If you’re thinking about immigrating to a new country, you are likely contemplating some excellent destinations like Australia and Canada. They are both great countries to reside in with an excellent multicultural atmosphere, high living standards, and great quality of life; therefore, we can’t rate one above another by face value.
In this guide, we help you pick the best option between Canada and Australia. We do this by highlighting essential aspects of each country, such as quality of life, cost of living, job opportunities available, and salaries.
Living in Australia vs. Canada
Australia and Canada are awesome countries to reside in, making it hard to choose between the two. However, there are pros and cons to living in each. Let’s compare:
Living in Australia
Pros of Australia
- Beautiful climate and weather
- A family-friendly environment with great opportunities for children
- Great job opportunities
- Strong economy
- Multicultural society
- World’s best universities
- Great healthcare services
- Many beautiful beaches
- Amazing outdoor lifestyle
- Top-notch health service
- Many wild animals (over 500 national parks)
- Friendly and welcoming culture
Cons of Australia
- It’s pretty expensive to live in this country
- Housing, construction, and real estate overall are costly
- Obtaining a work permit is quite a long process
- Private health insurance is quite expensive
- Vehicles are pretty costly to buy and maintain
- High taxes
- Language barrier for those who don’t speak good English
Living in Canada
Pros of Canada
- Strong employment market
- Affordable education
- Abundance of natural resources
- Low crime rate
- Excellent healthcare
- Great Social Programs
- It’s safe for both locals and foreigners
- Great multicultural society that is welcoming to immigrants
- Strong employment market
- High cost of living in the most popular cities
Cons of Canada
- Extreme government control
- Houses are Expensive
- City Life is Expensive
- Harsh weather conditions
- An expensive healthcare
- Taxes are high
- Getting around between cities can be challenging
- A challenging immigration process
- Unfavorable exchange rate
Living in Australia and Canada: Similarities
Despite all differences, those countries share a large number of same benefits for someone willing to relocate:
- High standard of living
- Students can stay after their studies by having a post-study residence permit
- Growth opportunities for those willing to work for it
- Excellent healthcare quality and facilities
- Foreigners-welcoming immigration law
- International environment
- Great social security
- High taxes accompany high salaries
Australia vs. Canada: Quality of life
Both Australia and Canada have an excellent quality of life. However, there are some differences.
|Easy PR system||Higher salary for skilled workers|
|Flexible skilled immigration policies||Access to new Zealand|
|Good labor market||Public education|
|Ideal family settings||Organized immigration procedure|
|Low-cost accommodation||Better economy|
|Lower interest rate||PR score is lower than Canada|
Canada has cold weather, which goes down to 0°C during winter, and even lower depending on the location. In contrast, Australia has mild winters and warm summers where the temperature never drops below 0°C.
If you love cold regions, Canada is the place for you, and if you are anti-cold, Australia is the perfect place to live.
Canada’s education system is governed by provinces and has four levels: pre-elementary, elementary or primary, secondary, and post-secondary. Colleges in Canada mainly offer vocational training programs, diplomas, and certificates, whereas degree programs such as doctorates, master’s, and bachelor’s are available at universities.
The education system is categorized into primary, secondary, and tertiary levels in Australia. It follows the standards set by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) with ten levels:
|6||Associate degrees and advanced diploma|
|8||Bachelor’s honors degrees, graduate certificates, and diplomas|
Studying in Canada can cost you around CAD 2,000 to CAD 30,000 annually as an immigrant. In Australia, education is more expensive – an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in Australia can cost you between AUD 20,000 and AUD 37,000.
There are government scholarships available for both local and international students in both countries. Scholarship applications for foreigners take a long time to apply and get a response; it’s advisable to apply many months before the time you plan to start studying.
Both Canada and Australia have policies that make the immigration process challenging. Nonetheless, it’s easier to secure a visa to Canada than to Australia. If you plan to work in either country, secure a work visa in your country before buying a one-way ticket and migrating.
Below is a table showing the immigration policies for Australia and Canada:
|Factors||Canadian Immigration||Australian Immigration||Additional Details|
|Family Status||Available||Available||Dependents can relocate with the main candidate.|
|Citizen Benefits||Yes||Yes||Free education, social security services, free healthcare facilities, etc.|
|Entire Process Period||80% of candidates in six months||75% of applicants in eight months||Might vary in some cases|
|Total Demand List||300 occupations||200 occupations||–|
|Visa Expenses||CAD 1325||AUD 4,100||–|
|Visa Validity||5 years||5 years||–|
Housing in Australia is more expensive than in Canada. A one-bedroom apartment in a downtown area in Australia can be around US$1,058.57, while its equivalent in Canada will go for US$887.68. Utilities such as water, electricity, and gas are 25 % cheaper in Canada than in Australia.
