Categories > Guides and Tips

Canada Vs. China How Do They Compare

Canada vs. China: How do they compare?

Both China and Canada are rich in culture and history. Although Canada and China have similarities, they also have differences in many ways when being compared. 

If you are thinking of moving to Canada or China or curious about what sets them apart, we’ve got you covered. Read on to have an overview of key similarities and differences between Canada and China.

Is Canada bigger than China?

China and Canada are roughly the same in terms of size. Canada’s borders extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres. 

In comparison, China covers 9.6 million square kilometres, making China 96.12% the size of Canada. 

Comparing the Geography and Climate of Canada and China

Comparing the Geography and Climate of Canada and China's Homepage

When comparing these two countries, it’s important to look at their geography and climate. 

Canada is a lot larger than China, with a total area of 9.98 million square kilometres compared to China’s 9.6 million square kilometres according to Nation Master statistics.

Geography and Climate
ClimateVaries from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north.Extremely diverse; tropical in the south to subarctic in the north.
Land Area3.8 million square miles3.7 million square miles
Surface Area9.98 million km²9.6 million km²
TerrainMostly plains with mountains in the west and lowlands in the southeast.Mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in the west; plains, deltas, and hills in east.
Natural Resources• Iron ore
• Nickel
• Zinc
• Copper
• Gold
• Lead
• Rare earth elements
• Molybdenum
• Potash
• Coal
•Iron ore
• Petroleum
• Natural gas
• Mercury
• Tin
• Tungsten
• Antimony
• Manganese
Coastline202,080 km14,500 km
Average Precipitation537 mm per year645 mm per year
Data sourced from: Nation Master

Canada is also more than twice as tall as China, with a mean elevation of 1,524 metres compared to China’s elevation of 505 metres.

Canada has a colder climate than China. While China has a wide range of climates due to its size, Canada generally has cold winters and mild summers. 

The temperature range in Canada is usually -40 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius, while the temperature range in China is 10 degrees Celsius to 50 degrees Celsius.

Our Verdict: 
Canada is a large country, with plenty of wide open spaces. It has a temperate climate, with four distinct seasons. 
China, on the other hand, is a much more densely populated country. The climate is much hotter and more humid, with only two seasons: winter and summer.

The Comparison of Population and Demographics of Canada and China

The Comparison of Population and Demographics of Canada and China's Homepage

Canada has a population of about 36 million people, while China has a population of over 1.4 billion people. This makes China the most populous country in the world.

China also has a much higher population density than Canada does. There are over 175 people per square kilometre in China, compared to just 5 people per square kilometre in Canada.


Demographics' Homepage

The majority of people in Canada were of English, Scottish, Irish, and French ancestry until the end of the 20th century, with a minor number of First Nations people. There were a very limited number of immigrants from other origins.

Communities in Canada are growing more and more diverse as a result of the sharp rise in immigration throughout the first decade of the twenty-first century. The province is home to residents from all over the world.

In contrast, the majority of China’s population is Han Chinese which makes up over 91% in total. In fact, there are over 1.5 billion Han people in the world, or about 19% of humanity. 

In addition to numbers, the Han are exceptional in a number of other ways. They have the oldest continuous written history—3,000 years—aside from Jews.

Life Expectancy and Human Index Development

When it comes to other metrics, like life expectancy and human index development, China and Canada offer a stark contrast. 

Life expectancy in Canada is nearly two years longer than it is in China, with an average of 82.8 years compared to 75.58, respectively. 

Life Expectancy Index (2023)
CategoryCanada China
Data sourced from: World Population Review

Human index development in Canada is also significantly higher than it is in China, at a 0.936 compared to 0.768 rating. This means that Canadians have better access to education, health care services and economic opportunities compared to Chinese.

The difference between the two countries can be attributed to the level of social spending and services offered by its government—Canada spends more on social programs than China does. 

Canada vs. Canada: Which country offers a better quality of life? 

Canada vs. Canada Which country offers a better quality of life's Homepage

When it comes to affordability, Canada offers more choices and opportunities than China. Cost of living may be much higher in Canada, but salaries are typically higher as well and rental fees are usually lower. 

Quality of Life Index
• Purchasing Power Index
• Safety Index
• Health Care Index
• Climate Index
• Cost of Living Index
• Property Price to Income Ratio
• Traffic Commute Time Index
• Pollution Index
63.13 (Moderate)
73.65 (High)67.44 (High)78.41 (High)39.72 (Very Low)34.64 (Very High)
38.79 (Moderate)
79.25 (High)
102.73 (High)
55.7 (Moderate)70.26 (High)53.8 (Moderate)67.23 (Moderate)9.53 (Moderate)
33.71 (Low)
29.20 (Low)

In terms of safety, both countries boast relatively low crime rates. However, traffic safety issues are more prevalent in Chinese cities due to overcrowding and unenforced laws. 

