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, social services, and economic competitiveness, as well as responding to the particular concerns of predominantly francophone Quebec. Canada also aims to develop its diverse energy resources while maintaining its commitment to the environment.
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
Area land: 9,093,507 sq km
Area water: 891,163 sq km
Coastline: 202,080 km
Country name conventional long form: none
Country name conventional short form: Canada
Country name former: none
Population: 34,030,589 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 15.7% (male 2,736,737/female 2,602,342); 15-64 years: 68.5% (male 11,776,611/female 11,517,972); 65 years and over: 15.9% (male 2,372,356/female 3,024,571) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 0.794% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 10.28 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 7.98 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 5.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.056 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female; total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.92 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 5.26 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 4.56 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 81.38 years; male: 78.81 years; female: 84.1 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 1.58 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.3% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 68,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 1,000 (2009 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) 58.8%, French (official) 21.6%, other 19.6% (2006 Census);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 99%; male: 99%; female: 99% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.335 trillion (2010 est.); $1.297 trillion (2009 est.); $1.33 trillion (2008 est.);
GDP (official exchange rate): $1.564 trillion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 3% (2010 est.); -2.5% (2009 est.); 0.5% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $39,600 (2010 est.); $38,700 (2009 est.); $40,000 (2008 est.);
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 2%; industry: 20%; services: 78% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 9.4%; 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 (2008);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 0.1%; highest 10%: 46% (2005);
Labor force: 18.59 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 2%; manufacturing: 13%; construction: 6%; services: 76%; other: 3% (2006 est.);
Unemployment rate: 8% (2010 est.); 8.3% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $605.7 billion; expenditures: $677.7 billion (2010 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: 5.8% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 620.7 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 536.1 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 55.73 billion kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 23.5 billion kWh (2008 est.);
Statistics: CIA World Factbook.
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(Monthly newsmagazine), Montreal
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Grimes gives us 14 tracks of sparkling, original artpop with her new album, Art Angels.
Pollution has contaminated a large chunk of Canada's water reserves, making access to clean water a major issue in remote communities.
A Canadian minister's recent ban against the burqa and niqab, when closely scrutinized, stifles the kinds of freedoms it claims to be defending.
Politicians in Quebec have been lashing out at the media in response to allegations of corruption. Their focus could better be directed at cleaning up and modernizing the province.