Canada vs. United States?

Please tell me in an intelligent way:

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in the United States or Canada?

2. How do both governments compare in terms of rights and corruption?

3. If you had the choice of living in the US or Canada, which would you choose?

DO NOT give me stupid or biased answers, such as,"Canada is the best because Bush screwed up!!!" or "USA is the best! Screw Canada!". If you are the types of people that leave these types of answers, then don't bother answering at all.


I'd just like to thank everyone who has contributed so far. Every one of you has stated very interesting things that I have never known. I asked this question so I could be less ignorant in the world and because I just like debates. To answer V.'s question, I am from the United States. I always hear about Canada having this and that so I became interested. Just some things I'd like to point out:

1. Can anybody tell me what's the deal with Quebec? I barely know anything about Quebec but it seems to have a bad reputation in the US and Canada.

2. Socialism seems to be the great evil among voters in the US, even though programs based on Socialism already exist here in the States. I wonder if most voters even know what Socialism is, or do they just follow the in crowd?

3. I'd like to add a fourth part to the debate: Between these two countries, who's the leader in technology and medicine and stuff like that?

4. @Randy B. "and a wife (who also isn't cheap...or easy. lol) . LOL. =).

10 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well I was born and live in Canada but I did live in the USA for a year and a bit.

    The differences that are almost immediately noticeable are

    1. Health Care - every citizen and/or permanent resident in Canada has it; in the USA lots of people do without because of lack of insurance, pre-existing conditions, HBO regulations etc etc etc

    2. Banking in Canada is better - I think it is anyway - Foreign exchange is easier and definitely faster. The Canadian system is safer - individual banks never fail - they are all chartered.

    3. A lot of things are cheaper in the USA. Mind you, there are shorter distances for commodities to travel in many cases in the US than here in Canada and that adds to the transportation costs that are added into the final price of the various products. Also this statement does depend on the money market at any given time. Food prices also vary due to parts of the US having a longer growing season.

    4. Governments - I think they are all the world over, partial to some degree of corruption. I think it is perhaps easier to get rid of a bad government or at least keep a rein on them with our system. Most Canadians will tell you that way too much is spent on elections but when I see them campaigning for so long and at such a cost in the USA I think perhaps our system here is not as bad as it sometimes appears to me.

    5. The deal with Quebec - well it is not as bad as it may appear - like everywhere some things get more press than they deserve and some people work at getting bad press - right about now, the politicians are having a good time keeping things stirred up. Just like Americans like to bad mouth their own in Arkansas, Canadians like to lay a trip on Quebecers. Some of it is deserved in both places but there are some people in both places that do not deserve the crud they get from the rest of the country.

    6. Socialism - I think you are right - most people do not even understand the concept down there and, out of fear of the unknown, they badmouth it. It could work better here (Medicare could be more efficient) but it works better than most Americans think it does. And efficiency has nothing to do with the system - it has more to do with how people view their jobs and themselves.

    7. Leader in Medicine - good question. No one is the leader. One area that the world seems to work together in for the most part is medical advances. When one researching doctor learns something, he shares it with the world via written papers and then the world works at find better ways to use the new idea, procedure etc. This is how it usually seems to work though not always. When I lived in Africa, superstition went a long way in holding the treatment of AIDS back and it still does.

    8. Leader in technology - pretty much the same answer as that about medicine. Someone can discover a new technology and it isn't long before everyone is looking for a faster, cheaper way to do the same thing. Computers , for example, would still be for the rich only were it not for others making the technology affordable. I have programs on my PC that work on some of the hardware made in Asia and the programs themselves are the work of several people from all the corners of the world.

    Personally, I think Canada is a freer country. It is definitely a more tolerant country. I think Canadians, for example, are sort of chuckling about the big discussion about Tiger Woods sex life if we are not shaking our heads at how Americans seem to think they own that poor guy lock, stock and barrel - most of us see that as private and none of any one else's business, certainly not headline making stuff up here. And, in spite of the trolls who visit us here in YA, Canada has among the highest standards of life anywhere so forget living in an igloo, or shovelling snow in July etc.

  • Teresa
    Lv 4
    5 years ago


  • Randy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I guess it all depends upon perspective.

