Recently, the New York Times reported that the median income in Canada had surpassed the median income in the United States, based on over three decades of international income surveys analysed by LIS (a research group) and by The Upshot.
That analysis showed that despite having a higher median income as recently as 2000, the median income in the United States has now become lesser than the median income of several other countries including Canada. The data also showed that lower-income families in Canada and a majority of northern European countries earn more than their American counterparts do.
Despite having replaced the American middle class as being the world’s richest middle class recently, the Canadian middle class still has its fair share of anxieties. While many members of the Canadian middle class accepted the fact that they were better off comparatively than their American counterparts were, some of their major worries revolved around inequality, housing costs and everyday expenses for transportation and mobile phone plans.
Another thing that worried many members of the middle class in Canada was the thought of whether they would be able to afford college for their children and whether their children would be able to find good jobs thereafter.
The New York Times interviewed several members of the middle class to check how the above-mentioned trends of median middle class incomes globally, affected them. Most expressed their inability to compare their experiences with their American counterparts.
However, several members of the Canadian middle class accepted that they faced lesser financial stress about medical expenses than Americans did. Canadians also accepted that the American versions of the housing bubble and bust were more severe for the Americans than they were for them.
Some of the factors responsible for this extend beyond the obvious economic issues like housing and education, where young Canadian adults are more educated than their American counterparts are. Cultural differences also play a part in affecting the living standards. For example, while 80 percent of Canadian children live with two parents, only 68 percent of American children live with two parents.
However, Canadians are also aware that the American rich still have a massive lead over the Canadian rich. Despite this though, many members of the Canadian middle class preferred their experiences as Canadians. In the words of one of the people interviewed by the New York Times, “I think people in the U.S. seem to struggle more.”
Source: The New York Times