Canadians Are Wealthier Than Americans

One big reason Canadians have pulled ahead, is the U.S. housing bust destroyed a lot of wealth. Home values in Canada have remained steady, and lately, they've even enjoyed a housing boom.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

O, Canada. You have Tim Horton's coffee and doughnuts. Your land mass is larger. You use the metric system.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You gave the world the great William Shatner. And ketchup potato chips are readily available at your grocery stores.

MONTAGNE: And now Canada, you are richer than us - as in the U.S.

For decades, Americans were winning in that department, but new numbers show the average Canadian is wealthier. Peter Miron is an economist in Toronto who crunched the numbers.

PETER MIRON: If you take a look at American household net worth in 2011, we're looking at $320,000 per household. And in Canada, we're looking at about $363,000 per household in 2011. So $43,000, yeah, it's substantial.

INSKEEP: OK. What's this all about? Well, one big reason Canadians have pulled ahead is the U.S. housing bust, which destroyed a lot of wealth here. Canadians' home values have remained steady, and lately, they've even enjoyed a housing boom. Many of us probably didn't realize that.

MONTAGNE: Well, gee, they probably haven't been bragging about it. Those are Canadians.

(LAUGHTER)

MONTAGNE: Would they be bragging about it? No.

INSKEEP: No. No.

MONTAGNE: So that's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

INSKEEP: I'm Steve Inskeep. Salut!

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "O CANADA")

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