Steve DiGioia

Insights into Living Expenses: Canada Vs. US – Top 5 Facts


Discover the multifaceted economic relationship between Canada and the United States, transcending mere geographical proximity to unveil compelling narratives of cost-of-living disparities.

Embark on a captivating exploration of the financial landscapes of these North American neighbors, where iconic maple trees line streets and stars adorn avenues.

Uncover intriguing distinctions in cost of living as we delve into the intricate economies of both nations, spanning domestic markets to healthcare.

Comparing the Cost of Living in the US and Canada

Despite the lower cost of living in Canada compared to the US, relocating there may not necessarily result in saving money.

Consider all of these factors when making a significant decision regarding the cost of living. Additionally, it’s important to consider how fluctuations in the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Canadian dollar can impact your savings.


SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JULY 07: The American flag and the Canadian flag are flown at half-mast before the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays at T-Mobile Park on July 07, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.

The current mortgage interest rate:

  • Canada’s percentage stands at 6.89%.
  • The United States has a 6.94% rate.

In the realm of residential choices, housing expenses play a pivotal role. Unfortunately, both Canada and the United States grapple with high housing costs, irrespective of renting or buying intentions.

While interest rates remain consistent across borders for home purchases, the average home price in Canada notably surpasses that of the United States, standing at $657,145 compared to $431,000, respectively.

Renting, especially in major urban centers, can be exorbitant.

For instance, in Toronto, a two-bedroom apartment costs over $2,600, while in Vancouver, the average rent reaches $3,000.

However, smaller cities and rural areas offer more affordable rental alternatives, with Quebec City averaging $1,546 in rent.

Although Toronto’s apartment rental costs are steep, they remain notably lower than similar accommodations in New York City, where the cost of living reaches $5,000.

Similarly, Los Angeles sees an average of $2,225 for a two-bedroom apartment. Conversely, rural regions in both countries offer substantially lower monthly expenses, averaging $1,317 in the United States.


Expenses of Operating a Family Vehicle:

  • Canada: $1,077 per month
  • The monthly cost in the United States is $894.

Careful consideration of transportation expenses is essential, especially for those with lengthy commutes or a penchant for exploration.

Urban hubs like Toronto and New York City offer monthly passes to enhance transportation affordability and convenience, albeit with variations in costs; notably, Toronto’s pass is roughly $25 higher than New York’s.

In rural areas, access to public transportation can be limited, leading residents of both Canada and the United States to heavily rely on personal vehicles for commuting and daily tasks.

Car ownership rates are comparable between the two countries, with approximately 84% of Canadians and 91% of Americans owning at least one vehicle.

However, owning and maintaining vehicles in Canada incur additional expenses, with an approximate monthly expenditure of $100 more than in the United States.

Elevated fuel prices contribute to these increased costs, influenced by varying gas taxes across Canadian provinces.


Public Health Coverage:

  • Canada: The entire population
  • There is no information available regarding the United States.

Cost of Private Insurance:

  • Canada: $63 per month
  • Monthly cost in the United States is $450.

Healthcare stands as a vital social benefit in Canada, provided through 13 insurance policies administered by provinces and territories.

Covering essential medical expenses such as hospital stays and routine appointments, the publicly supported Canadian Medicare system maintains affordability for residents.

However, certain services like dental care aren’t included, leading many Canadians to opt for supplementary private insurance at an average monthly cost of $63.

In contrast, the US healthcare system lacks a universal approach, with coverage primarily available to low-income individuals and retirees through Medicare and Medicaid.

Those ineligible must navigate private insurance options, often with steep premiums exceeding $500 per month.

Additionally, many policies exclude coverage for dental and eye care, necessitating separate arrangements.

Despite variations in insurance rates, healthcare expenses tend to be more affordable in Canada, prompting some American patients to seek treatment across the border.


Monthly Grocery Expenses:

  • Canada: $300 per person
  • Cost per person in the United States is $350.

Expenditure on Dining Out:

  • Canada: Prices range from $10 to $40 per person.
  • Cost per person in the United States ranges from $11 to $40.

Consumer prices in Canadian and American grocery stores exhibit notable similarities, particularly in the pricing of items like meat, seafood, dairy, and coffee.

Monthly food expenditures in both nations hover around $300 to $350, reflecting these resemblances in pricing.

Similarly, dining out trends show parallel patterns, with individuals in North America typically spending approximately $10 per person for casual meals.

For more upscale dining experiences, prices can vary from $40 to over $100 per dish, reinforcing the consistency in spending habits across the region.

Compensation for Employees

Monthly Salary:

  • In Canada, the average income is $53,181
  • In the United States, it is $59,428.

The National Minimum Wage:

  • Canada’s hourly wage is $16.65.
  • The hourly wage in the United States is $7.25.

On average, American workers earn higher salaries compared to their Canadian counterparts, with technology and finance sectors particularly offering lucrative wages, leading to an average salary increase of approximately $6,000.

However, Canadian workers benefit from mandated benefits provided by the government, including statutory sick and vacation time, parental and maternity leave, and pension plan contributions.

In contrast, the US lacks federal requirements for specific types or amounts of leave, leaving many workers, especially new mothers, without paid time off for maternity leave.

Additionally, the national minimum wage in the US, set at $7.25, falls below Canadian standards, potentially challenging hourly workers in meeting their monthly living expenses, despite some states implementing higher minimum wage rates.

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