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This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


Map of Canada



Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Canada Top of Page
Background:

A land of vast distances and rich natural resources, Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the British crown. Economically and technologically the nation has developed in parallel with the US, its neighbor to the south across an unfortified border. Canada faces the political challenges of meeting public demands for quality improvements in health care and education services, as well as responding to separatist concerns in predominantly francophone Quebec. Canada also aims to develop its diverse energy resources while maintaining its commitment to the environment.

 

  
   Geography    Canada Top of Page
Location:

Northern North America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean on the east, North Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Arctic Ocean on the north, north of the conterminous US
Geographic coordinates:

60 00 N, 95 00 W
Map references:

North America
Area:

total: 9,984,670 sq km
land: 9,093,507 sq km
water: 891,163 sq km
Area - comparative:

somewhat larger than the US
Land boundaries:

total: 8,893 km
border countries: US 8,893 km (includes 2,477 km with Alaska)
Coastline:

202,080 km
Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:

varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north
Terrain:

mostly plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast
Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Logan 5,959 m
Natural resources:

iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, diamonds, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower
Land use:

arable land: 4.57%
permanent crops: 0.65%
other: 94.78% (2005)
Irrigated land:

7,850 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:

continuous permafrost in north is a serious obstacle to development; cyclonic storms form east of the Rocky Mountains, a result of the mixing of air masses from the Arctic, Pacific, and North American interior, and produce most of the country's rain and snow east of the mountains
Environment - current issues:

air pollution and resulting acid rain severely affecting lakes and damaging forests; metal smelting, coal-burning utilities, and vehicle emissions impacting on agricultural and forest productivity; ocean waters becoming contaminated due to agricultural, industrial, mining, and forestry activities
Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:

second-largest country in world (after Russia); strategic location between Russia and US via north polar route; approximately 90% of the population is concentrated within 160 km of the US border
   People    Canada Top of Page
Population:

33,390,141 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:

0-14 years: 17.3% (male 2,967,383/female 2,824,189)
15-64 years: 69.2% (male 11,604,723/female 11,490,839)
65 years and over: 13.5% (male 1,927,035/female 2,575,972) (2007 est.)
Median age:

total: 39.1 years
male: 38.1 years
female: 40.2 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:

0.869% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:

10.75 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:

7.86 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:

5.79 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.051 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.748 male(s)/female
total population: 0.977 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:

total: 4.63 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.08 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 80.34 years
male: 76.98 years
female: 83.86 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:

1.61 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.3% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

56,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:

1,500 (2003 est.)
Nationality:

noun: Canadian(s)
adjective: Canadian
Ethnic groups:

British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%
Religions:

Roman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3% (including United Church 9.5%, Anglican 6.8%, Baptist 2.4%, Lutheran 2%), other Christian 4.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other and unspecified 11.8%, none 16% (2001 census)
Languages:

English (official) 59.3%, French (official) 23.2%, other 17.5%
Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
   Government    Canada Top of Page
Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Canada
Government type:

constitutional monarchy that is also a parliamentary democracy and a federation
Capital:

name: Ottawa
geographic coordinates: 45 25 N, 75 42 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
note: Canada is divided into six time zones
Administrative divisions:

10 provinces and 3 territories*; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories*, Nova Scotia, Nunavut*, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory*
Independence:

1 July 1867 (union of British North American colonies); 11 December 1931 (recognized by UK)
National holiday:

Canada Day, 1 July (1867)
Constitution:

made up of unwritten and written acts, customs, judicial decisions, and traditions; the written part of the constitution consists of the Constitution Act of 29 March 1867, which created a federation of four provinces, and the Constitution Act of 17 April 1982, which transferred formal control over the constitution from Britain to Canada, and added a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as procedures for constitutional amendments
Legal system:

