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Standard of living in the United States

From Academic Kids

Template:Life in the United States The standard of living in the United States is one of the highest in the world by almost any measure. On measures such as the UN Human Development Index the United States is always in the top ten, though generally ranked lower than the Scandinavian countries, Canada, Australia, and Japan; Canada and Norway have alternately held the top spot for some time.

The United States measures better in certain quality of life categories than others. Americans are some of the wealthiest people in the world, with a very high GDP per capita. Americans are top in the world for most material possessions. The number of televisions, vehicles, and other such products per person are considerably higher than in any other country. For instance the United States has some 754 televisions for every thousand people, no other major state is even above 700, with Japan being closest at 680/1000.

The United States also consistently has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world, usually only beaten by Japan.

While the United States' mean wealth is the highest of any major country and its median income is near the highest in the world, there may be a relatively unequal income distribution. Much of the extra money in the United States is the result of a much wealthier top section of the population. The United States also has more people below the defined poverty line than 26 other countries; however, the measures used to establish a poverty line are controversial and may not always be comparable among countries. The wealthiest ten percent of Americans are 15 times richer than the bottom ten percent. In Japan, for instance, the ratio is only 4.2:1. Some regard this imbalance as a product of the United States' long policy of having a more free market economy, while other countries are more ready to sacrifice net wealth in favour of equality.

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