Primary healthcare is free in Canada, and it’s available through Medicare. To get Medicare, you need to have health insurance coverage. Generally, the healthcare system in Canada is humane and very cheap. Read more about Canadian healthcare.
Australia features a robust healthcare system, and Medicare is available for all permanent residents. However, many Australians prefer to use private health insurance to cover specialist and dental care costs that aren’t catered for through Medicare.
You can acquire citizenship after living in the country for three years as a permanent resident in Canada. However, you must pass the citizenship test and file your tax returns.
You can apply for Australian citizenship after physically living in the country for three to four years as a permanent or temporary resident. You may also have to demonstrate a job record to be eligible.
The official language in Australia is English, so if you are an English speaker, you’ll have no problem doing business, adapting, or communicating. On the other hand, Canada has two official languages – English and French. The country consists of 23% French, 59% English, and other languages are at 18% speakers.
You will need to be fluent in French to live in some provinces.
According to research, Canada has a lower crime rate of 46.01 crimes per 100,000 citizens, while Canada has 39.03 crimes per 100,000 citizens.
According to Global Terrorism Rankings, Canada ranks position 73 while Australia is at 63. Rape, which has become a predominant global crime, is uncommon in Canada, with only 1.7 per 100,000 citizens, while Australia records 28.6 cases per 100,000 citizens.
Australia vs. Canada: Cost of living
According to the World Bank, living in Canada is 17.7% cheaper than in Australia. Australia is one of the priciest places in the world, but salaries are at a high level as well. Living in Canada will mean paying the following compared to Australia:
- 24.2 % less in transportation
- 2.6 % more in groceries
- 11.4 % less in transportation
- 11.2% less in housing
- 37.0% less in childcare
- 18.9% less in clothing
As a single person in Canada, you would require CA$1,650 to CA$2,500 a month, and if with a family, you need CA$5,158. Average household expenses in Canada are around CA$7,400; this includes CA$1,600 for housing, CA$188 for education, CA$730 for food, CA$1,030 for private transportation, and CA$ 1,300 for taxes.
The average cost for a family in Canada varies depending on your province, neighborhood, region, or city. Some places can be highly cheap such as Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, while major cities like Toronto have a very high cost of living.
If you choose to live in Toronto, here is an example of some of your monthly expenses:
- Housing: CA$2,000
- Insurance: CA$52
- Internet and phone: CA$127.50
- Groceries: CA$383.60
- Public transportation: CA$176.25
Public transport is quite expensive in Toronto – CA$145 per month but the leisure and entertainment are a bit cheap at around CA$500 per month.
Some of the most expensive cities to live in Canada are:
According to Rabobank, Australia is the 16th most expensive country globally. The cost of living in Australia varies from one region to another; Sydney is the most costly, followed by Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Canberra.
As a household in Australia, you are likely to spend, on average, AU$2,200 per week or about AU$8,000 per month. This estimate includes home loans or rents at an average of AU$600 a week, followed by food and eating out at AU$400, and insurance and other financial services at AU$200.
A small 85m² apartment will cost you about AU$220 per month to maintain (electricity, gas, and water). A telephone, internet, and TV cost about AU$70 per month. If you have an average household, you need approximately AU$100,000 per year to live in Australia.
Below is a table showing the approximate average cost of living in Australia and Canada per month:
|Commodity||Canada (Canadian dollars)||Australia (Australian dollars)|
|House Rent – 1 to 3 bedroom||1,300 – 2,000||1,700 – 2,700|
|Phone and Internet||127||120|
|Public Transport (monthly)||95||150|
Australia vs. Canada: Job opportunities
Both Canada and Australia have numerous exciting job opportunities for both locals and foreigners.
Australia ranked number 20 among the countries with the lowest unemployment rate among the 33 OECD countries. It has a rate of 5.2 %, which is below the OECD average of 5.6 %. In Canada, it was at 7.43% by 2021, which is still relatively low.
Here is a graph showing the unemployment rate (%) in Canada and Australia between 1991 and 2014:
Canada has over 41,500 tech companies making it perfect for IT specialists. Additionally, manufacturing, communication, service, and real estate sectors are rapidly growing.
In terms of location, most expats prefer to work in Toronto, but the northern parts such as Nunavut and the western-like Saskatchewan province have the best job opportunities. Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have a higher demand and highest employment rates for skilled foreign workers than large cities like Montreal and Toronto.
