Canada: A Top 10 Country with High Living Costs
- Canada (9th overall) performs well in most indices of the Expat Insider 2021 survey.
- Most expats are satisfied with the affordability of healthcare (85% vs. 61% globally).
- An above-average 64% of expats say the career opportunities in Canada are good (vs. 45% globally).
- But over two in five (41%) rate Canada poorly for its cost of living (vs. 34% globally).
- 81% are satisfied with official information on the pandemic (vs. 66% globally).
One of the Best for Quality of Life
Making it into the top 10 out of 59 destinations, Canada (9th overall) performs well in most indices of the Expat Insider 2021 survey. The country ranks best in the Quality of Life Index (5th), with the majority of expats finding it easy to get high-speed internet in their homes (92% vs. 79% globally) and to pay without cash (96% vs. 83% globally). Additionally, 86% of expats are happy with the availability of administrative and government services online, which is 23 percentage points higher than the global average (63%). Most expats are also satisfied with the affordability of healthcare in Canada (85% vs. 61% globally) and the country’s political stability (90% vs. 64% globally). “Healthcare is a basic right, and the quality of life is very good in Canada,” says a US American expat.
The quality of life is very good in Canada.
Easy to Feel at Home
Canada also performs well in the Working Abroad and Ease of Settling In Indices (12th for both). It even lands in the top 10 of the Feeling at Home subcategory (7th) as 73% of survey respondents feel at home in the local culture (vs. 63% globally). An expat from South Africa shares: “Canada is a great country to both live and work in.” Expats also rate their working hours in Canada highly, with nearly three-quarters of respondents (73%) being happy with this factor, compared to only about two-thirds globally (66%). Additionally, close to two out of three expats (64%) say the career opportunities in Canada are good (vs. 45% globally). Out of all respondents working full time or part time, 13% work in Canada’s IT sector and 9% in finance, followed by 7% in manufacturing and engineering.
Astronomical Housing Costs
On the other hand, Canada ends up in the bottom 10 of the Personal Finance Index (50th). Nearly a third of expats (32%) say their disposable income is not enough to cover all their living expenses (vs. 23% globally). An expat from the USA says that “housing costs are astronomical”, and an expat from Mexico shares that “the best cities are really expensive. It's hard to become a homeowner with an average income.” Nearly a quarter of expats (24%) are dissatisfied with their financial situation (vs. 19% globally). Ranking 40th in the Cost of Living Index, Canada also lands in the bottom half in this regard: 41% of expats rate the country poorly for its cost of living (vs. 34% globally).
The best cities are really expensive.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Expat Life
More than four in five expats in Canada (81%) are satisfied with the official information on the pandemic, a much higher proportion than the global average (66%). Over half the expats in Canada (56%) get their COVID-19–related news from official government channels, two-thirds (67%) from local news channels, and 39% from social media. The majority of expats who gave the official communication on COVID-19 a positive rating (72%) consider it clear and easy to understand. Additionally, nearly two-thirds of expats in Canada (66%) say the pandemic has not affected the time they are planning to stay in Canada (vs. 63% globally), while 22% have decided not to move home in the near future due to COVID-19 (vs. 18% globally).