Canadians richer than Americans

Despite the seemingly endless headlines warning of financial doom and gloom, Canadians may be a little richer than they think.

Over the past five years, the average Canadian household has become more than $40,000 richer than the average American household, according to data from Environics Analytics WealthScapes.

In 2011, the average household net worth in Canada was $363,202, and in the United States it was $319,970, according to an article in the Globe and Mail. And keep in mind that these figures represent Canadian dollars that are mostly at par with the U.S. greenback.

Furthermore, as the report points out, these numbers don’t take into account government debt that presumably people living on both sides of the border (or their children) will have to pay off at some point. Such public-sector debt is higher in the U.S. as a percentage of GDP than it is in Canada.

The reasons for our relatively deeper pockets? Analysts say it has to do with the 2008 economic crisis and the collapse of the U.S. housing market. Real estate held by Canadians is now more valuable — it is, in fact, worth over $140,000 more on average. Canadians own twice as much real estate as Americans, and once mortgages are taken into account, have almost four times as much remaining equity in their real estate assets.

When it comes to liquid assets, however, Americans still fare better than Canadians.

Another big factor working in Canada’s favour is the ability to make money. While unemployment in the U.S. remains stagnant at 8.2 per cent, the rate for unemployment in Canada has fallen to 7.2 per cent, according to CNN.

Additional source: The Atlantic Wire