Canada vs. the USA: Which Country Should You Call Home?

By: Abraham Sanieoff

Maybe you’re an American thinking of going farther up north. Maybe you’re a Canadian contemplating a life in the U.S. Or maybe you’re not even from North America, but the opportunities these two countries offer is enticing to you — and for a good reason. Canada and the U.S. have long been considered ideal places for migration. From employment opportunities to economic growth, both of which lead to a better quality of life, these North American countries offer both in spades.

With plenty of characteristics that make them worth considering, which one is ultimately the better place to settle in? Let’s look at Canada and the U.S. through some of the most important considerations when migrating to a new country:

Immigration Pathways

Both Canada and the U.S. offer plenty of ways to immigrate to their respective countries.

Canada welcomes immigrants through economic, family, and refugee or humanitarian classes. Economic class immigrants are skilled workers that support the country’s economic growth. These skilled workers can bring their families to Canada and gain permanent resident status.

Other immigration pathways to Canada include the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) for provinces and territories that seek to welcome over 80,000 immigrants every year. Business Immigration is also possible through the Federal Start-Up Visa Program.

The U.S., meanwhile, provides a “green card,” officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, which allows you to live and work in the country permanently.

The U.S. government awards green cards in different ways, including:

  • Marrying a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • Studying at a U.S. college
  • EB-5 investor program
  • Inter-corporate transfer
  • Working with an H1B work visa
  • Winning internationally recognized awards, like the Pulitzer Prize
  • Winning the Diversity Green Card Lottery

Healthcare

Healthcare is vastly different in Canada and the U.S. Canada has a national, government-funded healthcare system, which covers most healthcare services, including tertiary care. The taxpayer-funded Medicare system means Canadians do not have to pay for every essential medical service.

The U.S., on the other hand, has the highest health costs in the world. Most U.S. citizens cover their healthcare costs through health insurance since the country’s government doesn’t provide health benefits to citizens or visitors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. citizens pay approximately $11,172 in healthcare per capita every year, compared to the $7,064 that Canadians pay.

Job Security

Canada’s economic recovery policy resulted in the country showing a steady decline in the unemployment rate. In 2019, the country’s unemployment rate was at 5.73% but rose to 9.6% due to the pandemic in 2020.

Some of the most in-demand positions in Canada include web developers, medical workers, restaurant servers, and supply truck drivers.

The U.S., meanwhile, reported a 3.67% unemployment rate in 2019, which rose to 8.31% in 2020, also due to the pandemic. Despite this, there are many recession-proof positions in the U.S., including domestic health workers, software developers, and skilled nurses.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Canada and the U.S. varies depending on which part of these countries you’ll settle in. On average, though, the monthly rent in the U.S. is about 30% higher than in Canada. Apart from these, public transport, grocery costs, and clothing costs in each country are almost the same.

Where Should You Settle?

Both countries present their own benefits and challenges. The U.S. presents more career opportunities, but World Happiness Index shows Canada is a better place to live than the U.S.

With further research and consideration of your goals, you’ll hopefully find out which country suits you better.

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Abraham Sanieoff

Abraham Sanieoff

Abraham Sanieoff, originally from California, I’m a traveler, writer and blogger for over 15 years now. I love to write about my experiences and share them.