Thursday, May 4, 2017

U.S., Western Europe Compared

The American Interest cites interesting statistics, drawn from a Pew Research Center study of the middle class in Europe, and compares them to like data for several U.S. states. First, the summary finding:
The American middle class is smaller than Europe’s (and declining), but it nonetheless remains substantially richer than almost any other European country’s.
Pew notes:
Among the countries examined, the U.S. is the only country in which fewer than six-in-ten adults were in the middle class in 2010. Meanwhile, compared with many Western European countries, greater shares of Americans were either lower income (26%) or upper income (15%).
Then, some comparisons from the AI article:
Even the poorest U.S. states beat the poorest European countries when it comes to median household income, while only Luxembourg tops the richest states.

In 2010, for instance, the median household income in Mississippi (in 2011 inflation-adjusted dollars) was $37,838; the equivalent in Maryland was $70,976. By comparison, the average Italian household took home $35,608 that year, while a middle-income Norwegian household earned a median income of $56,960.

Put another way: average households in states like Maryland, Connecticut, or Massachusetts are richer than those in Norway, Denmark, or the Netherlands, while residents of Mississippi or West Virginia are better off than the Spaniards and Italians.
Count your blessings.