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Canada Flag

Country Profile

Capital City: Ottawa (pop. 1 million)

Other Cities: Toronto (4.5 million), Montreal (3.4 million), Vancouver (2.0 million).

Local Time = UTC -4h
Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Iqaluit:
Local Time = UTC -5h
Local Time = UTC -6h
Calgary, Yellowknife
Local Time = UTC -7h
Local Time = UTC -8h

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.
Area: 9.9 million sq. km. (3.8 million sq. mi.); second-largest country in the world.
Terrain: as vast as the country is, it offers many different landscapes, mountains, prairies, deserts, artic tundra, glaciers, valleys, foothills, rivers and lakes.
Border countries: United States

Climate: Varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north.

Type: Confederation with parliamentary democracy.
Independence:1 July 1867 (from the UK).
Constitution: The amended British North America Act of 1867 patriated to Canada on
17 April 1982, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and unwritten custom. (Constitution Act of 1982)

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Canadian(s).
Population: 31.5 million
GNI per capita PPP: $ 34 444 (year) Ethnic groups: British descent (28%), French descent (23%), Italian descent (3%), aboriginal peoples (2%), plus significant minorities of German, Ukrainian, Dutch, Greek, Polish and Chinese.
Religions: Religion: Catholic (45%), Protestant (36%) and minorities from most of the world's major religions.
Languages: English 59.3% (official), French 23.2% (official), and 53 native languages.
Literacy: 97-99% of population aged 15 and over.


: Canadian Dollar (CAD).

Natural resources: Iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower.

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.

Exports partners:
USA 86.6%, Japan 2.1%, United Kingdom 1.4%, China 1.25% (2003)

Imports partners: USA 60.6%, China 5.6%, Japan 4.1%, Mexico 3.63, United Kingdom 2.7% (2003) (Source: Statistics Canada 2004)

Internet Links

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Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations - Mission permanente du Canada auprès des Nations Unies

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Census of Canada 2001

Statistics Canada

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The Meteorological Service of Canada

Political map of Canada

Canada Relief map


Map of Canada

The National Atlas of Canada

Natural Hazards of Canada

Topographic Maps of Canada

Canadian Geographical Names



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. 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

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: 9,976,140 sq km land: 9,220,970 sq km water: 755,170 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly larger than the US

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

Coastline:  243,791 km

Maritime claims:  contiguous zone: 24 NM territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

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, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum,
natural gas, hydropower

Land use:  arable land: 5% permanent crops: 0% other: 95% (1998 est.)

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-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-Marine
Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity,
Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone
Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber
94, Wetlands signed, but not ratified:  Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note:  second-largest country in world (after Russia);
strategic location between Russia and US via north polar route;
approximately 85% of the population is concentrated within 300 km of
the US/Canada border

People Canada

Population:  31,902,268 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 18.7% (male 3,059,023; female 2,910,203) 15-64
years: 68.4% (male 10,975,701; female 10,857,869) 65 years and over: 12.9%
(male 1,743,654; female 2,355,818) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.96% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  11.09 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  7.54 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  6.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 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 (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  4.95 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   83.25 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  1.6 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.3% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  49,000 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  400 (1999 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 46%, Protestant 36%, other 18% note: based
on the 1991 census

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

Literacy:  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:

Government type:  confederation with parliamentary democracy

Capital:  Ottawa

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 (from UK)

National holiday:  Canada Day, 1 July (1867)

Constitution:  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

Suffrage:  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:  monarch on the advice of the prime minister
for a five-year term; following legislative elections, the leader of the
majority party in the House of Commons is automatically designated by
the governor general to become prime minister head of government: Prime
Minister Jean CHRETIEN (since 4 November 1993); Deputy Prime Minister
John MANLEY (since NA January 2002) 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 104 senators) and the House of Commons or Chambre
des Communes (301 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote to serve
five-year terms) elections: House of Commons - last held 27 November 2000
(next to be held by 2005) election results: House of Commons - percent
of vote by party - Liberal Party 41%, Conservative Alliance 26%, Bloc
Quebecois 11%, New Democratic Party 9%, Progressive Conservative Party
12%; seats by party - Liberal Party 172, Conservative Alliance 66, Bloc
Quebecois 38, New Democratic Party 13, Progressive Conservative Party 12;
note - percent of vote by party as of January 2002 - Liberal Party 51%,
Canadian Alliance 10%, Bloc Quebecois 10%, New Democratic Party 9%,
Progressive Conservative Party 18%; seats by party - Liberal Party
172, Canadian Alliance 66, Bloc Quebecois 38, New Democratic Party 13,
Progressive Conservative Party 12

