Canada is doing well

An article in the New York Times shows Canadian incomes have risen relative to those in the United States, such that average annual income is now equal, though whether this remains true after our recent devaluation of the Loonie is unclear.


Median per capita income was $18,700 in the United States in 2010 (which translates to about $75,000 for a family of four after taxes), up 20 percent since 1980 but virtually unchanged since 2000, after adjusting for inflation. The same measure, by comparison, rose about 20 percent in Britain between 2000 and 2010 and 14 percent in the Netherlands. Median income also rose 20 percent in Canada between 2000 and 2010, to the equivalent of $18,700.

The most recent year in the LIS analysis is 2010. But other income surveys, conducted by government agencies, suggest that since 2010 pay in Canada has risen faster than pay in the United States and is now most likely higher. Pay in several European countries has also risen faster since 2010 than it has in the United States.

The article cites as reasons for this relative middle class income stagnation:

  1. declining educational attainment in youth
  2. government policies that do not favour redistribution of income
  3. corporate policies that do not distribute more income to their salaried workers