Life in Canada, Home of the World’s Most Affluent Middle Class – NYTimes.com

Life in Canada, Home of the World’s Most Affluent Middle Class – NYTimes.com

Life in Canada, Home of the World’s Most Affluent Middle Class

The Canadian middle class may now be the world’s richest, but it has its anxieties, too.

Members of the middle class in Canada worry about whether they can afford college for their children and whether their children will find jobs afterward. Housing costs are a major concern, as are everyday costs for transportation and mobile-phone plans. They worry about inequality.

Yet many middle-class Canadians also believe that they’re better off than their American counterparts.

We reported last week that median income in Canada appears to have surpassed median income in the United States, based on more than three decades of international income surveys analyzed by LIS, a research group, and by The Upshot. As recently as 2000, median income in the United States was significantly higher. The data also show that lower-income families in Canada and much of northern Europe now make more than their American counterparts.

To get a sense for how these trends are affecting Canadians, we set out to interview members of the middle class. Most, of course, have no firsthand way of comparing their experiences with American ones, and they were quick to acknowledge as much. Yet in a globalized world, people do know about more than just their own neighborhood.

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