I recently read this article on lsminsurance which says Canadians have a higher net worth than Americans. The data shows that the median net worth per adult in Canada is $89,014. That means $89,014 represents the perfect cross section of our economy because half of Canada’s society has more, and the other half has less. In the US however, the median net worth per adult is $52,752. So in other words, most Canadians have more money than most Americans.
Median net worth matters in an economy because it determines the spending, financial security, and lifestyle of the typical middle class person. With a higher net worth we can take on larger amounts of debt without too much risk. A higher personal net worth in the economy also means more purchasing power for the middle class, less poverty and more equal wealth distribution.
However the article also states that the average net worth of Canadians is only $245,455, but that of Americans is $248,395, which is slightly higher than ours. So in this sense, our US friends are actually wealthier than we are. Average doesn’t give us an accurate picture of the common middle class person. However it is still an important statistic because it determines the spending, financial security, and lifestyle of an upper class person.
In the end I think both median and average indicators in these kinds of studies are important. But statistics and facts are only that. They represent information that we have to interpret ourselves to give them meaning. In Canada the common person can spend $60,000 on an expensive vacation and still have more assets then debt, but the policies here make it difficult to become very rich. In the US most people don’t have the luxury to spend $60,000, unless they are comfortable having a negative net worth (o.O), but it’s easier to become wealthy there. 32% of the world’s billionaires live in the US after all. Both economies have their pros and cons. Maybe one day I will move to the US if I ever develop a successful business idea or see an opportunity to make it big. But since I don’t at this point, I’m happy staying in Canada.
Random Useless Fact: The average cost of a wedding in the United States last year was $27,021 (U.S.)