Top banner
The World Factbook Banner

Flag of Canada
Click to enlarge
Categories Banner
 Transnational Issues

This page was last updated on 20 October, 2005

Map of Canada

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Canada Top of Page
Definition Field Listing
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's paramount political problem is meeting public demands for quality improvements in health care and education services after a decade of budget cuts. The issue of reconciling Quebec's francophone heritage with the majority anglophone Canadian population has moved to the back burner in recent years; support for separatism abated after the Quebec government's referendum on independence failed to pass in October of 1995.
   Geography    Canada Top of Page
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
60 00 N, 95 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
North America
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 9,984,670 sq km
land: 9,093,507 sq km
water: 891,163 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
somewhat larger than the US
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 8,893 km
border countries: US 8,893 km (includes 2,477 km with Alaska)
Definition Field Listing
202,080 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north
Definition Field Listing
mostly plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Logan 5,959 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, diamonds, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 4.96%
permanent crops: 0.02%
other: 95.02% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
7,200 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
32,805,041 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 17.9% (male 3,016,032/female 2,869,244)
15-64 years: 68.9% (male 11,357,425/female 11,244,356)
65 years and over: 13.2% (male 1,842,496/female 2,475,488) (2005 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 38.54 years
male: 37.54 years
female: 39.56 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.9% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.84 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.73 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 4.75 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.21 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 80.1 years
male: 76.73 years
female: 83.63 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.61 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.3% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
56,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,500 (2003 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Canadian(s)
adjective: Canadian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%
Definition Field Listing
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)
Definition Field Listing
English (official) 59.3%, French (official) 23.2%, other 17.5%
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97% (1986 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%
   Government    Canada Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Canada
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
a constitutional monarchy that is also a parliamentary democracy and a federation
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
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*
Definition Field Listing
1 July 1867 (union of British North American colonies); 11 December 1931 (independence recognized)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Canada Day, 1 July (1867)
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
based on English common law, except in Quebec, where civil law system based on French law prevails; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Michaelle Jean (since 27 October 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Paul MARTIN (since 12 December 2003); Deputy Prime Minister Anne MCLELLAN (since 12 December 2003)
cabinet: Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister 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:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (members appointed by the governor general with the advice of the prime minister and serve until reaching 75 years of age; its normal limit is 105 senators) and the House of Commons or Chambre des Communes (308 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote to serve for up to five-year terms)
elections: House of Commons - last held 28 June 2004 (next to be held by NA 2009)
election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Liberal Party 36.7%, Conservative Party 29.6%, New Democratic Party 15.7%, Bloc Quebecois 12.4%, Greens 4.3%, independents 0.4%, other 0.9%; seats by party - Liberal Party 134, Conservative Party 99, Bloc Quebecois 54, New Democratic Party 19, independent 2
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Bloc Quebecois [Gilles DUCEPPE]; Conservative Party of Canada (a merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party) [Stephen HARPER]; Green Party [Jim HARRIS]; Liberal Party [Paul MARTIN]; New Democratic Party [Jack LAYTON]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Francis Joseph MCKENNA
chancery: 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
telephone: [1] (202) 682-1740
FAX: [1] (202) 682-7726
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle
consulate(s): Anchorage, Houston, Philadelphia, Princeton, Raleigh, San Francisco, and San Jose
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
As an affluent, high-tech industrial society, newly entered in the trillion dollar class, Canada closely 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. Solid fiscal management has produced a long-term budget surplus which is substantially reducing the national debt, 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 United States, which absorbs more than 85% of Canadian exports.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.023 trillion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.4% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $31,500 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 2.3%
industry: 26.4%
services: 71.3% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
17.37 million (2004)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 3%, manufacturing 15%, construction 5%, services 74%, other 3% (2000)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7% (2004)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 23.8% (1994)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
31.5 (1994)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.9% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
19.4% of GDP (2004 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $151 billion
expenditures: $144 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables; dairy products; forest products; fish
Definition Field Listing
transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, food products; wood and paper products; fish products, petroleum and natural gas
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
548.9 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
487.3 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
36.13 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
13 billion kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.11 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.2 million bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.37 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
987,000 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
178.9 billion bbl including shale oil (2004 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
165.8 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
55.8 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
91.52 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.73 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.691 trillion cu m (2004)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$28.2 billion (2004 est.)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$315.6 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, aircraft, telecommunications equipment; chemicals, plastics, fertilizers; wood pulp, timber, crude petroleum, natural gas, electricity, aluminum
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 85.2%, Japan 2.1%, UK 1.6% (2004)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$256.1 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, crude oil, chemicals, electricity, durable consumer goods
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 58.9%, China 6.8%, Mexico 3.8% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$36.27 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$570 billion (2004)
Economic aid - donor:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $2 billion (2004)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Canadian dollar (CAD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Canadian dollars per US dollar - 1.301 (2004), 1.4011 (2003), 1.5693 (2002), 1.5488 (2001), 1.4851 (2000)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 April - 31 March
   Communications    Canada Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
19,950,900 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13,221,800 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: excellent service provided by modern technology
domestic: domestic satellite system with about 300 earth stations
international: country code - 1-xxx; 5 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) and 2 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 245, FM 582, shortwave 6 (2004)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
80 (plus many repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,210,081 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16.11 million (2002)
   Transportation    Canada Top of Page
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 48,683 km
standard gauge: 48,683 km 1.435-m gauge (2004)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1,408,800 km
paved: 497,306 km (including 16,900 km of expressways)
unpaved: 911,494 km (2002)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
631 km
note: Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, shared with United States (2003)
Definition Field Listing
crude and refined oil 23,564 km; liquid petroleum gas 74,980 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Fraser River Port, Goderich, Montreal, Port Cartier, Quebec, Saint John's (Newfoundland), Sept Isles, Vancouver
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 169 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,784,229 GRT/2,657,499 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 22, cargo 49, chemical tanker 6, combination ore/oil 1, container 1, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 65, petroleum tanker 13, roll on/roll off 6
foreign-owned: 6 (France 1, Germany 3, United States 2)
registered in other countries: 112 (2005)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,326 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 503
over 3,047 m: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 15
1,524 to 2,437 m: 150
914 to 1,523 m: 245
under 914 m: 75 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 823
1,524 to 2,437 m: 67
914 to 1,523 m: 347
under 914 m: 409 (2004 est.)
Definition Field Listing
319 (2004)
   Military    Canada Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Canadian Armed Forces: Land Forces Command, Maritime Command, Air Command, Canada Command (homeland security) to be operational in early 2006 (2005)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
16 years of age for voluntary military service; women comprise some 11% of Canada's armed forces (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 16-49: 8,216,510 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 16-49: 6,740,490 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 223,821 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$9,801.7 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.1% (2003)
   Transnational Issues    Canada Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
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; working toward greater cooperation with US in monitoring people and commodities crossing the border; uncontested sovereignty dispute with Denmark over Hans Island in the Kennedy Channel between Ellesmere Island and Greenland
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
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; transit point for heroin and cocaine entering the US market; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering because of its mature financial services sector

This page was last updated on 20 October, 2005

Bottom Banner