Where to Live For Newcomers to Canada

Canada is a huge country and deciding where to live may well be dependent on jobs as well as education, healthcare, communities and other considerations. To help you get a better sense of Canada we’ve looked at each area and compared some statistics. These are only generalisations, but they might give you a better idea of where to start.

Education Statistics by Province

The official Statistics of Canada show that as far as education is concerned, Ontario comes out on top with 56% of the population attaining a higher qualification.

Newfoundland and Labrador had the lowest proportion of individuals with a college or University qualification at just 37% although this is still above average for OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

Employment Rates by Province

One factor to consider is that those provinces who have the lowest proportion of adults with a higher education do have higher levels of employment for those with low education attainments. So it is worth noting that University graduates may not do as well in those provinces whereas those not blessed with an academic brain might benefit from better opportunities.

Ontario has an 81% employment rate for graduates which is roughly the average for Canada whilst Newfoundland and Labrador have the lowest at 77% which is still higher than the overall employment rate in those provinces.

The provinces with the lowest unemployment rates and therefore with higher employment opportunities are Alberta with unemployment at 4.2%, Saskatchewan at 4.5% and Yukon at 5.5%.

The states with rising unemployment are British Columbia at 6.8%, Newfoundland at 12.5% and Prince Edward Island at 11.4%. Nunavut has the highest unemployment rate at 13.4% although this is decreasing and Alberta has the lowest.

Crime Rates

On the whole Canada compares favourably with other countries and the homicide rate is below that of the USA, Spain and the EU average. In fact the BBC reported in 2012 that the violent crime rate in Canada is at its lowest since 1972. Property offences are also down by 2.7%.

Ontario has been the province with the lowest crime rate from 2003 to 2006 whilst Saskatchewan had the highest crime rates for nine years running.

Canada’s gun laws may be stricter than its US cousin but don’t think that means less Canadians carry a gun. There are estimated to be around six million guns in circulation in Canada and whilst most are used for hunting, Canadians would think nothing of keeping them at easy reach in the house just case.

Best City to Live in Canada

You could do your own research looking at other considerations such as public transport, affordability, ethnic diversity and access to healthcare. Or you could find a site like Canada’s Moneysense which has done this for you and established their own list of Canada’s Best Places to Live.

They have placed Ottawa, Burlington and Kingston in the top three – the latter two being in our favourite province of Ontario.

For an idea of what other British expats think, head on over to the British Expats website for a discussion on where to live in Canada.