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Map of Canada
Introduction Canada
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. Its paramount political problem continues to be the relationship of the province of Quebec, with its French-speaking residents and unique culture, to the remainder of the country.
Geography Canada
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
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)
202,080 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north
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: 4.96%
permanent crops: 0.02%
other: 95.02% (2001)
Irrigated land:
7,200 sq km (1998 est.)
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
32,507,874 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.2% (male 3,038,800; female 2,890,579)
15-64 years: 68.7% (male 11,225,686; female 11,111,941)
65 years and over: 13% (male 1,807,472; female 2,433,396) (2004 est.)
Median age:
total: 38.2 years
male: 37.2 years
female: 39.2 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.92% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
10.91 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
7.67 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
5.96 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
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 (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.82 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.33 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 5.28 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.96 years
male: 76.59 years
female: 83.5 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.61 children born/woman (2004 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.)
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%
Roman Catholic 46%, Protestant 36%, other 18%
note: based on the 1991 census
English 59.3% (official), French 23.2% (official), other 17.5%
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97% (1986 est.)
male: NA
female: NA
Government Canada
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Canada
Government type:
confederation with parliamentary democracy
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*
1 July 1867 (from UK)
National holiday:
Canada Day, 1 July (1867)
17 April 1982 (Constitution Act); originally, the machinery of the government was set up in the British North America Act of 1867; charter of rights and unwritten customs
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
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Adrienne CLARKSON (since 7 October 1999)
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
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
Legislative branch:
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 135, Conservative Party 99, Bloc Quebecois 54, New Democratic Party 19, independent 1
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 (a merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party) [Stephen HARPER]; Liberal Party [Paul MARTIN]; New Democratic Party [Jack LAYTON]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Michael F. KERGIN
chancery: 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
FAX: [1] (202) 682-7726
telephone: [1] (202) 682-1740
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle
consulate(s): Houston, Princeton, Raleigh-Durham, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Paul CELLUCCI
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, and Vancouver
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
Economy - overview:
As an affluent, high-tech industrial society, Canada today closely resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and high 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. As a result of the close cross-border relationship, the economic sluggishness in the United States in 2001-02 had a negative impact on the Canadian economy. Real growth averaged nearly 3% during 1993-2000, but declined in 2001, with moderate recovery in 2002-03. Unemployment is up, with contraction in the manufacturing and natural resource sectors. Nevertheless, given its great natural resources, skilled labor force, and modern capital plant Canada enjoys solid economic prospects. Two shadows loom, the first being the continuing constitutional impasse between English- and French-speaking areas, which has been raising the specter of a split in the federation. Another long-term concern is the flow south to the US of professionals lured by higher pay, lower taxes, and the immense high-tech infrastructure. A key strength in the economy is the substantial trade surplus. Roughly 90% of the population lives within 160 kilometers of the US border.
purchasing power parity - $958.7 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.7% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $29,800 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.2%
industry: 29.2%
services: 68.6% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
19.5% of GDP (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 23.8% (1994)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
31.5 (1994)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.8% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
17.04 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 3%, manufacturing 15%, construction 5%, services 74%, other 3% (2000)
Unemployment rate:
7.8% (2004 est.)
revenues: $348.2 billion
expenditures: $342.7 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
Public debt:
77% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables; dairy products; forest products; fish
transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, food products; wood and paper products; fish products, petroleum and natural gas
Industrial production growth rate:
0.2% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:
566.3 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 28%
hydro: 57.9%
other: 1.3% (2001)
nuclear: 12.9%
Electricity - consumption:
504.4 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
38.4 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
16.11 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
2.738 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
1.703 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
2.008 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
1.145 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
5.112 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
186.8 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
82.25 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
109 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
4.46 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
1.691 trillion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
$18.63 billion (2004 est.)
$279.3 billion f.o.b. (2004 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 86.6%, Japan 2.1%, UK 1.4% (2003)
$240.4 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, crude oil, chemicals, electricity, durable consumer goods
Imports - partners:
US 60.6%, China 5.6%, Japan 4.1% (2003)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
$36.27 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
$1.9 billion (2000)
Economic aid - donor:
ODA, $1.3 billion (1999)
Canadian dollar (CAD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Canadian dollars per US dollar - 1.4011 (2003), 1.5693 (2002), 1.5488 (2001), 1.4851 (2000), 1.4857 (1999)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Canada
Telephones - main lines in use:
19,950,900 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
13,221,800 (2003)
Telephone system:
general assessment: excellent service provided by modern technology
domestic: domestic satellite system with about 300 earth stations
international: country code - 1; 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:
AM 535, FM 53, shortwave 6 (1998)
32.3 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
80 (plus many repeaters) (1997)
21.5 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
3,210,081 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
760 (2000 est.)
Internet users:
16.11 million (2002)
Transportation Canada
total: 48,909 km
standard gauge: 48,909 km 1.435-m gauge (2003)
total: 1,408,800 km
paved: 497,306 km (including 16,900 km of expressways)
unpaved: 911,494 km (2002)
631 km
note: Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, shared with United States (2003)
crude and refined oil 23,564 km; natural gas 74,980 km
Ports and harbors:
Becancour (Quebec), Churchill, Halifax, Hamilton, Montreal, New Westminster, Prince Rupert, Quebec, Saint John (New Brunswick), St. John's (Newfoundland), Sept Isles, Sydney, Trois-Rivieres, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Windsor
Merchant marine:
total: 119 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,784,229 GRT/2,657,499 DWT
foreign-owned: Germany 3, Hong Kong 2, Monaco 18, United Kingdom 3, United States 2
registered in other countries: 43 (2003 est.)
by type: barge carrier 1, bulk 59, cargo 13, chemical tanker 6, combination bulk 2, combination ore/oil 1, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 18, rail car carrier 1, roll on/roll off 11, short-sea/passenger 3, specialized tanker 1
1,357 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 505
over 3,047 m: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 246
under 914 m: 75 (2003 est.)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 150
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 852
1,524 to 2,437 m: 69
914 to 1,523 m: 359
under 914 m: 424 (2003 est.)
12 (2003 est.)
Military Canada
Military branches:
Canadian Armed Forces: Land Forces Command, Maritime Command, Air Command
Military manpower - military age:
17 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 8,417,314 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 7,176,642 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 214,623 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$9,801.7 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.1% (2003)
Transnational Issues Canada
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; uncontested dispute with Denmark over Hans Island sovereignty 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; 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 30 November, 2004