    I'd like to address some of Jacks comments first though. I don't think that the US has an edge on free speak and free association rights. Yes, some people have gotten in trouble for saying certain things but that is because Canada has taken a look at individual rights (free speech and such) and has also taken a look at collective or societal rights and we have decided that there are cases where the rights of society, or a portion of that society, take precedence over the rights of an individual (or group) to say things that are hateful or hurtful to a group, especially when that thing they say is irresponsible or factually wrong.

    I also don't think our standard of living is lower here either. Yes, because of our taxes, things can be more expensive here but I don't think it is all that much more expensive and what ever extra costs there are can normally be attributed to the fact that we have as many people in our whole country as there are in the State of California. With the smaller population base we don't have the volume of sales to keep prices any lower. At the same time though our wages are much higher and that more then offsets any higher costs. I am in our military, holding a rank the same as an E-7 in the US military) and I make $82,000 a year. That is almost a third more then an E-7 in your military makes. I own a $315,000 home and support 4 kids (three of them adopted which ain't cheap) and a wife (who also isn't cheap...or easy. lol)

    We do have a healthcare net which, while not free, is still better then being on our own for medical coverage. It is paid for by the higher taxes I alluded to above but I wouldn't have it any other way. Just for the 2 weeks my daughter was in ICU after she was born it cost almost $200,000 in medical and hospital costs which was covered totally, with the exception of $10 for a TV we rented from the hospital for one night, by our medical system. I'll NEVER pay anywhere close to $200,000 in increased taxes over the course of my lifetime so just for that one incident (not counting her follow on care or the routine care for any other member of my family) the system has more then proved its worth.

    Unemployment is actually equal I think and while we don't have the same kind of corruption up here as you do in the US, we do naturally have some, as any country does. Quebec isn't much of a problem any more since they pretty much realize that they can't go it alone regardless of what they may think this week.

    Our climate is colder up here but that's part of our charm. Our crime rate is much lower up here, especially violent crimes although we do have that naturally as well. Our natural resources are second to none and if you like the outdoors then this is the place to be.

    All in all, I would personally pick Canada (and I did live 3 years in the US so I'm not making an uninformed choice). In the end though, it's always an individual choice and decision for someone to make and everyone's tastes are different.

  • 5 years ago

    Canada is a much more vibrant and vaunted economic, historical and cultural powerhouse in North America as it does not have mentally ill, drunk and belligerent sleazeballs like Michael Brown who is notorious for committing heinous crimes of pilferage of a cigar from a petrol kiosk. This implies that people have absquatulated to Canada as they are aghast at the homicide rate in the United States.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Less populated AND polluted in Canada. I prefer British Columbia like Vancouver. Nice Weather and Environment. Government system can be confusing if you are just starting to understand it. Probably more tax. Its also more diverse. Clean and have the most water.

    USA usually have way more crimes and racism not saying there aren't in Canada. However theres more to choose where to live ex. city/country. Usually cheaper living conditions. Slightly cheaper goods. HAve more opportunities yet competition at the same time. More entertainment and industries.

    I live in Canada but I've always planned to live in California but I know I would MISS Vancouver, Canada.

    Where you from right now?

  • 7 years ago

    all answers are pretty wrong and misleading . canada is ******* because of expenses in canada is so high and less job opportunity , 13% tax rate is what the **** is that usa tax rate is lesser than canadaian system . 2 bedroom apartment is costing $1000 in canada and the same quality 2 bedroom apartment in usa is just for $799 , 4 litre milk in canada is 5.50 - 7.50 , but in usa its just 3.5 , ttc metro pass in canada is 128 ******* dollars and newyork city metro pass is for 86 dollar ( newyork is 6 times bigger than canada and unlimited access ) . house price in canada is atleast 3,00,000 in canada but usa its get very cheaper same 3 bedroom house and 2 bath in urban area is just for 1,30,000 . if a person want to go to asia ( opposite side of earth) from canada he must fly to Ottawa or montreal or toronto or vancover , in usa more than 56 airports are connected to the different parts of the globe every day . car price is 10% high in canada than USA . and in canada 6 months in a year is cold , in my experience 8 months canadians cant go out of home with out a good jacket . right ? i live in toronto . some people said health is free that is free in united states with $1000/ year insurance . so in my experience usa is better for living well , gun violence is high but usa is good for education and work and family life , average canadians earn 27,000 a year but usa its 37,000 because of availability of job due to the worlds biggest economy ( general labours are not included) also canada doesnt have good educational systems because of less amount of universitys . in winter its off time in canada jobs are less for 6 months due to heavy cold . all i mentioned above is my experience

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In response to Jack T, the HDI actually lists Canada as having a higher standard of living.

