You’re Almost Twice as Likely to Reach the ‘American Dream’ in Canada

Photo by Beatriz Vera /

If you’re desperately working to achieve the American dream but feel like you’re spinning your wheels, you’re not alone.

Sadly, upward social mobility is little more than a pipe dream for many Americans.

In a new study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Stanford economist Raj Chetty measures “the probability that a child born to parents in the bottom fifth of the income distribution makes the leap all the way to the top fifth of the income distribution.”

Although the rate varies greatly depending on where you live in the U.S., children here have a 7.5 percent chance of achieving this measure of economic mobility. Raj explains the variances in the Washington, D.C., metro area, which enjoys an overall 11 percent rate of upward mobility.

“In the city of Baltimore, you unfortunately have only a 3.5 percent chance of making that leap from the bottom fifth to the top fifth. That compares with 4.7 percent in D.C. If you go to the some of the more suburban counties, you see much higher rates of upward mobility: Prince George’s County, 9.2 percent, Charles County 14.2 percent.”

According to Chetty’s data, you have a better chance of achieving the “American” dream if you move to one of these countries outside the United States:

  1. Canada: 13.5 percent
  2. Denmark: 11.7 percent
  3. U.K.: 9 percent

“No matter how you cut the American dream or no matter how you describe the American dream, whether it’s life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness or a car, a job and a degree, it’s now become easier in Canada,” Scott Gilmore, a former Canadian diplomat, tells CNN.

If you want to attain the American dream, you may want to look into getting a new, higher-paying job. Check out “Want a Better Job? Start Looking in These 25 Cities.”

You can further boost your finances by taking note of the tips in “20 Clever Ways to Make Extra Money.”

Do you think the American dream is more difficult to attain in the U.S.? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

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