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Has Canada Eclipsed the United States in Pursuit of the "American" Dream?

James Truslow Adams coined the term American Dream in 1931 as "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement." It is not only a dream of materialism, "...but a dream of social order in which each...shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."

However, the social and income inequality in the United States means there is much less opportunity to reach this goal. Is it now more attainable in Canada?


  • Are pulling ahead of Americans in median after-tax income
  • Receive (mostly) free health care (Americans pay for theirs with after-tax dollars)
  • Work 4.6% fewer hours than Americans
  • Live longer than Americans
  • Have lower pregnancy/childbirth mortality rates
  • Educate their children more effectively

Abstracted from Nicholas Kristof's It's Now the Canadian Dream, New York Times, May 14th, 2014.