It's not just you, and you are in fact correct.
What it boils down to is the available power on the local circuit breaker.
In the US, a house is normally broken up into various segments, each getting it's power through a 15A circuit breaker.
As such, the maximum available power for the circuit is 120V * 15A, or 1800 watts.
Furthermore, to prevent the breaker from tripping if a lamp or other device is also plugged into a circuit, the maximum power I have seen a single device draw is generally limited to ~1500W.
In a country with 240V mains, you only need to draw ~6.25A to get an equivalent 1500W.
A quick search for 240V electric kettles leads me to some devices that claim *3100 watt heaters.
I don't know what the standard/common breaker rating is in a 240V country, but if it's also 15A, that would mean that you can draw approximately twice the amount of power from any one outlet then you can in a 120V country.
That likely explains the difference you perceive.
From @RJR in the comments:
Common breakers in Europe (NL at least) are 16A. 10A (older homes,
lights) and 20A (power appliances like hotplates/hobs) are used also
but not generally for normal power outlets.
As such, the maximum available power for a electric kettle is indeed twice the maximum available power in most 120V houses.