American middle class no longer the worlds richest

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- The American middle class used to be the richest in the world. But now people in other countries are moving up the ladder.

Since the year 2000, here's a look at how much income has gone up for the "middle class.” In Britain and Canada, it's up nearly 20 percent. In Spain it's up more than 4 percent. Germany has seen a 1.4 percent increase.

But here in the U.S., middle class Americans are making just 0.3 percent more than they were 14 years ago.

Most of us consider ourselves middle class. But when it comes to what we make, we're falling behind. We have long been the most affluent in the world. But a new study from the New York Times shows that we are losing our top spot to another country. Canada now has the richest middle class in the world.

Lower and middle-income tiers in many countries across the globe have had significantly bigger raises than the U.S. over the last 30 years. The median income in Canada tied the U.S. in 2010 and has since then have passed us by. The poor have it even worse. A family in the 20th percentile in the U.S. makes significantly less than those in Canada, Sweden and Norway.