Canada is a leading immigration destination, a distinction it has achieved because of its efforts to attract and retain the most skilled foreign individuals that can contribute to the country's overall socio-economic development.
Consequently, the nation has prospered and immigration has swelled the country’s population. Canadian citizens and residents have some of the highest living standards in the world.
The country's profile has risen among prospective international immigrants who plan to begin a new life in the North American nation. However, the cost of living is a growing concern among newcomers to the country.
This question is raised further when one compares Canada’s cost of living against its leading competitors in the international immigration destination market. The United States of America (US) is one of these leading competitors, and the following presents an outline of information about the average cost of living in Canada vs US that prospective immigrants can use as a basis of comparison when questioning Canada’s affordability.
The Cost of Living in Canada vs. USA
Here is a breakdown of living expenses in Canada (CAD) compared to the US to help you make an informed decision
Housing is the top priority of most immigrants. Most of their settlement funds and monthly pay satisfy their monthly expenses.
As per information on numbeo.com, the average rental prices in Canada vs US are as follows:
|Apartment Type||Canada (CAD)||US (CAD)|
|Rent: 1 bedroom (in the city center)||1,638.65||2,288.46|
|Rent: 1 bedroom (out of city center)||1,387.57||1,855.50|
|Rent: 3 bedrooms (in the city center)||2,707.15||4,089.10|
|Rent: 3 bedrooms (out of city center)||2,332.43||3,037.09|
An essential human need, housing provides shelter, safety, and security. It is among the most secure types of investment because real estate property is a fixed asset.
|Apartment average price per square meter (Canadian dollars)||Canada (CAD)||US (CAD)|
|Apartment average price per square meter (in the city center)||8,950.29||6,274.96|
|Apartment Average price per square meter (out of city center)||6,530.60||4,244.74|
The per capita healthcare expenditure in Canada is lower than in the US due to government taxes primarily funding Canada’s system. Canadian citizens and permanent residents are the primary beneficiaries of these affordable medical services which cover:
- Hospital visits that are free
- Physical check-ups
- PET and CAT scans
- Emergency Medical Services (EMT)
- Specialized care for Special needs
- Necessary sundry medical services
Medically prescribed drugs, dental services, and medical eyecare costs are exempt from coverage by Canada’s subsidized healthcare system. Canadian healthcare costs compared to the US are as follows:
As per statistics on Statista.com, Canada’s cumulative per capita healthcare costs calculated from the most recent year is CAD 8,563. Canadians contribute CAD 8,563 on average per year and CAD 713.58 on average towards Canadas’s healthcare system.
As per the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), Canada’s healthcare expenditure total is approximately CAD 331 billion, 13% of the national Gross Domestic Product.
According to the American Medical Association (AMA), the US spends an annual CAD 4,32 trillion on its healthcare system. The AMA also indicates that US per capita healthcare costs equate to CAD 13, 051, twice Canada's per capita health costs.
You must arrange your health insurance as an international student in Canada and the US. Permanent Canadian residents are granted the same medical benefits as Canadian citizens.
Canada values educating its population. the Canadian government provides and subsidizes primary, secondary, and tertiary education, like the nation's healthcare. Education costs in both countries, as per studyinternational.com, are as follows:
Fees: Application fees vary in both countries. However, the general values in both countries are as follows:
- US: CAD 180
- Canada: CAD 30 to 200
Tuition fees: tuition fees in Canada cost 58% less, on average than US tuition fees according to studyinternational.com.
Advanced transportation in both countries allows for the swift movement of goods and people. Highly connected transportation networks by rail, road, sea/rivers, and air are available for use by the public. Canadian transportation costs are as follows:
|Transport Expenses by Type (Canadian Dollars)||Canada (CAD)||US (CAD)|
|One-Way Ticket Local Transport||3.25||3.37|
|Monthly Pass Regular Price||100||94.44|
|Start of a Taxi Ride Normal Tariff||4.25||4.72|
|One km Taxi Ride (Normal Tariff)||2.00||2.26|
|One-hour Taxi Ride (Normal Tariff)||34.00||40.47|
|Litre of Gasoline||1.78||1.35|
While some transportation costs (regular monthly pass cost) are more expensive in Canada than in the US, the trend still indicates costs in the US are higher compared to costs in Canada.
Access to healthy, affordable food is highly important. In Western society, people live busy lives, which has eroded the tradition of preparing food at home. Restaurants and fast food prices can be compared for both nations. Statistics from numbeo.com indicate that the cost of food in both countries are as follows:
|Food Expense by Type||Canada Cost (CAD)||US Cost (CAD)|
|Inexpensive Restaurant Meal||22.00||26.98|
|Mid-range Restaurant with Three-courses (2 People Meal)||90.00||101.18|
|Meal at Mcdonald's (or a deal that's equal)||12.00||13.49|
|Domestic Beer (0.5-litre draught)||7.00||8.09|
|Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle||8.00||9.44|
|Coke or Pepsi (0.33-litre bottle)||2.48||3.13|
|Water (0.33 litre bottle)||2.08||2.47|
Water and electricity are fundamental utilities used as a representative index of affordability. Comparative utility costs for Canada and the US, according to numbeo.com are as follows:
|Utility Types||Canada (CAD)||United States (CAD)|
|Utilities e.g Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage (5m2 Apartment)||197.35||249.77|
|Mobile Tariff Local for 1 minute(Prepaid)(No Discounts or Plans)||0.39||0.23|
|60 Mbps or above, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL Internet||84.42||94.28|
Utility costs are higher in the US than in Canada as is evident above.
Salaries individuals receive directly affect their spending power. Average salaries in Canada and the US, according to numbeo.com, are as follows:
- Canadian Monthly Average Net Salary (After Tax): CAD 4,077.09
- US Monthly Average Net Salary (After Tax): CAD 5,720.35
Pros and Cons of Life in Canada vs. US
Access to basic and universal medical services
No health coverage provided for medical prescriptions, dental and eye care
Subsidized public education of high quality
Well-maintained, affordable public transportation
Housing that’s affordable
Low population density
Comparatively low crime rates to the US
High costs of education
Better variety of healthcare providers
Limited subsidized education
A leader in food variety
Limited free healthcare provision
Extremely expensive and competitive housing market
Get Ready to Live Your Best Life in Canada Today!
There are lots of errors that prospective immigrants to Canada make in the application process.
Using the services of a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) ensures you avoid all pitfalls and mistakes that delay the processing of your application or lead to its failure. RCICs guide and facilitate every aspect of your application to make sure it succeeds. These services include:
- Facilitating Your eligibility assessment
- Make sure you source, certify and submit the correct documentation
- Liaise on your behalf to Canadian immigration authorities
- Help set-up your Express Entry profile
So begin moving to Canada today with the help of our consultants.
Which Canadian City is the Most Affordable?
There’s no accepted definitive answer, but the most cheapest cities are:
Which City in Canada Provides the Best Economic Opportunities?
Required skills, type of industry, and eligibility determine which city in Canada has the best opportunities for you. Look at some of these in-demand jobs to find out which Canadian city or town has the best economic opportunities for you.