Canada is one of the richest countries in the world. The per capita income is remarkably high and it is a distinguished member of the Group of Eight (G8) as well as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The economy is basically a free market and the government tends to apply statutes and policies less strict compared to the United Kingdom.
The per capita gross domestic product (GDP) is higher compared to other European countries. Comparatively, here are the prices in a nutshell,
- The cost of living in Toronto is 30 percent lower than in London, UK.
- The cost of living in Vancouver is 12 percent lower than in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- The cost of living in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, is 5 percent lower than in Glasgow, UK.
At present, economists are worried about the declining unemployment rate although production and living standards are still considerably high.
Cost of living expenses in rural areas can be significantly low. However, living in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver can be very expensive. Canada’s mining, oiling and logging industries comprise the bulk of its financial support that keeps foreign debt almost nonexistent.
Migrating in Canada will cost much less for those who come from big urban cities in United Kingdom. Space and living conditions in Canada are excellent although getting private land will still be expensive. Only 12% of the land is inhabited and almost 18% of the overall population is comprised of immigrants from Europe and Asia.
As shared in Canada Expat Forum last August 23, 2009:
Apart from all of that we still love it, the kids love it, in our area there are clean small play parks, none are vandalised!! with slides, climbing frame etc, my husbands journey home is 20 minutes (was 60-90) and at a max 80kph (50 mph!). We are struggling until I can work as a nurse, but hopefully it will all work out, if you want more let me know
Food and Drink Costs in Canada
The Canadian food processing industry (NAICS 311) is one of the third largest companies and its biggest food industry. 3.7% of per capita GDP is attributed to the food processing industry and together with farming and agriculture makes up 6.3% of the country’s total GDP. Meat processing remains as the biggest financial source in the food industry.
Some of the products that Canada is known for are sausages, hotdogs, hamburgers and canned goods like meatloaf and corned beef. The farming industry has also helped a lot in contributing sales of frozen or canned vegetables and fruits like olives, pickles, corn, cherries and licorice.
As for drinks, Canada has a number of large breweries and wineries. Canadian beer and wine are popular among local residents and Americans. Some examples of well-exported beer products are from Quebec and Montreal. Food and drinks in Canada are priced fairly but not altogether cheap.
There are also baked goods and pastries available but these are also quite expensive especially in the big cities. Some people are able to acquire very affordable products like rice, corn, fruits and vegetables from farmers’ markets. An average family of four spends around 300 to 400 euro every month for food and drinks.
There has been a bit of a worry though in light of the current financial downturn worldwide. A looming price war in the food business is welcome news for cash-strapped consumers. Grocers, on the other hand, may face some challenging times down the road, and shareholders seem to agree. In the long run, it would provide most benefit to buyers all throughout Canada.
Clothing and Accessories Costs in Canada
Canada invests a lot in the fashion industry so modernized street fashion can be seen everywhere. Buying clothes and accessories in branded shops is going to be expensive. There are also runway shows, fashion magazine debuts and designer premieres that showcase the latest trends. Canadians know how to dress for the occasion but most of the locals tend to dress casually. In almost all the major cities, people are more fashionable and usually wear private label clothing, jewelry and footwear.
There are however, affordable clothing due to the growth of Chinese imported products. Locally made items have decreased by almost 7% due to the heavy competition brought about by wares that can be bought in bulk and wholesale. Other convenience and factory outlets also released several cheap accessories spurring Canadians to continue shopping and spending as despite the current recession as spending statistics show comparing the fiscal years of 2008 and 2009. Clothes have also gotten larger in size since the obese and overweight population was foreseen to have increased drastically.
Housing Costs in Canada
Canada’s construction sector has constantly grown over the past five years. In smaller states like Ottawa and Alberta, mortgage rates have also increased which boosted the consumer price index (CPI). The national average is now at all time high. Inflation levels have been very promising since more immigrants are coming in giving an estimated 3% rise every year.
The increase prices of real estate have not dampened the homeownership zeal of Canadians. Canadians need to provide initial deposits with concurrent costs that could last as long as a lifetime. On the positive side, most citizens have an average of over 13% disposable income.
Living in big cities like Vancouver, Toronto and Ontario is expensive but the rising rates of mortgages in other fast-growing urban states only make a slight difference. Laws and regulations on homebuilding, lot ownership and rental differ between cities. The Canadian government does well by monitoring landlords not to overcharge for apartment and condominium rentals. On the average, about 40% of the normal working individual’s income goes to housing costs which includes utilities and gas and experts predictions of an upsurge in this market in the near future.
Services Costs in Canada
The Canadian government is very generous in giving social assistance to all citizens. There are benefits that help support payment for commodities, food, house repairs, medications, health care car repair and fuel as well as on education. Scholarship grants are available from several public and private institutions. Workers also receive insurance and benefits during medical and financial situations. Some older individuals who did not finish their college degrees are also given the opportunity to study for free.
One of the model health care programs has been Canada’s very own as various levels of government pay for 71% of the health care costs, much of it is publicly funded in the Canada Health Act.
Canada also has equalization rights wherein the government provides income redistribution for those earning less than what is required for the whole family to cope and survive comfortably. Taxation rates can be adjusted by the government provided that citizens request and provide sufficient evidence of low affordability status. Canada is one of the leading nations in the world when it comes to social groups and programs. This sentiment is shared on Canada Expat Forum last June 4,2009:
A quick search yields multiple answers, depending on what you are considering.
- United States
However, the current world economy has caused major impacts to living conditions in the listed countries.
Employment Costs in Canada
Currently, unemployment rates in Canada are increasing and it has reached 4%, the highest in decades.
Since most Canadian-born citizens are moving to the United States to find higher paying jobs, skilled workers are in demand. The areas that need more hands are in the fields of engineering, construction, education and health care.
Overall, most cities are still doing quite well. Newfoundland and Labrador have high unemployment rates reaching 15% while other provinces almost have flawless records.
The service and trade industries are still the national providers of financial support. This ably supports a wide tax base at a rate of 30% for income earners and VAT at nearly 4%. Canada is the biggest producer of uranium in the world along with other minerals like gold and nickel. Agricultural products like wheat have also been on the rise in the past years.