    Also, on a less serious note, I much prefer Canadian money. The colours make is so much easier to tell whether or not you are grabbing a fifty or a five. I also prefer the loonie and the twoonie, but that is likely because I'm use to them, because whenever I'm in the US and have a wad of bills I think I'm rich. And then I realize that most of them are ones. It is sort of a let down. :P

  • 1 decade ago

    Great answers! What I think is indicative of the nature of the question is the succinct answers given. Notice Canadians can articulate their responses in an informed manner without any ****

  • 1 decade ago

    I am Canadian, but grew up in a border town, and have travelled in the US, and worked with US servicemen on exchange in Canada.

    In Canada, power comes from above, from the Crown. In the US, power comes up from the people, through being elected. The government structures have some similarities, but this fundamental difference affects policing in a big way. In Canada, a "peace officer" (cop) has power in the entire country, as his power comes from the Crown down to him. As Her Majesty is the Queen everywhere in the country, this power extends everywhere. In the US, a county might elect a sheriff, but he then only has power in that county. The same for State police, and so on. Canada does have city police, and provincial forces in Ontario and Quebec, (and sort of in Newfoundland), but power still comes from above, and technically, an Ontario cop can get you in any province.

    This gives a bit of an advantage to Canada for getting criminals. No "skipping across the county line" - it just doesn't work in Canada! Canada generally has far fewer people in jail, and the much stricter gun laws make gun crimes much, much lower. Many feel Canada is a safer place to live, but I suspect this is partly due to population. There is not enough "critical mass" for bad people to gather and cause trouble.

    Although government corruption is not really widespread in the USA, it is even less in Canada. In the US, a judge, or cop, or whatever has to stand for election every so often, and this can lead to partisanship, bribes, etc. Judges and the police in Canada are not elected at all, and they can do whatever it is that is needed without the same sort of political interference as in the US.

    The US tends to have better weather, and thus access to cheaper food at more of the year. Prices generally are lower in the US, due to the closeness to markets, and the higher population. And, energy costs are higher in Canada, due to the cold, and distances you need to travel. This give the US a generally somewhat higher standard of living overall. OTOH, the difference between rich and poor in the USA is pretty great. Canada, being a more socialized country (health care, of course, but Employment Insurance, etc), things are more equalized. There still is rich and poor, but not to such extremes in either direction.

    You can make millions easy in the US - they are much more entrepreneurial than in Canada. This is partly due to higher taxes in Canada, but partly because of history - the USA was formed in large part by Calvinists, and the Protestant Work Ethic is much stronger there than in Canada.

    The US is a melting pot - people come from wherever, and add what they are to the American pot. Immigrants to Canada tend to keep a bit of what they were, and add to Canada in sort of a collage. I am not sure which is better; I like the way Canada does it. We are much less racist than in the US, which I really like.

    The USA pushes it's weight around throughout the world. Canada does not at all, although our troops will go in to help, if asked. This means that internationally, Canada is much better liked than the US. Americans seems to have a myopia about this, and many have very little idea about what is happening outside their country, despite US troops being all over the place. Canadians seem a bit more aware of other counties, but we have no desire to invade them!

    Time to end this; I could go on for a long time! All in all, I think Canada is a much better place to live, and I am very happy to be Canadian - I am in immigrant myself, and I chose to become Canadian, and I am very glad I did!

  • 1 decade ago

    I'd say it's a trade off. I'm American, I've only been to Canada on vacations/visiting friends, but I would say the US does have an edge on free speech/free association rights, given all the pastors who've been charged in Canada with hate speech. Canada's standard of living may be slightly lower than much of the US but every Canadian has the advantage of the healthcare net, while in the US it's hardest for younger people. Unemployment seems about equal in both now a days. In terms of corruption, it depends. Canada, you've got those Quebecois always stirring up things. In many of the large northern cities in the US there are those political machines with their ties to Italian and Irish mobsters. I end up choosing the US only because I don't want to call my dollars "loonies." :) Good question.


    Individuals' basic human rights should always come before societal rights.

    In regards to technology-which country put human beings on the Moon?

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