Canada vs USA

Why Canada Can’t Solve Our Problems

There is a common theory I hear fairly often, where people compare Canada to the United States, and state that we need to do things like they do. For example, the U.S. government should have universal healthcare like Canada, or the U.S. needs to be as crime free as Canada. Especially during Grad. school I would have Canadian classmates consistently speak of the “awesomeness” of Canada, and how much the U.S. sucked or needed to be like Canada. And that’s when I would defend our country using both statistics and behaviorism.


Canada as a country, which physically the same general size as our country, has significantly less people. The Unites States (U.S.) has nearly 9-times (approximately 8.8-times) as many citizens (not including tourists and non-citizens living within the country) as Canada. Based on population numbers, Canada is the 39th largest country in the world, and the U.S. is the 3rd largest. California has millions of more people as a STATE than Canada does as an entire COUNTRY. Texas is within 75% of their population, and both Florida and New York have more than 50% of Canada’s population. If those states were countries, they’d all be ranked in the top 60 of the 232 countries by population.

The data in the following tables is sourced from

State/CountryPopulation 2019 Population 2018
United States329,879,896327,096,265
California39,747,267 39,557,045
Texas29,087,070 28,701,845
Florida21,646,155 21,299,325
New York19,491,339 19,542,209
Fig. 1. Population comparison. This chart displays the 2019 and 2018 census populations reported for Canada, the U.S., and 4 of the largest U.S. states by population.

Behaviorally, having an larger, more overcrowded urban population, creates numerous issues that affect several areas in life. States like New York, and cities like Los Angeles, deal with so many people living in such physically close proximity that tension and anxiety become more concerning. This in turn creates more health problems, as anxiety and tension increase frequency, magnitude, and severity of health issues. Overcrowding leads to increases in all of life’s stressors, especially emotional and financial stress. People worry more about daily life factors like crime, living expenses, and commuting to work. Canada consists of 10 provinces and 3 territories; the territories are all in the land above the 60° North latitude/parallel, meaning it’s the top half with the lowest population sizes (less than 125,000 people total for all 3). Imagine if the entire country of Canada was forced to live in an area half the size of 1 providence, suddenly it wouldn’t be the land of open areas and open door safety, and the people would be more concerned about life and it’s stressors.

Health Care

Let’s start with the most common complaint, health care and how it is handled in each country. Many people complain about the cost of health care in the U.S., versus Canada, where health care is free. Going back to population size, Canada has less people as a Country that California does as a STATE. The U.S. has more than 8.8-times the population size of Canada, meaning healthcare should cost the government at least 8.8-times as much money. Additionally, this population stress makes obtaining resources (e.g., money, food), personal space, relaxation opportunities, and maintaining health more difficult. If the U.S. only had to pay for California’s health care, and no other state, they could easily afford the expense. But, to pay for almost 9-times more people, and the additional expense that the increased stresses and health concerns caused by issues that stem from overpopulation, is an unreasonable request to place on a country’s government, unless people are willing to pay tax increases that would ruin most families financially.


First and foremost, we have to consider a few things in regards to crime statistics in Canada and the U.S. First, the U.S. has approximately 9-times the population of Canada, meaning the U.S. should have 9-times the crime if we based it on per person averages. Second, the U.S. begins tracking crime at the age 6-years-old, while Canada begins tracking crime at the age of 12-years-old. That means the U.S. begins tracking crime 6-years earlier for its citizens, and includes those crimes in the nation’s statistics. Third, crime statistics averages are based on the official population of citizens, which does not take into account crimes reported but committed by non-citizens. Meaning, the number of crimes increase, based on on a population number not accounting for a non-citizen, making percentages higher.

The statistics for the following table are provided by NationMaster. com (NM). As noted by NM, “Crime statistics are often better indicators of prevalence of law enforcement and willingness to report crime, than actual prevalence.”

Crime ( StatesU.S. vs Canada
Estimated Drug Use, Cannabis12.6% of pop.
(#2 in World)
13.7% of pop.
(#1 in World)
1.09-times More
Estimated Drug Use, Opiates0.4% of pop.
(#9 in World)
0.57% of pop.
(#3 in World)
1.43-times More
Murder Rate
(Per 100,000 Citizens)
2.0552.44-times More
Rape Rate
(Per 100,000 Citizens)
1.727.316.05 -times More
Total Crimes
(Total reported by all)
2.52 Million11.88 Million4.71 -times More
Total Crimes
(Per 1,000 Citizens)
80.2541.291.94 -times LESS
Gun Crime
(Per 100 Citizens)
30.888.82.88-times More
Intentional Homicide Rate
(Per 100,00 Citizens)
1.564.73.01-times More
Murder Rate
(Per 100,000 Citizens)
55412,99623.46-times More
Murder Rate
(Per 1,000,000 Citizens)
16.2342.012.59-times More
(Per 100,00 Citizens)
57684,767147.16-times More
(Per 1,000,000 Citizens)
16.88274.0416.23-times More

Interestingly enough, although the U.S. has 8.8-times as many citizens as Canada, the crime rates are not typically 8.8-times higher. The murder rate is 2.44-times higher, gun crime is 2.88-times higher, intentional homicide is 3.01-times higher, and the murder rate per 1,000,000 citizens is 259-times higher. Additionally, total crime is 4.71-times higher, but total crime per 100,000 citizens is 1.94-times LOWER in the U.S. than in Canada. Based on population sizes, these crimes should all be significantly higher.

Despite the number showing that the U.S. is not necessarily more dangerous than Canada, the effects of this misconception have rippling effects. Behaviorally, the mindset that the U.S. is more “dangerous” than Canada has a separate effect on it’s populations. For Canada, it provides less daily stress and improved health and thinking. For the U.S., it creates more stress, anxeity, health concerns, and fear.

Total crime is 4.71-times higher, but total crime per 100,000 citizens is 1.94-times LOWER in the U.S. than in Canada.

In summary …

Although the U.S. and Canada are roughly the same size, they are not comparable. Behaviorally, there are many factors that make it unreasonable and borderline irresponsible to compare them in respect to changes we need to make as a country. Due to overcrowding, our population suffers from more stress, crime, and health concerns. Which ironically shows how the U.S. is safer than Canada, as our crime numbers are higher due to population size, not our culture; Canada has more crime per 100,000 citizens, and starts tracking crime at a later age than the U.S., skewing TOTAL crime numbers in their favor, but proving the U.S. is safer. Additionally, the total crime frequency is approximately half the disparity that it should statistically should be, given our population discrepancies. Also, population sizes, factors, and expenses make topics like universal health care unrealistic. We might be neighbors, but the grass is not always greener on the other side.


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