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Here is some detailed information about Canada. For a quick look, see the Quick Facts page where all the general statistics and information is in one table. This information tells you a little bit more of various aspects of this country.

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Land Mass

At 9,976,139 square kilometres, Canada is the world's second-largest country, surpassed only by Russia. Canada comprises 7% of the world's land mass, and 9% of its fresh water supply. Of a total of over ten million square kilometres, over nine million are land and 755,000 fresh water.

Capital

Ottawa, in the province of Ontario.

Provinces and Territories

Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories, each with its own capital city (in brackets): Alberta (Edmonton); British Columbia (Victoria); Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown); Manitoba (Winnipeg); New Brunswick (Fredericton); Nova Scotia (Halifax); Ontario (Toronto); Quebec (Quebec City); Saskatchewan (Regina); Newfoundland (St. John's); Northwest Territories (Yellowknife), Yukon (Whitehorse), and Nunavut (Iqaluit).

Geography

Diversity is the keynote of Canada's geography, which includes fertile plains suitable for agriculture, vast mountain ranges, lakes and rivers. Wilderness forests give way to arctic tundra in the Far North.

Climate

There are of course many climatic variations in this huge country, ranging from the permanently frozen icecaps north of the 70th parallel to the luxuriant vegetation of British Columbia's west coast. On the whole, though, Canada has four very distinct seasons, especially in the regions lying along the U.S. border.

Daytime summer temperatures can rise to 35 °C and higher, while lows of -25°C are not uncommon in winter. More moderate temperatures are the norm in spring and fall.

National Parks and Historic Sites

The Canadian government has set aside more than 100 national parks and historic sites in honour of the people, places and events that have marked the country's history. Similarly, the provincial governments may form provincial parks.

Canada's 47 national parks and national park reserves are spread throughout the country. Banff, located on the eastern slopes of Alberta's Rocky Mountains, is the oldest, having opened in 1885.

Mountain Ranges

As one might expect, Canada's terrain incorporates a number of mountain ranges: the Torngats, Appalachians and Laurentians in the east; the Rocky, Coastal and Mackenzie ranges in the west; and Mount St. Elias and the Pelly Mountains in the north. At 6050 m, Mount Logan in the Yukon is Canada's tallest peak.

Lakes

The main lakes, in order of the surface area located in Canada, (many large lakes are traversed by the Canada-U.S. border), are Huron, Great Bear, Superior, Great Slave, Winnipeg, Erie and Ontario. Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories is the largest lake situated entirely in Canada; its area is 31 326 square kilometres.

Rivers

The St. Lawrence River, which is 3058 kilometres long, provides a seaway for ships from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. The Mackenzie is the longest river, flowing 4241 kilometres through the Northwest Territories. The Yukon and the Columbia, parts of which flow through United States territory, the Nelson, the Saskatchewan, the Peace, and the Churchill are also major watercourses.

Time Zones

Canada has six time zones. The easternmost, in Newfoundland, is three hours and 30 minutes behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The other time zones are the Atlantic, the Eastern, the Central, the Rocky Mountain and, farthest west, the Pacific, which is eight hours behind GMT.

Political System

Canada is a constitutional monarchy and a federal state with a democratic parliament. The Parliament of Canada, in Ottawa, consists of the House of Commons, whose members are elected, and the Senate, whose members are appointed. On average, members of Parliament are elected every four years.

National Emblem

The maple leaf has been associated with Canada since the 1700s. It has become the country's most important symbol since the national flag was introduced in 1965.

National Anthem

O Canada was proclaimed the national anthem on July 1, 1980, a century after being sung for the first time.

Currency

The Canadian dollar is divided into 100 cents.

Population

In 2017, Canada's population was 36,885,049. A steady growth in population has been attributed, in equal degree, to both immigration and natural increase (births minus deaths). The population of Canada grows at an average annual rate of 1%, this being the highest annual average growth rate of all G-7 nations. Canada represents approximately 0.5% of the global population.

