Canada and UK have strong historical and political ties. For decades, Canada was a dominion of the United Kingdom, and even though it’s now independent, Queen Elizabeth is the head of state of both countries. But there are many differences between the two countries, and that’s not just in the distance. So, is it better to live in Canada than in the UK?
Both countries have similarities in terms of free and quality healthcare and education. Apart from this, Canada is better in terms of diversity, safety, weather, natural environment, and job outlook. But if you’re considering the cost of living and entertainment activities, the UK is a great choice.
Regardless of the differences between the two countries, any of them is a wonderful choice. However, the differences make for distinct cultures and experiences as a resident. This article discusses whether it’s better to live in Canada or the UK.
1. Health Care
The two countries are quite similar in healthcare as they both provide free healthcare for permanent residents and citizens. The National Health Service provides this in the UK, and through the service, anyone in the country enjoys nurse consultation and primary care from general practitioners. But secondary care is only for ordinary residents and those from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) with permanent resident status. Immigrants applying for a visa into the country for at least six months or more will have to pay the Immigration healthcare surcharge as part of their application, even if they have private medical insurance. Once they pay that, they’ll have access to the NHS. Those with visitors visa don’t have to pay this.
On the other hand, Canada has a universal healthcare system covering primary and secondary care for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. There is no health surcharge payment in Canada, but you won’t immediately access universal healthcare even as a permanent resident. So, you’ll need to get private medical insurance in the meantime. Furthermore, while universal healthcare insurance coverage differs among provinces and territories, it doesn’t cover certain things such as dental treatment, ambulance services, eye treatments, physiotherapy, etc. That of the UK also doesn’t.
The United Kingdom is home to Oxford and Cambridge, both ivy league universities. However, these two only represent the crème-de-la-crème of options in the country as far as tertiary education is concerned. Canada also has several world-class institutions, even if none is an Ivy league. The educational systems in both countries are exceptional, and that’s not just as tertiary education level. Even better is that both countries have free education for primary and secondary education unless you choose to go to a private school. However, the cost of tertiary education appears to be lower in Canada than in the UK, especially for international students.
Canada is more diverse than the United Kingdom regarding population distribution. But the UK is very diverse too. Both countries have a significant percentage of their residents born outside their borders, and that population continues to grow. Canada also has a more open immigration policy and accepts more immigrants annually than the UK. This makes it have a much larger immigrant population.
Both countries experience four distinct seasons in the year. But given the size of Canada, which is about 41 times bigger than the UK, the weather variations are more pronounced over there. Harsh winters are common in both countries, but the winter is more comfortable in the UK. The average winter temperature in the UK is around 0 – 7 degrees Celsius. In Canada, it sometimes drops as low as -40 degrees Celsius in some locations. The summer in the UK is usually short, and you can expect lots of rain throughout the year. While most of the country has one climate, Canada has several climates in various parts. Some places experience heavy rainfall during winter, while others only get snow.
5. Natural Environment
The United Kingdom is a beautiful country with lots of amazing landscapes. But for reasons which include its size, it can’t compare to Canada. Canada contains 9% of the world’s forest and over half of its lakes. In addition, it has the longest coastline globally, 48 national parks and more amazing sights. So, if a beautiful environment is something you care so much about, Canada is a better choice.
6. Job Outlook
Canada has a higher unemployment rate than the UK, but both countries have fantastic economies with many opportunities in various sectors. UK economy is bigger than Canada’s, but the wages aren’t that different. The wages aren’t much different between the two countries, but you may prefer it because the UK has a slightly lower cost of living than Canada. Of course, some jobs are more profitable in Canada than in the UK. Also, Canada is more open to retaining students who school in the country after completing their education, so you’re more likely to find a job in some provinces.
Regarding lower crime rates and overall security, Canada is a safer place to live than the UK. The county is one of the safest globally, with great neighbourhoods and a secure environment for raising a family. In addition, Canada is a more tolerant country, and almost all crimes, including robberies, assaults, murders, hate crimes, etc., are lower in Canada than in the UK.
8. Cost of living
The cost of living in both countries is quite similar, and each of them has where they outshine the other. For Canada, utility bills, restaurant prices, fuel prices, and taxes are much lower than you’ll get in the UK. However, it’s cheaper to travel within the UK no matter what your travel options might be. Accommodation is also slightly higher in Canada compared to the UK. Overall, the UK has a lower cost of living.
9. Entertainment and Sports
The UK is the more popular option when it comes to sports because it has the number one football league globally. But, of course, that doesn’t mean that Canada doesn’t have its own rich sports heritage. It has a strong sports culture. But the UK appears to have better entertainment options and venues than Canada. Of course, that’ll depend on the kind of sports you fancy.
While Canada and the UK have many similarities, Canada is slightly a better option for the overall quality of life. But, of course, it’ll still depend on other personal preferences to determine which of the two countries is best for you to live in.