Finding a job in Canada depends on the prevalence of occupation and your location. Some career opportunities are many in specific provinces or cities. For example, if you are looking for a job in tech, you have a better chance of getting it in Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto, where most startups are located.
Jobs in the mining, healthcare, engineering, and construction sectors are available in all parts of Canada.
Some of the most in-demand jobs in Canada include:
- Sales associate
- Heavy-duty mechanic
- Project manager
- Business development manager
- Web developer
- General laborer
Thanks to a strong economy and low unemployment rate, employment prospects in Australia are excellent, but that doesn’t mean instant employment.
According to Forbes magazine, there are currently about 156,715 job adverts in Canada, and 50% are on online platforms like Indeed and LinkedIn. This number is expected to increase as the country’s economy grows and the number of immigration programs increases.
Skilled professionals from overseas are in a great position to find employment in those industries with a shortage of skilled labor (Migration Occupations in Demand List- MODL). However, if you are an experienced professional in one of the following areas, you’ll quickly find a job in Australia.
Farm work, fruit picking, and seasonal work are some of the popular jobs for young people willing to live in the country for a while.
Besides, plenty of jobs could be found in those areas with high demand for workers:
- Food service
- Administration and secretarial jobs
Australia vs. Canada: Salaries
The minimum wage in Australia is higher than in Canada due to its high number of white-collar jobs employers pay higher. Canada’s economy is founded on solid blue-collar industries like agriculture, mining, and trade workers, which have more equitable salaries but it’s compensated through a cheaper cost of living.
The highest minimum wage in Canada is CA$15 per hour. The average weekly earnings in Canada are CA$1,106 per week. Every employee is entitled to a paid leave of two weeks each year.
Below are some of the most in-demand jobs in Canada and their salaries:
|In-Demand Jobs||Average Salary|
|Business Development Manager||CA$85,000|
The highest minimum wage in Australia is AU$19.84 per hour. Australia also has compulsory superannuation (9.5%), which finances your needs on retirement. This additional percentage applies to the minimum wage, increasing the minimum wage to about AU$22 per hour.
As an employee, you are entitled to a 20-day mandatory annual paid leave and ten days of paid sick leave in Australia.
Below are some of the most in-demand jobs in Australia and their salaries:
|In-Demand Jobs||Average Salary|
|Software & Applications Programmer||AU$70,365|
|Resident Medical Officer and General Practitioner||AU$83,000|
|Mechanical & Production Engineer||AU$107,369|
|Civil Engineering Professional||AU$50,798|
Read a detailed guide on salaries in Australia.
Taxes in Australia and Canada
Federal tax rates in Canada include:
- 15% on the first income of more than CA$45,916
- 29% on the next CA$60,447 of income that can be taxed(on the income between CA$142,353 and CA$202,800)
- 20.5% on the upcoming CA$45,915 of taxable income (applies to a taxable income of between CA$45,916 and CA$91,831)
- 33% of taxable income over CA$202,800
- 26% on the succeeding CA$50,522 of taxable income (on a taxable income that lies between CA$91,831 and CA$142,353)
If you are single without children and earning a gross annual salary of CA$87,552, here is an overview of how you’ll pay your taxes:
- Federal tax: CA$12,368
- CPP/EI Premiums: CA$4,056
- Provincial tax: CA$6,248
- Total tax: CA$22,672
- Net Salary: CA$64,880
- Average tax rate: 21.33%
- Marginal tax rate: 31.48%
Australia has a low tax rate of 23.6%, but the higher your income, the higher the tax you pay. If you earn less than AU$18,200, you don’t have to pay tax, but this doesn’t apply to foreigners; they don’t have a no-tax threshold.
Below is a table that summarizes the income tax rate for 2020–21 and 2024–25 in Australia:
|Taxable income (Australian dollars)||Tax rate||Range (Australian dollars)||Total tax rate (Australian dollars)|
|$0 – $18,200||0%||$0 – $18,200||0%|
|$18,201 – $45,000||19% for amounts over $18,200||$18,201 – $45,000||19% for amounts over $18,200|
|$45,001 – $120,000||$5,092 + 32.5% for amounts over $45,000||$45,001 – $200,000||$5,092 + 30% for amounts over $45,000|
|$120,001 – $180,000||$29,467 + 37% for amounts over $120,000|
|$180,001 and over||$51,667 + 45% for amounts over $180,000||$200,001 and over||$51,592 + 45% for amounts over $200,000|
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