2011 the median net worth in Canada was $89,000 USD, vs. $53,000 in the US.  And those Canadian amount include the FX rate at the time. 

The "average" middle-class family has a higher income and a higher net-worth in Canada and has for quite some time. The average shown in this study does not properly take into account the severely more un-equal distribution of income in the US.

Who fact-checked this article? While being technically correctly, its very misleading.

Stephen Greenhouse
Stephen Greenhouse

What's the point in mentioning real economic data about US political parties?  The only ones who don't realise the republicans impoverish the place every chance they get have their fingers in their ears

Anthony Urciuoli
Anthony Urciuoli

Looks like that "Nazi-like" socialism isn't so bad...eh? Canada monitored and limited the banks freedoms, and a result Canada survived the recession better than any country in the world. "Limiting freedoms" is the exact kind of phrase that makes closed minded Americans quiver. YOU NEED GOVERNMENT!! If only the average American knew how to add context to each situation.

hells86
hells86

Article fail. It's only in nominal amount. If you want to substantiate that they are richer you need to look at power purchasing parity

Chris Herz
Chris Herz

This is just hype from the liberal media.  Everyone knows the USA is number 1!

John Christopher
John Christopher

The author starts off by labeling Canada as our socialist neighbor to the north, which is supposed to be some quasi liberal backhanded stab at capitalism and free markets as well as the of conservatives in this country. Unmentioned by this article is the great political shift that Canada has undergone since the early 2000's. Canada has actually turned away from its failed liberal policies and embraced conservatism, free markets and capitalism. They have also seen a huge gain in their currency versus the US dollar because Canadians have not manipulated their monetary policy like our Federal Reserve. Currency flux alone  accts for more than a $40,000 swing on an average net worth of 300,000k +. The Loonie has gained almost 20% on the USD since the beginning of the 2000's. Interesting side note is Canada does not embrace the mortgage interest tax deduction which is nothing but a subsidy to rich people who buy mcmansions out the suburbs nor does their government push to give people homes and sue banks for supposed redlining. Show me a big mess and I'll show you where the government was involved! -  Sorry facebook rant of the day!

bkungl
bkungl

Wow, I live in Canada and I wasn't aware of this!!!  This really surprises me because the government in Ontario is bleeding us dry with all the taxes along with having to pay for major government mistakes like $180,000,000 which will now be added to our property taxes.  Thanks McGuinty...you have screwed us...again!!!