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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Canadians Will Make You Feel at Home

Ranking 9th overall, Canada offers expats great education, work, and leisure options, among other things.

Friendly Canadians: A True Stereotype?

People in Canada are considered to be very polite - and indeed, 84% of expats enjoy the general friendliness of the population, while 46% even rate it as very good. Four out of five respondents also confirm the friendliness of the local population towards foreign residents (vs. 67% globally).

On top of that, Canada ranks 8th out of 64 countries in the Feeling Welcome subcategory of the Ease of Settling In Index. Seven in ten regard settling down there as generally easy and 72% feel at home in the local culture. Making new friends is considered straightforward by 64% of expatriates.

Close to one-third of expats (32%) even feel so well settled that they have acquired Canadian citizenship - a significant number considering that worldwide only 10% of respondents have become a national of their country of residence.

The local language in the Great White North is either English or French, depending on the province. Three-fourths find learning it easy, and - in addition to 26% who say it's their mother tongue - six out of ten expats claim to be speaking the local language very well (around the world only 29% say the same for the local language of their host country). Since the InterNations Expat Insider 2015 survey was conducted in English, it is important to note that these results are somewhat biased, though. Overall, 68% share the opinion that it is very difficult to live in Canada without speaking the local language.

Expat Statistics 2015

Expat statistics for Canada - infographic
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Earning and Spending Your Loonies

Canada ranks 13th in the Working Abroad Index, making it a desirable place to work and earn a lot of loonies (what the Canadians call their one-dollar coin). Two-thirds of expats are overall satisfied with their job and 63% appreciate their career prospects in the country, compared to 56% on a global scale.

The condition of the Canadian economy is rated positively by 84% of survey participants, and 57% are overall satisfied with their job security, which is right on par with the global average.

With regard to personal finances, though, Canada is not quite as popular - while 63% are overall satisfied with their financial situation, 28% say that their disposable income is not enough for daily life (global average: 23%). Only a little over half the expatriates (54%) are satisfied with the cost of living, landing Canada a solid 30th place in the corresponding index.

Yet, healthcare is considered affordable by 72% of survey participants and almost as many (68%) approve of its quality. Less than 1% criticize personal safety in Canada or the peacefulness there, and not a single person rates political stability negatively.

Attention Leisure Lovers!

Six out of seven expats favor the quality of the Canadian environment, whereas only 45% enjoy the local climate and weather (around the world 62% of expats like the weather and climate of their respective host country).

Leisure options in Canada are rated positively by 90% of expatriates, with 45% even considering them very good. The opportunity to travel is also enjoyed by three-fourths of respondents (76%), and 69% rate the transportation infrastructure favorably.

Luckily, the working hours among those working full-time in Canada are noticeably lower than the global average (41.6 vs. 44.9 hours/week) and 68% appreciate their work-life balance. Leisure activities for kids are further rated positively by 92% of expat parents in Canada.

Raising Your Child in Canada

As for small children, more than half the expat parents (56%) like the childcare options in general, but only 42% agree that they are numerous and easy to get. Another 62% don't consider childcare easy to afford in Canada.

Education is somewhat less problematic with almost eight-tenths of expat parents (79%) appreciating the options for their children's education, and 68% confirming that the options are numerous and easy to get. It seems like quality has its price, though: close to seven in ten respondents with kids in Canada (69%) approve of the quality of education, but 37% don't find education in Canada easy to afford.

Overall, 76% of expat parents are generally satisfied with their family life in Canada and not a single parent rates their children's general well-being or their children's health and safety negatively. As a result, Canada ranks 7th out of 41 countries in the Family Well-Being subcategory.

Further Reading