Canada's middle class surpasses that in the U.S., says New York Times report

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OTTAWA - There is a middle class crisis, but it's happening south of the border, not in Canada, according to a New York Times report on incomes around the world.

The newspaper says an analysis it conducted with the LIS data centre shows that while Canadian median income trailed the U.S. badly at the turn of the century, it caught up by 2010 and now likely leads the U.S.

By 2010, median per capita income in the Canada had risen by 20 per cent between 2000 and 2010 to reach US$18,700, the paper says.

Meanwhile, the decade saw median income remain stagnant in the U.S. also at US$18,700 — or US$75,000 for a family of four after taxes.

That's not the case for higher earners, however.

The report shows that Americans at the 95th percentile of income distribution still earn 20 per cent more than similarly-positioned Canadians with after-tax earnings of $58,600 — not including capital gains.

The middle class crisis and income disparity has become a hot political issue in Canada, with both the Liberals and NDP saying it will be a hot topic in the next election.

Government ministers have denied there is a major problem and point to a recent Statistics Canada report showing median net worth rose almost 80 per cent since 1999.

Organizations: New York Times, NDP, Statistics Canada

Geographic location: Canada, U.S., OTTAWA

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