If you’ve been following me for awhile, you probably know that I’m an American. And yes, I’m well aware that Americans don’t always have the best reputation. Canadians, however, do. They’re frequently touted as one of the nicest countries out there. But why are they perceived as kind and friendly while Americans are seen as selfish, arrogant, and greedy? Is it their lifestyle? And if so, how does living in Canada differ from living in the US?

This article will take a closer look at how these two countries differ.

The differences between living in Canada and living in the USA.

Living in Canada vs the U.S.

Although Canada and the United States are neighbors, there are many lifestyle differences. Here are some of the major differences between living in Canada versus living in the States.

Official Language

Canada has two official languages—English and French. Not only that, they require children to take classes in their secondary language while in school. That means that English-speaking children will automatically learn French while those whose native language is French will learn English, too.

Things are a bit different here in the States. While English is the primary language for nearly 80% of the population, it isn’t technically the official language. In fact, the United States has no official language.

Furthermore, while many school districts around the country encourage students to take a second language of study in their schooling, there are many governing bodies that don’t require it. And, even when schools do have a secondary language mandate, it’s not typically required until high school.

Health Care

One thing that can make Canadians rest easier at night is having free healthcare.

Universal healthcare is a bit of a controversial topic for many Americans. But no matter what your political beliefs are, there’s no denying that healthcare can be quite costly in the United States. Especially if you’re self-employed or your employer doesn’t provide coverage. Getting into an accident or needing surgery can easily bankrupt a family.

However, Canadians will rarely face this hardship. For those living in Canada, there may be some instances where a secondary insurance is needed. But, even still, it’s a small price to pay and one that’s nothing compared to the expenses incurred by their American neighbors.

Maternity Leave

Thinking of growing your family? In Canada, new mothers receive paid maternity leave for up to ONE YEAR. They can even negotiate longer terms with their employer if needed.

As an American, this is mind blowing. That’s because new mothers in the US only receive about 12-weeks of maternity leave. And even then, there’s no guarantee that it will be paid time. After my son was born, I went back to work after only four weeks due to the fact that it was unpaid leave. It’s an unfortunate reality that many new mothers in the States have to face.

If you’re considering starting a family and think Canada is a good place to settle down, then start looking into St Albert real estate to find a place you can call home. 

Higher Education

University students in Canada pay significantly less in tuition fees than their US counterparts. While a Canadian student can expect to pay somewhere around $5,000 per year, American students pay on average about $30,000 a year for undergraduate studies. As a college graduate, I can attest to this.

Domestic Air Travel

If there’s one thing that Americans know how to do, it’s find a good deal. And when it comes to travel, that’s no exception.

In the USA, you can find a variety of airlines to choose from and shop for the best deal on websites and mobile apps. There are countless apps designed to help travelers save the most money when booking plane tickets. However, Canada doesn’t have as many options and travelers can pay more than $500 for a round-trip domestic flight. 


Like most countries around the world, Canada utilizes the metric system of measurement. Since the metric system is essentially universal, this makes it much easier to communicate measurements when having conversations internationally.

However, in the United States, we use what’s known as the imperial system. It’s one of only a handful of countries that utilize a different measuring system. So, when sharing information internationally, measurements must be converted. Thus, US travelers would do well to familiarize themselves with the metric system when visiting Canada or going abroad. 

Holiday Season

Canadians don’t feel rushed between Thanksgiving and the coming holiday season because there is a longer break period for them.

Thanksgiving in Canada occurs on the second Monday in October, compared to American Thanksgiving which happens on the fourth Thursday in November. Having those extra few weeks certainly makes it easier for Canadians to get ready for a festive holiday season, without feeling stressed or overwhelmed. 

Living in Canada Conclusion

When looking at the differences between living in Canada and the U.S., it’s easy to see why Canadians are so much nicer! From extended maternity leave to free healthcare, it seems life in Canada is far less stressful than it is in America.

But, I’m curious to know your thoughts. Have you ever thought of living in Canada? Let me know in the comments below!



  1. avatar

    I’ve been wanting to move abroad to experience a different lifestyle and culture and Canada is definitely in my top list of countries. I knew about their free healthcare but didn’t know about the 1 year paid maternity leave. Wow! 😮 After reading your post, I’m more inclined to try living in Canada now 🙂

    1. avatar

      I know, one full year seems pretty incredible to me too!

  2. avatar

    I never knew Canada provides a full year of paid maternity. Where I’m from you get 3 months paid maternity and that’s it.

    1. avatar

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s how it works for most places in my state too. A full year sounds incredible!

      1. avatar

        It really does!

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About Author

30ish Lifestyle blogger, relationship "expert," and modern-day agony aunt.
Sometimes humorous, always honest.