based on English common law, except in Quebec, where civil law system based on French law prevails; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Michaelle JEAN (since 27 September 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Stephen HARPER (since 6 February 2006)
cabinet: Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister usually from among the members of his own party sitting in Parliament
elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister for a five-year term; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition in the House of Commons is automatically designated prime minister by the governor general
Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (105 seats; members appointed by the governor general with the advice of the prime minister and serve until reaching 75 years of age) and the House of Commons or Chambre des Communes (308 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms starting in 2009 elections)
elections: House of Commons - last held 23 January 2006 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Conservative Party 36.3%, Liberal Party 30.2%, New Democratic Party 17.5%, Bloc Quebecois 10.5%, Greens 4.5%, other 1%; seats by party - Conservative Party 124, Liberal Party 102, New Democratic Party 29, Bloc Quebecois 51, other 2; seats by party as of February 2007 - Conservative Party 125, Liberal Party 100, New Democratic Party 29, Bloc Quebecois 51, other 2
Judicial branch:

Supreme Court of Canada (judges are appointed by the prime minister through the governor general); Federal Court of Canada; Federal Court of Appeal; Provincial Courts (these are named variously Court of Appeal, Court of Queens Bench, Superior Court, Supreme Court, and Court of Justice)
Political parties and leaders:

Bloc Quebecois [Gilles DUCEPPE]; Conservative Party of Canada [Stephen HARPER] (a merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party); Green Party [Elizabeth MAY]; Liberal Party [Stephane DION]; New Democratic Party [Jack LAYTON]
Political pressure groups and leaders:

NA
International organization participation:

ACCT, AfDB, APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CDB, CE (observer), EAPC, EBRD, ESA (cooperating state), FAO, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NAFTA, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SECI (observer), UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNMOVIC, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Michael WILSON
chancery: 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
telephone: [1] (202) 682-1740
FAX: [1] (202) 682-7701
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tucson
consulate(s): Anchorage, Houston, Philadelphia, Princeton (New Jersey), Raleigh, San Jose (California)
Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador David H. WILKINS
embassy: 490 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8
mailing address: P. O. Box 5000, Ogdensburgh, NY 13669-0430
telephone: [1] (613) 238-5335, 4470
FAX: [1] (613) 688-3082
consulate(s) general: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg
Flag description:

two vertical bands of red (hoist and fly side, half width), with white square between them; an 11-pointed red maple leaf is centered in the white square; the official colors of Canada are red and white
   Economy    Canada Top of Page
Economy - overview:

As an affluent, high-tech industrial society in the trillion-dollar class, Canada resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and affluent living standards. Since World War II, the impressive growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. The 1989 US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (which includes Mexico) touched off a dramatic increase in trade and economic integration with the US. Given its great natural resources, skilled labor force, and modern capital plant, Canada enjoys solid economic prospects. Top-notch fiscal management has produced consecutive balanced budgets since 1997, although public debate continues over how to manage the rising cost of the publicly funded healthcare system. Exports account for roughly a third of GDP. Canada enjoys a substantial trade surplus with its principal trading partner, the US, which absorbs about 85% of Canadian exports. Canada is the US' largest foreign supplier of energy, including oil, gas, uranium, and electric power.
GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.181 trillion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.089 trillion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:

2.8% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):

$35,700 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 2.1%
industry: 29%
services: 68.9% (2006 est.)
Labor force:

17.59 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture 2%, manufacturing 14%, construction 5%, services 75%, other 3% (2004)
Unemployment rate:

6.4% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line:

15.9%; note - this figure is the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO), a calculation that results in higher figures than found in many comparable economies; Canada does not have an official poverty line (2003)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 24.8% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:

32.6 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):

22% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budget:

revenues: $510.6 billion
expenditures: $501 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Public debt:

67.7% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:

wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables; dairy products; forest products; fish
Industries:

transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, fish products, petroleum and natural gas
Industrial production growth rate:

0.7% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production:

609.6 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:

540.2 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:

42.93 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:

19.33 billion kWh (2005)
Oil - production:

3.135 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption:

2.294 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - exports:

2.274 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:

1.185 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:

178.8 billion bbl
note: includes oil sands (1 January 2005 est.)
Natural gas - production:

178.2 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:

92.76 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:

101.9 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:

9.403 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:

1.537 trillion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:

$20.79 billion (2006 est.)
Exports:

$401.7 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:

motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, aircraft, telecommunications equipment; chemicals, plastics, fertilizers; wood pulp, timber, crude petroleum, natural gas, electricity, aluminum
Exports - partners:

US 81.6%, UK 2.3%, Japan 2.1% (2006)
Imports:

$356.5 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, crude oil, chemicals, electricity, durable consumer goods
Imports - partners:

US 54.9%, China 8.7%, Mexico 4% (2006)
Economic aid - donor:

ODA, $2.6 billion (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$35.06 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:

$684.7 billion (30 June 2006)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$398.4 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$458.1 billion (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:

$1.481 trillion (2005)
Currency (code):

Canadian dollar (CAD)
Exchange rates:

Canadian dollars per US dollar - 1.1334 (2006), 1.2118 (2005), 1.301 (2004), 1.4011 (2003), 1.5693 (2002)
Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March
   Communications    Canada Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:

20.78 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:

17.017 million (2005)
Telephone system:

general assessment: excellent service provided by modern technology
domestic: domestic satellite system with about 300 earth stations
international: country code - 1; submarine cables provide links to the US and Europe; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) and 2 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region) (2007)
Radio broadcast stations:

AM 245, FM 582, shortwave 6 (2004)
Television broadcast stations:

80 (plus many repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code:

.ca
Internet hosts:

4.196 million (2007)
Internet users:

22 million (2005)
   Transportation    Canada Top of Page
Airports:

1,343 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:

total: 509
over 3,047 m: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 16
1,524 to 2,437 m: 149
914 to 1,523 m: 248
under 914 m: 78 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 834
1,524 to 2,437 m: 68
914 to 1,523 m: 356
under 914 m: 410 (2007)
Heliports:

11 (2007)
Pipelines:

crude and refined oil 23,564 km; liquid petroleum gas 74,980 km (2005)
Railways:

total: 48,068 km
standard gauge: 48,068 km 1.435-m gauge (2006)
Roadways:

total: 1,042,300 km
paved: 415,600 km (includes 17,000 km of expressways)
unpaved: 626,700 km (2006)
Waterways:

636 km
note: Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, shared with United States (2007)
Merchant marine:

total: 171 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,191,099 GRT/2,815,416 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 60, cargo 10, carrier 1, chemical tanker 9, combination ore/oil 1, container 2, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 64, petroleum tanker 12, roll on/roll off 6
foreign-owned: 8 (Germany 3, Netherlands 1, Norway 1, US 3)
registered in other countries: 130 (Australia 2, Bahamas 13, Barbados 9, Cambodia 6, Cyprus 2, Denmark 1, Honduras 1, Hong Kong 39, Liberia 3, Malta 15, Marshall Islands 4, Panama 17, St Vincent and The Grenadines 6, Taiwan 3, US 4, Vanuatu 5) (2007)
Ports and terminals:

Fraser River Port, Halifax, Montreal, Port-Cartier, Quebec, Saint John (New Brunswick), Sept-Isles, Vancouver
   Military    Canada Top of Page
Military branches:

Canadian Forces: Land Forces Command, Maritime Command, Air Command, Canada Command (homeland security) (2006)
Military service age and obligation:

16-34 years of age for voluntary military service; women comprise approximately 11% of Canada's armed forces (2006)
Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 8,216,510
females age 16-49: 8,034,939 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 6,740,490
females age 16-49: 6,580,868 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:

males age 18-49: 223,821
females age 16-49: 212,900 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:

1.1% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Canada Top of Page
Disputes - international:

managed maritime boundary disputes with the US at Dixon Entrance, Beaufort Sea, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and around the disputed Machias Seal Island and North Rock; US works closely with Canada to intensify security measures to monitor and control legal and illegal personnel, transport, and commodities across the international border; sovereignty dispute with Denmark over Hans Island in the Kennedy Channel between Ellesmere Island and Greenland
Illicit drugs:

illicit producer of cannabis for the domestic drug market and export to US; use of hydroponics technology permits growers to plant large quantities of high-quality marijuana indoors; increasing ecstasy production, some of which is destined for the US; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering because of its mature financial services sector

This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


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