Balance sheets: Canadian vs. U.S. households

Graphs show just how much more Canadians borrow



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The latest Allianz Global Wealth Report has some of the most interesting comparisons of Canadian vs. American balance sheets we’ve seen in a while.

Overall, the insurance and asset management firm ranked Canadians the 8th richest in the world in terms of net per capital financial assets, behind Switzerland, the U.S.,  Belgium, Netherlands, Japan, Sweden and Taiwan. We’d be higher on that list if it weren’t for our debt levels, Allianz suggests.

“Although financial assets made a relatively speedy recovery in the aftermath of the crisis, achieving annual growth averaging 8.1 per cent per annum over the past five years, the financial situation of Canadian households is anything but sustainable,” the report reads.

“Macroeconomic shocks like rising interest rates, a labour market slump or falling house prices could pose a serious threat to the solvency of highly-indebted households.

These graphs from the same report just how insatiable Canadians’ appetite for debt is, especially when compared to the U.S.

debt debt2

It’s also interesting to compare our overall portfolio asset mix relative to our U.S. counterparts. We have more of our money sunk into bank deposits and insurance and less in securities than our neighbours to the south.


5 comments on “Balance sheets: Canadian vs. U.S. households

  1. A train wreck in the making and amazing how many don’t see what’s coming.


  2. Why does the first chart use different measurements along the vertical axis. Nice way to skew the graph..


  3. Why use two different scales when making the comparison on the first graph? How is this helpful?


  4. Canadians tend to have a slightly high percentage of their portfolios in securities vs the US according to the graph (34% vs 31% in 2013) We hold more bank deposits, Americans hold more insurance (think health insurance.) Multiple aspects of this article are confusing/suspect


  5. These graphs are great!! Are they in dollars, Euros, Yen, 10’s of thousands, 100 of thousands?? guess no news “IS” better than bad news!


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