Few countries are compared the way the US and Canada are. As neighbours sharing the largest border, the two countries have many things in common. But there are also several differences too. All these affect the living conditions in both cities. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in Canada vs the US?
Using the US as a foil, there are several benefits to living in Canada. These include universal healthcare, safety, a strong economy, four seasons, and cheap education. But there are issues such as long wait times for healthcare, sparse population, currency, harsh winters, and immigration process.
Regardless of the cons, Canada is one of the best places to live. But that doesn’t mean it’s a better place to live than the US. Just as thousands of people migrate from different parts of the world to Canada, thousands also relocate to the US. Here, we look at both sides of living in Canada compared to the US.
Pros of living in Canada vs the US
Living in Canada is better than the United States in several ways. These include:
1. Universal Healthcare System
Canadians are proud of their healthcare system, which subsidizes healthcare for citizens and permanent residents substantially. Due to the Medicare system in Canada, about 70% of the healthcare costs in Canada are borne by the government through taxes. Thus, healthcare here is incredibly cheap compared to the US.
Even though most Canadians also have supplementary health insurance, the cost is far below that of US residents who spend substantially on health annually. For temporary residents, the healthcare cost is still low, and if you’re working here, the employers would most likely provide a health care benefit plan. Also, drugs and medication in Canada costs less than in the US.
2. Strong Economy
Canada has one of the strongest economies in the world. It is 10th in terms of GDP and second for economic stability. The Canadian economy is truly booming, with key sectors such as agriculture, oil production, and services thriving. Cities like Toronto and Montreal are gradually taking center stage for financing, technological innovation, and other key business areas.
3. Low Crime Rate
Canada is also a relatively safer country compared to the US. Before you ask, this isn’t just because of the population disparity between the two. Crime occurrence in Canada is very low here due to several reasons. Statistically, the crime level in Canada is 39.03%, while that of the US is 55.84%. In addition, the homicide rate in Canada is 1.8 per 100,000 people compared to the US, where it’s 5.5. This, Canada, is a safer place to live than the United States.
4. Four Distinct Seasons
No matter where you stay in Canada, you’ll enjoy the four seasons. Even warm places like Vancouver and Victoria still experience a few inches of snow during the winter. The coldest parts of the country also get sunlight during the summer months. All this means residents can completely enjoy all four seasons and what it brings. In the US, it’s not the same. There are cities in Florida and California that don’t experience the traditional winter with all the snow. Living in these areas means you don’t get the winter wonderland experience.
5. Affordable Education
They say quality doesn’t come cheap. But that’s not true of Canadian education. Canada boasts of high-quality education at very low costs. Primary and secondary education is excellent and free if you choose to send your child to a public school. You don’t have to worry. Public schools here are very top tier too. Tertiary education, one of the top money guzzlers for US residents who are indebted through student loans, is also cheap here. Citizens and permanent residents especially enjoy the low cost of education.
Cons of Living in Canada vs the US
While Canada is better than America in several ways, there are also ways the US is better than Canada. they include
1. Long Wait Times to Get Healthcare
Healthcare might cost more in the US, but at least you’ll be able to see your doctor and get treatment faster than in Canada. Canada has the longest wait times between seeing doctors and getting treatments among the OECD countries. Thus, getting the right medical care in the US will only take a short time if you have your money.
2. Weak Currency
Despite the booming economy of Canada, the US economy remains the largest when it comes to GDP. Moreover, almost all the top conglomerates and businesses originate from America, and it has the most billionaires in the world. Its stronger economy also means that there are more opportunities here than in Canada. Even better, the United States Dollar is significantly stronger than Canada, which means importing items cost more for Canadians than Americans.
3. Sparse Population
Canada is the second-largest country in the world by landmass, while the United States is third. But when it comes to population, Canada has a measly population of slightly over 38 million compared to the US that has 329.5 million. The disparity in population reflects in the population density, with most of the Canadian population residing within 150 miles of the US border.
The effect of this is that resources and opportunities are concentrated in these areas, and living outside of these places will limit your access to these opportunities. However, the US boasts of a dense population that allows it to have several economic centers all over the country.
4. Harsh Winters
Canada is notorious for its cold and whatever you’ve heard about the winter here is true. While it has some areas like The Greater Vancouver Region, where winter is usually mild, winters in most parts are very cold with a bucket load of snow and blizzards. In the US, it’s cold too, but the weather is more distinct. There are places in California and Florida where there’s no snow at all, and it’s sunny almost throughout the year. So, the US has more places with more comfortable weather conditions than Canada.
5. Challenging Immigration Process
Canada is a friendly and welcoming country. But migrating here is very difficult. There are several processes involved, which could cost time and lots of money. Yet, despite the challenges, many people still try to move to Canada.
Canada is a fun place to live, boasting of high quality of living and other benefits for residents. But there are areas where the US is better, which means it’s up to you to decide which places work best for you.