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]; Canadian
Alliance [Stephen HARPER]; Liberal Party [Jean CHRETIEN]; New Democratic
Party [Alexa McDONOUGH]; Progressive Conservative Party [Joe CLARK]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  ACCT, AfDB, APEC, ARF (dialogue
partner), AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC,
CDB, CE (observer), EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, ESA (cooperating state),

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,
Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle consulate(s): Miami, Princeton,
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, Ogdensburg, NY 13669-0430 telephone: [1] (613)
238-5335, 4470 FAX: [1] (613) 238-5720 consulate(s) general: Calgary,
Halifax, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, and Vancouver

Flag description:  three vertical bands of red (hoist side), white (double
width, square), and red with a red maple leaf centered in the white band

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 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 downturn in the United States in 2001
had a negative impact on the Canadian economy. Real growth averaged
nearly 3% during 1993-2000, but declined in 2001. Unemployment is up,
with contraction in the manufacturing and natural resource sectors.
Nevertheless, with 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
possibility 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.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $875 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  1.9% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $27,700 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 2% industry: 29% services: 69%
(2001 est.)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

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% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  16.4 million (2001 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:  services 74%, manufacturing 15%,
construction 5%, agriculture 3%, other 3% (2000)

Unemployment rate:  7.2% (2001 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $178.6 billion expenditures: $161.4 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (FY00/01 est.)

Industries:  transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and
unprocessed minerals, food products; wood and paper products; fish
products, petroleum and natural gas

Industrial production growth rate:  0.5% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  576.218 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 25.3% hydro: 61.22%
other: 1.56% (2000) nuclear: 11.92%

Electricity - consumption:  499.766 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  48.802 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  12.685 billion kWh (2000)

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

Exports:  $273.8 billion (f.o.b., 2001 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%, Japan 3%, UK, Germany, South Korea,
Netherlands, China (1999)

Imports:  $238.3 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

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

Imports - partners:  US 74%, EU 9%, Japan 3% (2000)

Debt - external:  $1.9 billion (2000)

Economic aid - donor:  ODA, $1.3 billion (1999)

Currency:  Canadian dollar (CAD)

Currency code:  CAD

Exchange rates:  Canadian dollars per US dollar - 1.6003 (January 2002),
1.5488 (2001), 1.4851 (2000), 1.4857 (1999), 1.4835 (1998), 1.3846 (1997)

Fiscal year:  1 April - 31 March

Communications Canada

Telephones - main lines in use:  18.5 million (1999)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  4.207 million (1997)

Telephone system:  general assessment: excellent service provided by
modern technology domestic: domestic satellite system with about 300
earth stations international: 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)

Radios:  32.3 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  80 (plus many repeaters) (1997)

Televisions:  21.5 million (1997)

Internet country code:  .ca

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  760 (2000 est.)

Internet users:  14.44 million (2001)

Transportation Canada

Railways:  total: 36,114 km standard gauge: 36,114 km 1.435-m gauge
(156 km electrified) note: Canada has two major transcontinental freight
railway systems: Canadian National (privatized November 1995) and Canadian
Pacific Railway; passenger service is provided by the government-operated
firm VIA, which has no trackage of its own (2000 est.)

Highways:  total: 901,902 km paved: 318,371 km (including 16,571 km of
expressways) unpaved: 583,531 km (1999)

Waterways:  3,000 km (including Saint Lawrence Seaway)

Pipelines:  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: 122 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,797,240
GRT/2,680,223 DWT ships by type: barge carrier 1, bulk 66, cargo 13,
chemical tanker 5, combination bulk 2, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 1,
petroleum tanker 18, railcar carrier 2, roll on/roll off 8, short-sea
passenger 3, specialized tanker 1 note: includes some foreign-owned
ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Germany 3, Monaco 16,
United Kingdom 1, United States 1 (2002 est.)

Airports:  1,419 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 519 over 3,047 m: 18 2,438 to 3,047
m: 16 914 to 1,523 m: 244 under 914 m: 90 (2001) 1,524 to 2,437 m: 151

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 900 1,524 to 2,437 m: 74 914
to 1,523 m: 364 under 914 m: 462 (2001)

Heliports:  18 (2001)

Military Canada

Military branches:  Canadian Armed Forces (comprising Land Forces Command,
Maritime Command, Air Command, Communications Command, Training Command)

Military manpower - military age:  17 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 8,361,475 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 7,139,068
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 217,516
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $7,860,500,000 (FY01/02)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  1.1% (FY01/02)

Transnational Issues Canada

Disputes - international:  maritime boundary disputes with the US (Dixon
Entrance, Beaufort Sea, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Machias Seal Island)

Illicit drugs:  illicit producer of cannabis for the domestic drug market;
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

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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