Happy Nations: #15: Canada

Here is how Canada compares to the United States in each of the six factors for Happiness:

  • GDP: 1.886 v 1.982
  • Social Support: 1.188 v 1.182
  • Healthy Life Expectancy: 0.783 v 0.628
  • Freedom to Make Life Choices: 0.659 v 0.574
  • Generosity: 0.217 v 0.220
  • Perceptions of Corruption: 0.368 v 0.177

Canada is America with a better life expectancy, less corruption, and more freedom.

Other Scoring Systems

Health Care

You need to apply for public health insurance in Canada, which can take up to three months. Private insurance exists for dental and eye (like in America).

While the doctor and hospital visits are 100% covered, prescription drugs are not. As a result, Canada has about a third of the out-of-pocket costs compared to the United States.

Canada is 34th on Legatum for Health. Not 68th like the USA, but it is not near the other leading nations. Canada’s health system is seen as subpar by many other top countries.


I care about the weather. I don’t like being cold. I want the ability to go outside for a run and not slip on the ice in freezing weather. On the other hand, I grew up in the midwest and am familiar with the cold. I could handle some seasons, but I’d prefer somewhere like San Diego.

Canada is an enormous country with different climates. Most of the country lies above the 48th parallel. However, most of their largest cities are further south than some cities in the United States. A city like Vancouver or Halifax could provide something close to what I’d be interested in, but Vancouver is too rainy, and Halifax still gets cold.

Cost of Living

It’s hard to compare two large countries as living costs vary wildly. But in general, Canada and the United States have similar living costs.

If we compare Saint Louis, MO, to Halifax, we see it will cost 4.5% more to live in Halifax.


I have insecurities about speaking another language. I took over five years of Spanish, and I still refuse to use it because I’m afraid not of embarrassing myself but insulting the native speakers. I would be willing to learn another language if necessary, but I prefer an English-speaking country.

English is the primary language everywhere in Canada except Quebec and Nunavut, and most Canadians (85%) can speak English.

Acceptance of Others

Canada appears to be very accepting of immigrants. They had the most positive response toward immigrants in a 2018 survey.

Although their opinion of the United States swung down when Trump was president, there is again a favorable view of America in Canada.

Canada is the only Western country in the top 20 countries worldwide for diversity. I do not want to move to a country only to discover our new comrades will never accept our family. Canada could be a strong candidate if we could actually move there…

Moving Feasibility

Canada has an immigration tool to check to see if you and your family can become permanent residents. However, since my wife is self-employed and I am not seeking a permanent job, it does not look like we qualify to move permanently. If we had family in Canada or a $10 Million net worth, we might have a better chance. But, unfortunately, we’re also unable to help them athletically or artistically.


Canada would be a healthy option as it appears to be an improved version of the United States. We have friends living in Toronto, and I enjoyed Halifax when I visited. However, I would need to take a job if we wanted any chance of moving there.

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