I often like to compare lifestyles between different countries. I think where each of us are born has a huge impact on not only our own lives but also how we influence those around us. I recently found this ifitweremyhome.com that compares countries and the average lifestyles of people from all over the world. Coincidentally Canada is currently featured as their country of the week lol. It’s a pretty nifty tool if you want to do some research on another country before you move, or even just go there for a vacation. You can compare Mexico to Australia, United Kingdom to South Korea, etc.. Below lists some of the things it said comparing US and Canada (my comments in italics).
If I lived in the US instead of Canada I would……
Spend 83% more money on health care.
Our government recently announced that health insurance premiums are going up 4% next year. At first I wasn’t too happy about this because over the last 12 years our MSP premiums have almost doubled. However NOW since I realize it’s still relatively cheap I would have no complaints even if they raised it by 10% because that’s still a discount compared to alternatives 🙂
Experience 40% more of a class divide.
I think this is why we’re generally perceived to be more friendly. Even when we get angry we’re nice about it. Unfortunately it also makes for some boring politics sometimes.
Have 35% more babies.
Americans have about 138 births per 10,000 people every year. Canadians only have about 103. Not sure exactly why but some people are talking about immigration reform to help grow our population. Why do you think Canadians aren’t having as many children as our southern neighbors?
Have 23% more chance of dying in infancy
The number of deaths of infants under 1 year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in the US is 6.14 while in Canada it is 4.99.
Use 21% less electricity
Makes sense. It’s colder up here in the winter. ~Brrrr~
Make 20% more money
Maybe this is why a lot of smart people finish their studies in Canada and then move to the US to find career opportunities.
Die 3 years sooner
Maybe you live longer in colder temperatures 🙂
Consume 6% less oil
Looks like Canadians aren’t as environmentally friendly as we would like to be
Work 72 hours longer each year
That works out to about 6 hours a month.
So ideally if you want to have the best of both places, you should be born in Canada. Spend your working years in the US. And then move back to Canada to retire and live out the rest of your life. But of course life has too many moving parts to put it that simply. It’s hard to say which country really is better to live in. Both Canada and the US have their pros and cons.
One thing I look forward to doing on our travels is being able to do these country comparisons firsthand! Especially in regard to cost of living. If it weren’t for the cooooold winters, I think Canada would be somewhere I wouldn’t mind living for a while.
There’s a lot of similarities between New Zealand and Canada. Both are commonwealth countries with high standards of living. It’s certainly much colder in Canada, but it’s not that bad around Vancouver here 😉
I need a Canadian to weigh in on this. But I think that the US has a greater immigrant population than Canada. And generally, immigrants have a higher birthrate.
My understanding is that the higher birth rate among immigrants is what has prevented the US from having an inverted population pyramid.
This is true. As a Canadian who lived in the U.S. for a short period of time, the immigrant population is higher than Canada, but they must also be counting the illegal immigrants that swarm into the country each other (none of which, want to stay in a country as cold as Canada).
Also, it’s my understanding that part of what skews some of the health care/infant mortality/death rates are the facts that US hospitals deal with more premies and cases that in many other countries would have been aborted long before. I tend to wonder why they don’t use the average life expectancy of an adult in each country as a statistic instead.
Good point. There’s not always a clear and accurate way to determine the health aspects of a population. I’ve seen shows on MTV like Teen Mom and I think those girls are so brave having children at such an early age. However, as we learned in English Literature class, back in the days of Shakespeare many women would actually have children before they were 20. How times have changed.
“Brave” is not the word you should be looking for… Also, as someone who works first-hand in deliveries as well as NICU and PICU, I can assure you that we deliver preemies on a regular basis. Typically my experience has been mainly babies that are 28-30 weeks of age but a lot of my friends in other neighbouring hospitals have a lot of 23-25 week preemies (which are terrifying!)
1. The U.S. is simply more dynamic because of its sheer population, and as a result, they make a lot more money. That means more opinions, more innovations, etc. 2. U.S. is able to attract immigrants (legal but mostly illegal), and there are a LOT more illegal immigrants in the U.S. than in Canada. A LOT MORE. You only have to go to major cities (NYC was full of them) or down South, to understand just how many of them exist outside the system. 3. The healthcare is outrageous. Private healthcare cost $2000 a month for me. In Canada, the same private healthcare cost $83/month. Can you imagine if I had a family? Or if I was illegal? 4. The U.S. also uses a form of slavery to get the job done, which I don’t really see in Canada (maybe because we don’t have enough illegal immigrants to threaten with deportation.) I wrote a lot about my experiences as a Canadian living in the U.S. here: http://www.thebudgetingtool.com/2012/10/01/life-changes-i-am-not-playing-around-any-more/ Like my opinions or not (some people found me too judgmental and harsh), it was how I felt living there. If I had known all of that before, I wouldn’t have bothered moving… Read more »
I guess since doctors in the US make twice as much as Canadian ones somebody has to pay them. But still, $2000 a month is a bit unfair. That’s cool you got to live in both countries though. From your experience I’m currently glad to stay on this side of the border.
Some of those surpised me, I thought the US toppped the charts on all our energy and oil use, but what you say is important — ya’ll got them colder winters, haha.
Yup, and we have bigger land mass with less population so the same trucks and other vehicles have to burn a whole lot more fuel just to get around, but don’t stop as many times or get as much productive work done as more densely populated countries.
Those are some interesting comparisons. The healthcare one is not surprising to me at all as we’re royally screwed up in the States in terms of healthcare. Seeing such a divide makes me wonder what the level of care is between the two nations.
I heard in some European countries they have a 2 tiered medical system where public healthcare is for everyone. Even if you can’t afford it, you’ll still be put on the waiting list for an operation. However if you want and you have the money, you can also pay to get your surgery sooner so you don’t have to wait. I’m in favor of trying this system out. But surveys have shown over and over again that the majority of Canadians do not want a 2 tiered system. What we have isn’t the best, but it’s better than nothing 😀 I’m not sure about how the US healthcare system works.
Interesting post. I’m wondering if points 2 and 3 are related in any way. Are more of the pregnancies coming from the lower class?
With regards to dying 3 years sooner, it could be due to the unhealthy and/or sedentary lifestyles, but unfortunately Canada is not too far behind… :S
Unfortunately lots of other countries around the world, especially the developing ones are starting to copy the unhealthy lifestyles of eating junk food, drinking pop, and not exercising enough. Oh well, at least we can buy shares of Coke, Pepsi, etc and benefit from their future increasing sales.
This is great! I love the fact that some move here, Canadians are nice people,,,
We sure are 🙂
Nice tool. I compared where I live now (California, USA) to where I was born (UK). It said I would have 8.85% more free time! That is because I was not married then 🙂
Haha. You’d have more free time in Canada too. People in the US tend to be very busy, but that probably explains their high income levels.
Neat! As a Canadian, I would still be interested to work in the states for a year or two just for the hell of it. But my company has a good health care plan so I would be a little bit more protected from the costs than the average person I guess.
Yeah, gotta take advantage of those benefits when you can 😀