Kids born in Canada have better shot at ‘American Dream’ than those from America thanks to better social mobility

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Canadians have a better chance at achieving the so-called “American Dream” than Americans, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum.

Kids born into poorer families in Canada have a better chance at succeeding at a variety of things than those born into poorer families in the U.S.

Kids born into poorer families in Canada have a greater chance at success than in similar families in the U.S., per the World Economic Forum
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Kids born into poorer families in Canada have a greater chance at success than in similar families in the U.S., per the World Economic Forum[/caption]

The information comes from the World Economic Forum’s Global Social Mobility Index, which ranks social mobility among 82 countries.

Social mobility, per the Forum, is “is the ability of a child to experience a better life than their parents.”

It’s “an assessment of the impact” of being able to fill someone’s potential or dreams, despite their socio-economic background.

The index is broken down into five different factors of social mobility: health, education, technology access, work opportunities, conditions and fair wages, and social protections.

The 2020 report, released yesterday at the start of the forum in Davos, Switzerland, ranks Denmark as the number one country with the best social mobility scores.

Nordic countries including Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland follow, with Canada ranking 14th and the U.S. ranking much further below, in 27th place.

Of the other G7 countries, Germany ranks the highest in 11th, France came in 12th, Japan 15th, the U.K. ranked in 21st, and Italy 34th.

The World Economic Forum says the report finds “that most economies are failing to provide the conditions in which their citizens can thrive, often by a large margin.”

Canada ranked higher on the Forum's Social Mobility Index than the U.S.
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Canada ranked higher on the Forum’s Social Mobility Index than the U.S.[/caption]

“As a result, an individual’s opportunities in life remain tethered to their socio-economic status at birth, entrenching historical inequalities.”

The Forum’s report explains it is a major problem not only for individual people, but “also society and the economy.”

“Anything that undermines the best allocation of talent and impedes the accumulation of human capital may significantly hamper growth.”

The report says the “declining income share of labor” in relation to “an increase in the income share of capital” has driven inequality — and also “prompted a decline in equality of opportunity.”

“This is reflected in huge wage disparities, which have grown exponentially since the 1970s.”

In the U.S., the top 1 percent of people earning an income in 2018 earned 158 percent more than those in 1979, compared with “just 24% for the bottom 90%.”

In Denmark, for example, kids born into poorer families have a good chance at earning a higher income as adults who are born into rich families.

The World Economic Forum says world governments “must play the role of equalizer, levelling the playing field for all citizens, regardless of their socio-economic background.”

Improving “tax progressivity on personal income,” stronger support for education and learning and developing “a new social protection contract” to help workers, regardless of employment status, are suggested changes.


The report was released as the World Economic Forum began in Davos, Switzerland.

While addressing the Forum, President Donald Trump said America’s economic success during his term has been “nothing short of spectacular.”

His speech was met with near silence from the crowd — whereas in 2018, Trump was laughed and booed at.


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