These Are the Top 5 Things You Should Know About Living Expenses in Canada Vs US


Have you ever thought about how the huge areas of Canada and the United States come together financially? The different paths of these North American neighbors go beyond location and tell complex stories of differences in the cost of living.

Come with us on a financial trip through streets lined with maple trees and avenues adorned with stars as we compare the costs of life in Canada and the United States. Let’s look into the complicated parts of these two countries’ economies, from home markets to health care.

Whether you want to live there or are just interested in the area, knowing about the economy is important for making smart choices. We’re glad you came to the cost-of-living junction.

How Much It Costs to Live in the Us Vs. Canada

Even though the cost of living in Canada is 15% to 20% less than in the US, that doesn’t mean you’d save money if you moved there. Before you make a big choice, think about all of these aspects of the cost of living. Also, keep in mind that the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Canadian dollar will affect your ability to save.

1. Housing

Average Mortgage Interest Rate:

  • Canada: 6.89%
  • United States: 6.94%

When it comes to picking where to reside, housing expenses are frequently the determining factor. Unfortunately, housing expenses are high in Canada and the United States, regardless of whether you plan to rent or buy.

If you intend to buy a home, you will pay identical interest rates in both countries. However, the average price of a home in Canada is $657,145, which is significantly higher than the $431,000 price tag for the average home in the United States.

Rent is also prohibitively expensive, especially in each country’s major cities. In Toronto, Canadians pay more than $2,600 for a two-bedroom apartment, while the average rent in Vancouver is $3,000. Smaller cities and rural areas have much lower rents. For example, in Quebec City, the average rent is $1,546.

The rent for an apartment in Toronto may be high, but it is significantly less than the average cost of a comparable flat in New York City. Living there will cost $5,000. In another of the country’s most expensive cities, Los Angeles, a two-bedroom apartment costs an average of $2,225. Rural areas in the United States, like those in Canada, are far less expensive, with monthly costs averaging $1,317.

2. Transportation

Cost to Run a Family Car:

  • Canada: $1,077 per month
  • United States: $894 per month

Transportation expenses are another crucial consideration, especially if you enjoy exploring or plan to commute great distances to work. Toronto and New York City, their respective countries’ main cities, offer monthly passes to make getting around town more affordable and convenient for citizens. A pass in Toronto costs significantly more than in New York, by about $25.

Outside of major cities, public transit might be difficult to locate. In more rural locations, Americans and Canadians rely largely on automobiles to get to work, go to the grocery, or see family. Car ownership rates in Canada and the United States are similar, with approximately 84% of Canadians owning at least one vehicle compared to 91% of Americans.

When it comes to owning and maintaining those automobiles, Canadians spend approximately $100 extra per month. These greater costs may be due, in part, to higher fuel costs in Canada. Increased gas taxes keep gas prices high, albeit they vary by province.

3. Healthcare

Public Health Coverage:

  • Canada: 100% of the population
  • United States: None

Average Cost of Private Insurance:

  • Canada: $63 per month
  • United States: $450 per month

Healthcare is one of the most important social advantages that Canada provides to its inhabitants. The government offers coverage through 13 provincial and territory insurance policies. They cover necessary medical expenses such as hospitalizations, vision tests, and regular doctor visits. Canadian Medicare, a publicly supported system, keeps the average Canadian’s out-of-pocket healthcare costs low.

Certain services, such as dental care and private hospital rooms, are not covered by Canada’s public insurance. As a result, many Canadians opt to acquire additional coverage to meet their requirements. Private health insurance is relatively affordable, with an average monthly price of $63.

The health insurance system in the United States differs significantly from that in Canada. Rather than creating a public system for everybody, the government only covers low-income people and retirees through Medicare and Medicaid.

People who do not qualify for those plans must purchase insurance from the federal marketplace or private companies. The premiums for these products are relatively exorbitant, with some Americans paying $500 or more each month. Many of policies also exclude coverage for eye exams and dental treatment, requiring Americans to purchase those services individually.

In addition to the differential in health insurance rates, many healthcare costs in Canada are lower than in the United States. As a result, American medical tourists occasionally cross the border to receive care at a lower cost than they can find in their home country.

4. Food

Average Monthly Grocery Bill:

  • Canada: $300 per person
  • United States: $350 per person

Spending at Restaurants:

  • Canada: $10 to $40 per person
  • United States: $11 to $40 per person

Directly comparing consumer prices in Canadian and American grocery stores indicates a significant commonality. The most expensive groceries in Canada, such as meat, seafood, dairy, and coffee, are also among the most expensive items in the United States. The average monthly food expenditure in both nations is roughly $300 or $350, demonstrating pricing similarities.

The same trend applies when you go out to dine. Americans and Canadians are likely to spend roughly $10 per person on a casual meal, but more luxury dining events can cost anywhere from $40 to more than $100 per dish.

Read more:

5. Wages and Salaries

Average Monthly Salary:

  • Canada: $53,181
  • United States: $59,428

National Minimum Wage:

  • Canada: $16.65 per hour
  • United States: $7.25 per hour

In general, US workers earn more than their Canadian counterparts. The average salary is around $6,000 more because many American companies pay higher wages, particularly in technology and finance. However, some of this disparity is compensated by the benefits that the Canadian government forces businesses to provide.

This includes statutory sick and vacation time, parental and maternity leave, and pension plan contributions. In contrast, the US government does not force firms to give their employees with a specified type or amount of leave. For example, many new mothers must take unpaid leave since their companies do not provide paid time off for maternity.

In addition, the national minimum wage in the United States is less than half of what Canadian firms must pay. Although some states choose to have a higher minimum wage, many follow the federal amount of $7.25. This may make it more difficult for hourly workers to meet their monthly minimum living expenses.


Our financial travel through Canada and the US reveals cost-of-living differences. Canada is 15-20% cheaper, but moving doesn’t ensure savings. Understanding these details is vital for housing, transportation, healthcare, and food.

Wages and incomes vary, showing how many factors affect economies. Explore these complexities to make informed decisions about life on either side of the border. Welcome to the cost-of-living intersection, where financial insights lead to better decisions.

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