The Canada vs. India debate is a no-brainer for aspirants planning to study abroad. With fundamental differences in the standard of living, education system, and the Permanent Residency (PR) benefits, Canada is a go-to study destination for Indian students. This is why Indians are one of the largest student communities in the country. Over 40% of international students who went to Canada for education in the first half of 2023 are from India, revealed Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data.
Canada vs. India- Difference in Standards of Living:
The key reason why Canada is better than India is the difference in the standard of living between the two countries. Despite the better affordability that India offers, Canada provides a far better lifestyle to its residents. One of the major contributors to this ease of living is Canada's comparatively lower population and less pressure on public resources and infrastructure.
At the same time, pollution levels are lower there, the weather is better, and the education system is also among the top 5 globally (U.S. News & World Report 2022). Additionally, the salaries offered to employees in Canada are more proportionate in relation to their cost of living. The average earnings of a skilled worker in Canada is nearly CAD 79,000 (OECD 2022 report). On the other hand, the national average pay in India is CAD 16,200 (Forbes 2022).
Canada also ranks third among the top 10 global countries that offer the best quality of life , as per the U.S. News & World Report. The country also tops the chart across parameters such as agility, entrepreneurship, and openness for business.
Comparing the Benefits:
Is it worth moving to Canada from India? Listed below are some of the social benefits offered by both the countries in terms of education, living, and healthcare facilities.
Read More: Student life in Canada
Social Benefits in Canada-:
There are several benefits of living in Canada, including benefits and pensions for housing, employment insurance, benefits for people with disabilities, training, education, and families. The Canadian government offers free education until grade 12 for children whose parents are permanent residents of the country. There is a three-tier education system comprising primary, secondary, and higher education. Tuition fees are also considerably lower at the university level for permanent residents.
It is not just residents; immigrants also enjoy social security advantages in Canada once they achieve 40 credit points or 10 years of work (40 quarters). Skilled employees can expect attractive job opportunities in the country and rebates on taxes, enabling a higher quality of life. Social benefits include survivors’ benefits for workers who have passed away and retirement payments. Canada is also one of the most peaceful countries in the world and was ranked on top in 2007 by The Economist as well.
Section 6 of the Canadian Charter Rights and Freedoms secures immigrants with permanent residency. It is one of the major reasons why international students take up jobs after graduating, and later on, apply for Canadian PR visas.
Canada has a universal, decentralized, publicly funded healthcare system known as Canadian Medicare. Medical care is free for all holders of permanent resident visas, which also means financial coverage for prescribed medicines.
Social Benefits in India-:
India offers numerous benefits to its citizens, although they are not as widely ranged as those available in Canada. In the public education framework, schooling is free as a fundamental right for those between 6-14 years. All Indian citizens are entitled to receive free outpatient and inpatient care at government facilities.
Other benefits include systems like EPFO, health insurance, and PPF. Other schemes include Atal Pension Yojana, Ayushman Bharat Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for Housing, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, and many others.
Important Scholarships to Study Abroad:
Education System in Canada vs. India:
The comparison of the education systems in both the countries brings forth some fascinating aspects. Public education is free for kids between 6-14 years of age in India. On the other hand, education is free in Canada till 12th grade for students (16-18 years of age, depending on the province), whose parents have a PR. There are both private and public schools in Canada and education in the country is highly subsidized by the government, from kindergarten to post-secondary level. Leading private schools may charge around CAD 6,000-26,000 per year.
Higher education costs vary across institutions in Canada, hovering between CAD 13,000 and CAD 40,000, depending upon the level of study and the program opted for. It is lower than the educational costs in the USA. At the same time, Canada also has the highest chunk of graduates at the post-secondary level amongst the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) nations. The Indian education system has primary (K-5th Grade), secondary (6th-10th Grade), and senior secondary (11th and 12th Grades) levels. The higher education framework comprises Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate degrees. Elementary education is eight years, with secondary and senior secondary levels taking up two years each.
Undergraduate degrees in India require three-four years in most cases, while postgraduate courses require two to three years for completion. Students in India mostly choose engineering, medicine, IT, law, architecture, and MBA programs. However, there is a growing interest in humanities and pure science courses as well.
The Ontario Senior Secondary Diploma (OSSD) or Canadian High School Diploma can be earned by scoring 30 high-school course credits. Students should pass the OSSLT (Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test) and engage in community work of 40 hours. It is required for students between Grades 9-12, and out of 30 credits, 18 are mandatory. Students may choose the other 12 credits. Mandatory subjects include Science, Mathematics, English, Canadian Geography, Canadian History, French, Arts, Career Studies, Health and Physical Education, and Civics.
