New York Times study: most Americans’ incomes have stagnated

BY Anya van Wagtendonk  April 23, 2014 at 11:15 AM EST

Economic growth in the U.S. is as strong as or stronger than in many other countries –- but that growth benefits only a small percentage of American households.

That’s the conclusion of a New York Times analysis, based upon 35 years’ worth of surveys, that finds that “the American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.”

Instead, Canada’s middle class is the most well-to-do, and many Western European nations’ middle earners have seen their incomes increase since 2000 –- a claim that cannot be made for Americans, whose wages, after adjusting for inflation, have not unchanged much in the same time period.

The United States remains the world’s richest large country on average, however, because a handful of high-earning households are earning more. The study attributes this widening American wealth gap to factors relating to educational attainment and wage and labor regulation.

Read more about this study, and how the Times gathered its data, here.