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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Map of Canada

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Canada
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. 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
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
total: 9,976,140 sq km
land: 9,220,970 sq km
water: 755,170 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
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
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, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 4.94%
permanent crops: 0.02%
other: 95.04% (1998 est.)
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-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: Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea, 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 85% of the population is concentrated within 300 km of the US/Canada border
   People    Canada
Definition Field Listing
31,902,268 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
0.96% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
11.09 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
7.54 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
6.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 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 (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.95 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 79.69 years
female: 83.25 years (2002 est.)
male: 76.3 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.6 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.3% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
49,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
400 (1999 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 46%, Protestant 36%, other 18%
note: based on the 1991 census
Definition Field Listing
English 59.3% (official), French 23.2% (official), 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
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Canada
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
confederation with parliamentary democracy
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 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Canada Day, 1 July (1867)
Definition Field Listing
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:
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 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 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:
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 (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%, Canadian Alliance 26%, Bloc Quebecois 11%, New Democratic Party 9%, Progressive Conservative Party 12%; seats by party - Liberal Party 172, Canadian 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:
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]; Canadian Alliance [Stephen HARPER]; Liberal Party [Jean CHRETIEN]; New Democratic Party [Jack LAYTON]; Progressive Conservative Party [Joe CLARK]
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 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:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Paul CELLUCCI
embassy: 490 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8
mailing address: P. O. Box 866, Station B, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5T1
telephone: [1] (613) 238-5335, 4470
FAX: [1] (613) 688-3082
consulate(s) general: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, and Vancouver
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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. 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 spectre 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.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $923 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.4% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $29,400 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 2%
industry: 27%
services: 71% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 24% (1994) (1994)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
32 (1994)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
2.2% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
16.4 million (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
services 74%, manufacturing 15%, construction 5%, agriculture 3%, other 3% (2000) (2000)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
7.6% (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $178.6 billion
expenditures: $161.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY00/01 est. )
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
2.2% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
576.22 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 25%
hydro: 61%
other: 2% (2000)
nuclear: 12%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
499.77 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
48.802 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
12.685 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables; dairy products; forest products; fish
Definition Field Listing
$260.5 billion f.o.b. (2002 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 84.6%, Japan 2.2%, UK 1.6%, other EU 2.2% (2000)
Definition Field Listing
$229 billion f.o.b. (2002 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 72.7%, UK 3.4%, other EU 3.2%, Japan 3.0% (2001)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$1.9 billion (2000) (2000)
Economic aid - donor:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $1.3 billion (1999) (1999)
Definition Field Listing
Canadian dollar (CAD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
1 April - 31 March
   Communications    Canada
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
20,802,900 (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
8,751,300 (1997)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
AM 535, FM 53, shortwave 6 (1998)
Definition Field Listing
32.3 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
80 (plus many repeaters) (1997)
Definition Field Listing
21.5 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
760 (2000 est.)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
16.84 million (2002)
   Transportation    Canada
Definition Field Listing
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.)
Definition Field Listing
total: 901,902 km
paved: 318,371 km (including 16,571 km of expressways)
unpaved: 583,531 km (1999)
Definition Field Listing
3,000 km (including Saint Lawrence Seaway)
Definition Field Listing
crude and refined oil 23,564 km; natural gas 74,980 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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.)
Definition Field Listing
1,419 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 507
over 3,047 m: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 245
under 914 m: 80 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 149
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 882
1,524 to 2,437 m: 73
914 to 1,523 m: 363
under 914 m: 446 (2002)
Definition Field Listing
12 (2002)
   Military    Canada
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Canadian Armed Forces (comprising Land Forces Command, Maritime Command, Air Command, Communications Command, Training Command)
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
17 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 8,361,475 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 7,139,068 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 217,516 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$7,860.5 million (FY01/02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
1.1% (FY01/02)
   Transnational Issues    Canada
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
maritime boundary disputes with the US (Dixon Entrance, Beaufort Sea, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Machias Seal Island)
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
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; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering because of its mature financial services sector

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

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