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Facts of Canada

Canada location map
Location map of Canada

The official name of the country: Canada, located in North America
Formation: 1867 / 1949
Capital city: Ottawa
Population: 33.9 million people / 4 people per sq km  (10 people per sq mile)
Total land area: 9,984,670 square km (3,855,171 square miles)
Spoken languages: English (official), French (official), Chinese, Italian, German, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Inuktitut, Cree
Religions: Roman Catholic 44%, Protestant 29%, Other and nonreligious 27%

The National Flag of Canada
The National Flag of Canada

Ethnic mix: European 87%, Asian 9%, Amerindian, Métis and Inuit 4%
Government: Parliamentary system
Currency: Canadian dollar = 100 cents
Literacy rate: 99%
Average daily calorie consumption: 3530 kilocalories.

Canada is the second-largest country globally, and with only about one-tenth of its land area inhabited, it is one of the most sparsely populated. Canada became a confederation in 1867, though Newfoundland did not join until 1949. As a founding member of the UN and the Commonwealth, Canada has played an essential role in international affairs.

A constitutional crisis, focusing on the French-speaking Québécois, and Inuit, and Native American land rights, dominated politics in the 1990s. In 1999, part of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, became a self-governing homeland for the Inuit.

Transportation and industry of Canada

Abundant energy in coal, oil, natural gas, and hydroelectric power underpins the Canadian industry. Over 75% of manufacturing concentrated in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region, including prospering aerospace, transportation, and hi-tech industries. Across Canada as a whole, manufacturing has developed around a diversified, high-quality resource base and a wide range of metallic and nonmetallic minerals.

Using the land and sea

The majority of Canada’s agricultural land is found in the prairies, covering 140 million acres (57 million ha) and supporting wheat and grain-fed cattle. More specialized crops, such as fruit and vegetables, are grown in pockets of agricultural land in the east and west. Of Canada’s many islands, only Prince Edward Island has notable farmland. Further north, boreal forests, exploited for timber, run in an almost unbroken arc, giving way to uncultivable tundra and ice sheets in the far north.

The landscape of Canada

The massive Rocky Mountains form a continental divide between rivers flowing eastward and westward. The interior plains lie east of the mountains, stretching from the Arctic Circle south into the US. Covered with glacial deposits from the last Ice Age, these are interspersed with hilly regions and long, steep escarpments.

Interesting facts of Canada

  • Mount Logan rises 5959 m (19,551 ft). It is the highest peak in Canada.
  • The Columbia Icefield in the Rocky Mountains is the source of two major rivers, the Athabasca and the North Saskatchewan.
  • The badlands of Alberta were created when east-flowing rivers, swollen by meltwater at the end of the last Ice Age, cut deep, vast canyons producing eroded, barren landscapes.
  • The Nelson and Churchill rivers drain northward across the Canadian Shield to Hudson Bay. The shield covers three-fifths of Saskatchewan.
  • The Rocky Mountain Trench is the longest linear fault in the world. It has formed a straight, flat-bottomed valley between 4–15 km (2–9 miles) wide and up to 1000 m (3280 ft) deep.
  • Hundreds of islands dot the fjord-indented coast of British Columbia; the largest is Vancouver Island.
  • Three significant passes cut through the Rocky Mountains: Yellowhead, Kicking Horse, and Crowsnest. They are all used as transportation routes through the mountains.
  • The Cypress Hills rise to 1465 m (4806 ft) above the surrounding plain. Having escaped the last glaciation, they contain unique plant and animal life. The silvery lupine, bunchberry, and lodgepole pine all grow in the cool, moist climate of the hills.
  • The Alberta and Saskatchewan plains bear strong testament to past glaciations. The Assiniboine, Saskatchewan, and Qu’Appelle rivers occupy flat-bottomed, steep-sided valleys eroded during the last Ice Age by glacial meltwater.
  • The lowlands of Manitoba are a basin that once held the vast post-glacial Lake Agassiz, remnants of which include Lake Winnipeg, Lake Winnipegosis, and Lake Manitoba.
  • The Nelson and Churchill rivers drain northward across the Canadian Shield to Hudson Bay. The shield covers three-fifths of Saskatchewan.
  • Across the tundra of northern Manitoba, widespread permafrost inhibits water from permeating the soil. This causes rivers like the Churchill to flow in many channels, frozen for up to six months during the winter.
  • Ancient granite outcrops, part of the Canadian Shield, rise above the surface of Setting Lake, which was initially formed by meltwater from the last Ice Age.

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