Crime Rates
Level of crime21.33 (Low)47.94 (Moderate)
Home invasion24.31 (Low)40.95 (Moderate)
Car robbery21.59 (Low)35.89 (Low)
Drug addicting or dealing23.37 (Low)62.74 (High)
Corruption and Bribery52.03 (Moderate)37.03 (Low)
Data sourced from: Numbeo

Additionally, air pollution levels can be much higher in some Chinese cities due to their reliance on coal for energy production. You can be sure that the air quality is much better in Canada due to its stricter environmental regulations.

Our Verdict: 
So when it comes to quality of life, both Canada and China offer plenty of benefits. However, you’ll save more money if you live in Canada since the rental fees are lower and salaries are higher compared to China.

Canada vs. China: Government Structures

Canada vs. China Government Structures' Homepage

Both countries have a federal system of government, which means that the national government is divided into provinces or states that have their own laws and abilities to make decisions.

However, there are distinct differences in the governments of each country. In the parliamentary democracy in Canada, the rule of law is regarded as the highest authority. 

Canada is also a constitutional monarchy as well because it explicitly vests His Majesty King Charles III with executive power. 

This pertains to every action of their government which is being taken on behalf of the Crown. In contrast, China is a single-party socialist state.

In addition, China has much stricter regulations with regard to freedom of speech, assembly, and religion while Canada offers much more personal freedom in these areas. 

1. China’s strict regulation on freedom of speech.

To the dismay of many citizens, freedom of speech is restricted in China by the Chinese government. The Chinese government controls all media outlets and punishes those who criticise the government or speak out against them. 

Journalists in China often face censorship and harassment if they publish articles that could be seen as critical. In comparison, Canada has a free press and allows its citizens to speak freely without fear of governmental reprisals. 

This is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and freedom of expression is enshrined in Canada’s Constitution, allowing Canadians to express themselves without fear of arrest or imprisonment.

2. Canada’s personal freedom regarding speech, assembly and religion.

Canadians enjoy greater freedom of speech, assembly and religion than those living in China.  According to Freedom House, Canada is among the ‘free countries’ with the highest possible score of 100. 

This means Canadians have no restrictions on voicing their opinions, gathering peacefully, or practising their faith without interference from the state. China, on the other hand, scored an 18 out of 100 in Freedom House’s measurement – making it ‘not free’. 

Our Verdict: 
When it comes to government structures, both countries have their merits and distinctive differences that make them unique in the global community. However, in terms of personal freedom, China is much stricter than Canada.

Comparing the Educational Systems in Canada and in China

Comparing the Educational Systems in Canada and in China's Homepage

One of the main differences you might notice is that Canada is more focused on individualised learning, while in China there is more of an emphasis on rote memorization and mass instruction.

In terms of educational access, Canada is considered one of the most equitable countries in terms of access to postsecondary education.  The country has a robust system for providing grants and loans for students from lower income families. 

Canada’s Grants and Loans for Students with Lower Income

Grant for full-time students.


• Have a financial need.

• A full-time student in a qualified program at a designated school.

• Total family income is less than the income threshold provided by the government.
Grant for part-time students.


• Have a financial need.

• A part-time student in a qualified program at a designated school.

• Have successfully completed the courses you have been given a grant for in the past.

Total family income is less than the income threshold provided by the government.

Meanwhile, in China there are limited options when it comes to grants or loans and the cost of tuition can be quite high. Both countries have their respective strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the educational system. 

China’s Grants and Loans for Students with Lower Income

• Government appropriation for education.

• Funds invested by private school founders.

• Donations and fundraising.

• Institutional income.

However, one thing they do have in common is that parents often place a large emphasis on educational attainment for their children – especially in China where there’s a significant “education gap” between rural and urban areas.

Our Verdict:
In terms of education, Canada offers much more grants and loans to the students compared to China. Nevertheless, both countries value education highly for their citizens—and that’s something we can all agree on!

Canada vs. China: How do the healthcare systems differ?

Canada vs. China How do the healthcare systems differ's Homepage

In both countries, the government provides universal health care, meaning that all citizens have access to basic medical services at no charge. 

However, in Canada there is private health insurance that covers certain services such as dental care and prescription medications – something not available in China.

When it comes to primary healthcare services, there are differences as well. In China, most primary care services are offered through local clinics or hospitals.

