Cost of Living in Canada vs. U.S.

There has been an age-old debate between these two nations regarding this issue. Both Canada and the United States believe that their own country is the better place to live. Typically, neither country learns everything about what the other one has to offer. Which is better, Canada or the United States?

However much money is needed to live peacefully in Canada?

It is suggested that a couple have $3,500 or more per month or $50,000 or more annually to survive well. Whether the pair is between one 2 different households, in addition to the location of the house or apartment they choose to reside in, can significantly affect this.

Cost of living in Canada vs. U.S.


There is paid leave in Canada, and many employers offer benefits for new mothers or parents, ranging from 17 weeks up to 52 weeks. One spouse may claim Employment Insurance (E.I.) for approximately 15 weeks during this time. Payments from E.I. are usually 55 percent of weekly earnings up to a maximum of $485 per week. Parental time can be shared by both parents if desired.


While their northern neighbors have comprehensive maternity and parental benefits, the United States does not currently mandate any form of maternity leave. There is, however, a 12-week unpaid leave provision in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for extreme illness and childbirth. 

Although these 12 weeks of unpaid leave are not classified explicitly as maternity leave, they may be used under the FMLA. Small companies with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from the FMLA. Several states, including California and New Jersey, offer paid maternity benefits as part of their disability insurance plans, but the decision is at the sole discretion of the state concerned.


Americans have the highest healthcare costs of any developed country. Each individual pays about $11,172 per year in healthcare costs. Compared with an annual average of $7,064 for Canadians.

Educational expenses

Attending university can be another considerable expense in one’s life and leaves many students in debt. The United States tops the list of countries with the most expensive university tuition, followed by Canada. In the U.S., an in-state public college is estimated to charge annual tuition of $9,687, while an in-state private college charges yearly tuition of $35,087 on average.

The National Center for Education Statistics estimates undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board to be $17,797 for public institutions, $46,014 for private nonprofit institutions, and $26,261 for private for-profit institutions. Tuition at a Canadian public college was $6,580 per year on average in 2020-2021.

Read more: A Detailed Guide About Cost Of Living In London With All Expenditures

Montréal is Canada’s largest city, and it is home to many bilingual residents who speak both English and French. A survey conducted by Census Canada in 2016 found that 20% of Canadians claim French as their first language.

Culture and climate

There are many differences in climate and culture between the United States and Canada due to their size and vast coastlines spanning from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. The United States is more densely populated and warmer than Canada because it is closer to the equator.

Other Services

Canadians and Americans have access to several popular services, such as healthcare and university funding. According to the United States Census Bureau, healthcare in the United States costs $8,233 per capita. On the other hand, the OECD Health Data study reported that Canada ranks No. 6 worldwide and costs over $3,700 less per capita than the United States at $4,445 per capita. Americans spend over 17% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on healthcare, while Canadians spend about 11%.

Education also has a substantial impact on one’s financial situation. For many students, the cost of attending college is thousands of dollars. Whether or not to grant funding to large state-run universities depends on the individual state.

The average American still finds schooling to be costly, despite these grants. Generally, the cost of a bachelor’s degree in the U.S. ranges from about $37,600 for a public college to over $160,000 at prestigious schools like Harvard. In Canada, the average tuition for an undergraduate degree begins at $8,000 (Quebec) and reaches about $26,000. A degree from Harvard University, for instance, costs about one-third of the cost of the most expensive undergraduate program in Canada.

Is it possible to live in Canada if you are a U.S. Citizen?

As long as you apply for the proper citizenship, whether as a skilled worker, a student, or an unskilled worker, you can keep your U.S. passport while living up north.

Is it better to move to Canada or USA?

The choice between moving to Canada or the USA depends on an individual’s priorities, as both countries have their own unique strengths and weaknesses.

Canada is known for its universal healthcare system, which covers all citizens and provides high-quality medical care. Additionally, Canadian citizens enjoy a high standard of living and low crime rates. On the other hand, taxes in Canada are generally higher than in the USA, and the cost of living can be expensive in some cities.

The USA, on the other hand, has a vibrant economy and offers numerous job opportunities, especially in the technology and entertainment industries. American citizens have the ability to accumulate wealth and live a comfortable lifestyle. However, the USA also faces challenges such as income inequality and a lack of universal healthcare, which can make it difficult for some individuals to get the care they need.

Ultimately, the decision between Canada and the USA comes down to personal preferences. Individuals who value a high standard of living, good healthcare, and a more relaxed pace of life may prefer Canada, while those who prioritize job opportunities and a dynamic economy may choose the USA. Both countries have a lot to offer, and the decision ultimately comes down to what is most important to the individual.


This is all about the cost of living in Canada vs. U.S. Canadians enjoy better social benefits such as healthcare, paid maternity leave, and more public funding for their post-secondary education. They generally earn around the same per year as Americans. Living costs in the United States are significantly lower, however. Although Canadians may pay less for significant life events, Americans tend to pay less for day-to-day expenses like food and housing. Maybe it all evens out in the end, or perhaps one place is better to live in than the other.

The U.S. could be the place for you if you live a healthy and active lifestyle and have no plans to have children. The country of Canada may be a better option for your family if you are planning on having many children and need help paying for their education. Whatever the case may be, the choice should be based on what is most important to you.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • What is the cost of living in Canada compared to the U.S.?

Canada is generally more affordable than the United States, but the U.S. has a higher median income. Living costs in both countries are different in each city, so it isn’t easy to compare living costs between them. When comparing living prices, it is essential to account for hidden fees and savings associated with public goods and services.

  • Which country is better to live in: Canada or the United States?

Canada is ranked third in the world regarding life satisfaction, with an average score of 7.6. The two countries that outperformed Canada were Norway and Sweden, respectively, while Americans had an average life satisfaction ranking of 7.6.

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