Students can integrate additional credits or third languages and humanities, social sciences, and Canadian and World Studies. They can also choose Business Studies, Arts, Physical Education, and Cooperative Education and easily convert earlier educational experience into earning credits. The OSSD encourages active community volunteering and engagement. The Grade 10 standardized examination tests students on writing, reading, and comprehension. Students may take an extra course for earning credits in Grades 11 and 12 if they fail to clear the OSSLT even after trying twice. Students get diplomas at par with on-campus Canadian students once they go through the OSSD and gain worldwide exposure. The OSSD has widespread acceptance in the USA, UK, Europe, and Singapore.
The Canadian higher education system is one of the best in the world that offers courses across diverse fields. The country is home to some of the world’s top universities and colleges, which is the major reason why Indian aspirants choose to study here. Popular fields include Pharmacology, Finance, Management, Business Administration, Software Engineering, Chemical or Petroleum Engineering, Geosciences, and more.
Cost of Living in Canada vs. India
Canada vs. India, which is better? A look at the cost of living would lead a mixed reaction initially. However, it should be stated again that the average salary in Canada vs. India is way higher and tailored to meet living costs, whereas the average salary in India is nowhere proportionate to rising inflation.
|Average cost of living in Canada per year
|Average cost of living in India per year
|CAD 4800 – CAD 7200 (₹2.86 lakhs -₹4.29 lakhs)
|CAD 2400 – CAD 3600 (₹1.43 lakhs – ₹2.15 lakhs)
|₹36,000 – ₹60,000
|Utility costs (including water, heating, and electricity charges)
|CAD 1680 (₹1 lakh)
|CAD 1200 (₹71,500) – CAD 3000 (₹1.79 lakhs)
|₹36,000 – ₹48,000
|CAD 7500 (₹4.47 lakhs)
|₹10,800 – ₹1,80,00
It can be said that Canada has a higher cost of living. However, considerably higher salaries and purchasing power ensure that living standards are also on the higher side there.
The average annual salary in Canada ranges from CAD 54,600 (₹32.58 lakhs) to CAD 105,000 (₹62.63 lakhs), whereas the in India, skilled employees get paid from ₹2.5 lakhs to ₹15 lakhs approximately.
Canada vs. India: Which is better?
Before deciding which country is better, it is imperative to keep a few factors in mind. Firstly, Canada offers a higher standard of living with higher income and purchasing power. Secondly, Canada offers more benefits in terms of education, healthcare, and public infrastructure.
Thirdly, Canada has a globally recognized and cutting-edge education system and is a preferred study hub for international aspirants. Fourthly, Canada offers a globally diverse environment with more scope of innovation and a flourishing job market. These factors make it a better option for residence, at least for international students and professionals.
Choosing between Canada and India in 2024 requires careful consideration. Canada offers globally renowned education and high quality of life, but comes at a premium. India provides affordability and familiar cultural comfort, while facing potential job market challenges. Recent inflation might lessen the cost gap between the two. Evaluate your priorities - career aspirations, desired lifestyle, and budget - within the context of both nations' evolving economies and job markets. Ultimately, the "better" choice depends on your unique goals and circumstances. Do your research and prioritize your individual needs to make an informed decision for your future.
Read More: Why Study in Canada
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Canada better than India?
Reports have estimated how Canada, despite being a costlier country than India, offers a higher standard of living for residents. Along with a better quality of life, Canada offers better healthcare and education systems for its citizens. Canada is also one of the most coveted study destinations for global students, including aspirants from India. It is home to world-class universities and a flourishing economy, enabling more job opportunities and international exposure. All of these factors make Canada a better option, and there are more public benefits on offer as well.
Is it worth moving to Canada from India?
It is certainly worth shifting to Canada from India, especially for those pursuing higher education and looking for rewarding global employment opportunities. Canada offers various public benefits to those holding PR visas, and immigrants enjoy the same facilities as citizens in many cases. Indian citizens have also witnessed more success in Canadian immigration applications than people from other countries. The number of Indians migrating to Canada has increased by leaps and bounds over the last few years. The immigration rules are tailored towards bringing more skilled and qualified immigrants who can contribute to the country’s industrial and economic development.
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