Health Care System Index
• Skill and competency of medical staff67.82 (High)
71.99 (High)
• Speed in completing examination and reports72.18 (High)
58.00 (High)
• Equipment for modern diagnosis and treatment80.52 (Very High)
79.23 (Very High)
• Accuracy and completeness in filling out reports71.63 (High)72.25 (High)
• Friendliness and courtesy of the staff59.20 (Moderate)72.28 (Moderate)
• Responsiveness (waitings) in medical institutions56.58 (Moderate)40.46 (Moderate)
• Satisfaction with cost to you62.43 (High)80.53 (High)
• Convenience of location for you74.18 (High)77.06 (High)
Data sourced from: Numbeo

In contrast, Canada has a more decentralised system where family doctors and specialist physicians provide the majority of primary care services. Another difference between the two countries is the access to specialty care and advanced medical treatments. 

In Canada, specialist healthcare services are much more widely available than in China due to its more comprehensive public health system.

Our Verdict: 
Ultimately, both countries excel in different aspects of their healthcare systems but when it comes down to it, it’s clear that Canada’s health services are easily accessible compared to China.
It’s really up to individual circumstances to influence the verdict on which country has the better overall system.

Comparing the Infrastructures Between Canada and China

Comparing the Infrastructures Between Canada and China's Homepage

When looking at the infrastructure of Canada and China, there are a few key differences. China has invested heavily in infrastructure over the past few decades, and that’s allowed them to rapidly develop their economy and grow.

In comparison, Canada has not had to invest in its infrastructure as much as China over the past few decades since it’s already fairly well-developed. That said, Canada has been investing more in keeping up with the advancements being made by China.

Strategic industries
• Digital
• Creative
• High-end equipment manufacturing
• Technology
• Mining Energy
• Real Estate
• Mining 
• Manufacturing
• Insurance
• Construction

Canada also has a more sophisticated transportation network and efficient telecommunications system, while China is working on improving these.

Our Verdict: 
In terms of infrastructure, China has it all. Canada, on the other hand, focuses more on its advancements. Though, they each have their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to development.

Economics and Trade Comparison Between Canada and China

Economics and Trade Comparison Between Canada and China's Homepage

For starters, Canada is a developed country with a thriving economy. China, on the other hand, is a developing country that’s still working to improve its economy.

This is because Canada has a lot of natural resources that it trades with other countries. China, on the other hand, trades mostly manufactured goods.

However, when it comes to economics and trade, Canada and China value their relationship. The economic growth of Canada depends heavily on China. 

Canada’s second-largest import and export markets are both China. While Canada is the 19th biggest import market into China and the 20th largest when it comes to export.

Economics and Trade Comparison Between Canada and China
Data sourced from a study by the China Institute from the University of Alberta

Our Verdict: 
From an economic standpoint, Canada is actually more dependent on its connection with China. However, China benefits politically by having a robust trade agreement with a developed Western country that neighbours the United States.

Canada vs China: Technology Innovation Comparison

Canada vs China Technology Innovation Comparison's Homepage

Both Canada and China have some amazing tech innovations. Canada is known for its strong investments in banking technology and a focus on fintech startups. 

Canada is also home to major players like Shopify, Hootsuite, Kik, and Wave. China, on the other hand, is known for its cutting-edge AI research and development

Its tech scene includes companies like Alibaba and Tencent that are pushing the boundaries of what technology can do. Plus, it’s home to over 700 million internet users, making it one of the most connected countries in the world.

Our Verdict: 
So when it comes to tech innovation, both countries have something to offer—Canada with its banking-centric focus and China with its artificial intelligence advancements.

The Environmental Impact Between Canada and China

The Environmental Impact Between Canada and China's Homepage

As far as environmental impact goes, the two countries don’t stack up evenly. According to a 2019 report, Canada produces fewer greenhouse gas total emissions than China. 

In fact, Canada is the 10th lowest in the world in terms of gas total  emission. China, on the other hand, is among the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases and has been blamed for its role in global climate change. 

The Environmental Impact Between Canada and China
Data sourced from a study by the Faculty of Law from the University of Calgary

Coal has always been a significant source of domestic energy use. It is a major source of home CO2 emissions in China, as coal-powered facilities produced over 72% of the country’s electricity in 2015.

Fortunately, the Chinese government has moved to speed the switch to natural gas in order to lessen consumer dependency on coal.

Our Verdict: 
It’s clear that Canada is slightly ahead when it comes to protecting the environment. 
Although China has taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint by investing in renewable energy sources and implementing new environmental laws and regulations.


While Canada and China are very different in terms of size, population, and resources, they do share some similarities. 

Both are rich in culture and history, and offer a high quality of life for their citizens. However, health care services are much more accessible in Canada.

Ultimately, deciding which country is better for you depends on what you are looking for. 

If you want a more cosmopolitan lifestyle with plenty of options for entertainment and dining, then Canada is the better choice. If you are looking for a more traditional, family-oriented lifestyle, then China will definitely fit the bill!

FAQs about How Canada and China Compare to Each Other

Related topics