Main Cities

According to the 2016 census, the leading Canadian cities (by metropolitan area) are Toronto (5,583,064 - the 4th largest city in North America), Montreal (3,824,221), Vancouver (2,313,328), Ottawa-Hull - the National Capital Region (1,236,324), Calgary (1,214,839), and Edmonton (1,159,869 ). All other cities in Canada are less than 800,000./P>

Urban and Rural Population

The majority of Canadians, 81%, live in cities and towns, while 19% live in rural areas. According to the 2016 census, more than one third of the population (12.5 million people) live in the three largest cities of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Life Expectancy

Canadians' life expectancy at birth is 78.3 years for males and 83.0 years for females. This ranks among the world's longest.

Family Size

At the time of the 2006 national census, the average family size was 3.0 persons, including 1.3 children.

Health Care and Social Security

All Canadians have free access to health care, with the exception of dental services. Most people over 65 and social aid recipients receive the majority of their prescription drugs free of charge. Canadian governments spent an estimated $228 billion on health care in 2016. This means a total of almost $6300 (Canadian) was spent on health services for each Canadian. This placed Canada as twelfth in the world in terms of health care expenditures. Canada also has an extensive social security network including old age pension, family allowance, employment insurance, and welfare.

Indigeneous People

In 2011, 1,409,100 Canadians identified has being indigeneous (4.3% of the population). Most were members of the three indigeneous groups recognized by the Constitution Act, 1982: 859,970 First Nations people, 451,795 Métis, and 59,445 Inuit.

Ontario had the highest concentration of Aboriginal peoples -- 243 550 -- but Nunavut had the highest proportion: more than 90% of its population is of indigeneous descent.

Only 295,032 Canadian indigeneous people live on reserves or in settlements.

Religion

The majority of Canadians are Christian (22 million). Other religions include Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Sikhism. About 8 million Canadians stated that they had no religious affiliation whatsoever. This number continues to rise with each census.

Languages

Census data from 2016 indicates that 79% of the population have English or French as their mother tongue. These are Canada's two official languages. In descending order of other mother tongues in Canada include the various forms of Chinese, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Arabic, German, Italian, and Portuguese.

Ethnic Origin

Canadians who claim something other than British or French as their origin continue to drop with each census. In 2011, the largest ethnic groups not from the British Isles or France are the German, Chinese, Italian, East Indian, Ukrainian, Dutch, Polish Filipino, Russian, and Portugese.

Culture

The First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures are the only truly indigenous cultures of Canada, since all other Canadians were originally immigrants. They began moving to Canada in the 17th century, bringing with them their manner of dress, food preferences and customs. Canada opened its doors to immigration from all over the world in the early 20th century; in 1988, the multicultural character of the country was officially recognized when the Government passed the Multiculturalism Act.

Education

The educational system varies from province to province and includes six to eight years of elementary school, four or five years of secondary school and three or four years at the university undergraduate level. The 2011 census revealed that among Canadians 25-64, 23% had attended secondary school, 12% had gone to a trade school, 21% obtained a college diploma, and 26% had a university degree.

Sports

The most popular sports in Canada include swimming, ice hockey, cross-country and alpine skiing, baseball, tennis, basketball, and golf. Ice hockey, Canadian football and baseball are the favourite spectator sports.

Main Natural Resources

The principal natural resources are natural gas, oil, gold, coal, copper, iron ore, nickel, potash, uranium and zinc, along with wood and water.

Gross Domestic Product

The GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced by a country during a year. Canada's GDP was $1.6 trillion in 2017.

Leading Industries

These include automobile manufacturing, pulp and paper, iron and steel work, machinery and equipment manufacturing, mining, extraction of fossil fuels, forestry and agriculture.

Exports

Canadian exports valued $390 billion in 2016. These included transportation equipment, capital equipment, pulp and paper, fuels, wood, minerals and aluminum.

Imports

Canada's imports totalled $417 billion in 2016. This includes transportation equipment, capital equipment, electronics and plastics.


SOURCE: Government of Canada.

See also
Quick Facts
"100% Canadian"


Copyright Craig I.W. Marlatt