Canada Facts

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Most searched for facts:

Canada’s Population: 36.9 million (2017)

Number of Households: 14.1 million (2016 census)

Size of Canada: 9,984,670 sq. km, 3,855,103 sq. mi.

Annual Births: 389,912 (2017)

Life Expectancy Men/Women: 79/83 Years (2017)

Immigration to Canada: 320,932 new permanent residents (2016)

Larger Map of Canada

Canadian Life Expectancy – Older Canadians expected to live to just 60.
Canadian Life Expectancy – Older Canadians expected to live to just 60.

Money, Money, Money: Loonies and Minting Money in Canada
Money, Money, Money: Loonies and Minting Money in Canada

One-quarter of your Life watching Television
One-quarter of your Life watching Television

Canada’s Flag and all the Flags of its Provinces and Territories
Canada’s Flag and all the Flags of its Provinces and Territories

When Were Canada’s Provinces Founded?


The Dominion of Canada came into being on July 1, 1867. Dominion indicated Canada was a self-governing colony of the British Empire.

On the day Canada came into being, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec became its first provinces.

Further provinces and territories were added over the years, with the most recent territory – Nunavut – forming in 1999.

Dates of Canadian Province and Territory Formation

1867 – Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick

1870 – Manitoba, Northwest Territories (N.W.T.)

1871 – British Columbia

1873 – Prince Edward Island

1880 – Transfer of the Arctic Islands (to N.W.T.)

1898 – Yukon Territory

1905 – Alberta, Saskatchewan

1949 – Newfoundland and Labrador

1999 – Nunavut

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Too Few Men in Canada

All Age Groups

For every 100 men, Canada has 104 women.


15 – 64 Age Group

In the 15 – 64 age group, for every 100 men, Canada has 102 women.

The provinces where the imbalance is greatest are Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia; both have more than 105 women for every 100 men.

There are more men than women in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Alberta has 102 men for every 100 women. Nunavut has more than 105 men for every 100 women.

Number of Males/Females in Canada: All Age Groups

Place Total Males Total Females Total People
Canada 16,414,230 17,062,460 33,476,690
Newfoundland and Labrador 250,570 263,970 514,540
Prince Edward Island 67,605 72,600 140,205
Nova Scotia 445,590 476,140 921,730
New Brunswick 366,440 384,735 751,170
Quebec 3,875,865 4,027,140 7,903,000
Ontario 6,263,140 6,588,685 12,851,820
Manitoba 594,550 613,715 1,208,270
Saskatchewan 511,555 521,830 1,033,380
Alberta 1,827,810 1,817,440 3,645,260
British Columbia 2,156,605 2,243,455 4,400,055
Yukon Territory 17,055 16,840 33,895
Northwest Territories 21,060 20,400 41,460
Nunavut 16,395 15,510 31,905

2011 Census, Statistics Canada

Number of Males/Females in Canada: 15 – 64 Age Group

Place Total Males Total Females Total People
Canada 11,344,355 11,579,935 22,924,290
Newfoundland and Labrador 173,780 182,020 355,800
Prince Edward Island 45,765 48,595 94,360
Nova Scotia 306,885 323,255 630,140
New Brunswick 253,220 260,740 513,960
Quebec 2,686,195 2,700,495 5,386,695
Ontario 4,312,525 4,480,195 8,792,725
Manitoba 400,650 404,005 804,655
Saskatchewan 342,240 339,575 681,815
Alberta 1,292,610 1,262,135 2,554,745
British Columbia 1,492,285 1,541,695 3,033,975
Yukon Territory 12,400 12,545 24,940
Northwest Territories 15,310 14,750 30,055
Nunavut 10,490 9,930 20,420

2011 Census, Statistics Canada

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To Boldly Go Where No Canadian Has Gone Before

Star Trek

exploding star
Image Credit: NASA

The original Star Trek owes much to Canada.

Two of its stars – William Shatner (Captain Kirk) and James Doohan (Scotty) were Canadian.

William Shatner was born on March 22, 1931, in Montreal, Quebec.

James Doohan was born on March 3, 1920, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Doohan was most famous for his missing finger and Scotty’s accent. Doohan was wounded in the leg and hand leading his men into battle on D-Day, and eventually lost a finger.

The Scottyish Accent

In the 1980s, Doohan’s unique rendition of a Scottish accent led to the formation of the Scottyish Society at St Andrews University in Scotland. Members offered renditions of the poetry of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, in a “Scottyish” accent.

References and Further Reading

James Doohan

William Shatner

St Andrews University

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Social Outcasts?

Social Outcasts?

In 2011, 19.9% of Canadians aged 12 or older smoked either daily or occasionally. 16.7% of men and 13.5% of women were smokers.

This is lower than in 2005, when 22% of Canadians reported being smokers, and lower than in 1994-1995 when the figure was 29%.

Rates were highest among 20 to 34-year-olds, 26.8% of whom smoked daily or occasionally. Three out of ten men and about one-quarter of women in this age group smoked.

Smoking rates were much higher in Canada’s far north. More than half of Nunavut residents aged 12 or older were daily or occasional smokers, as were about one-third of those in Yukon and Northwest Territories.

In the more populated provinces, smoking rates were highest in Nova Scotia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. About one-fifth of adults smoked in these provinces.

Smoking rates were lowest in Ontario (19.4%) and British Columbia (15.8%).

Smoking rates have declined in Canada from 22% in 2007 to 20.1% in 2009 to 19.9% in 2011.

References and Further Reading


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Size of Canada

How Big is Canada?

• Canada is the world’s second largest country, behind Russia.

• Canada’s total area is 9,984,670 km2 (3,855,103 mi2).

• Freshwater lakes account for 8.9% of Canada’s size – that’s 891,163 km2 (344,080 mi2) of lakes.

• Canada’s total land area is 9,093,507 km2 (3,511,023 mi2).

• Without its lakes, Canada would be smaller than the USA. The United States of America actually has a greater land area than Canada – the USA’s land area is 9,161,923 km2 (3,537,438 mi2) –
BUT, since the USA doesn’t have the lake cover that Canada does, the USA’s total area of 9,826,630 km2 (3,794,083 mi2) is slightly less than Canada’s.

• Although Canada is a huge country, it covers less than two percent of the Earth’s surface of 510 million km2.

• Canada’s land makes up 6.1 percent of the total land on Earth, which is 148.9 million km2.

Map of Canada

Click here for a larger map of Canada

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Record Breaking Temperatures Canada

Temperature Extremes – Hot and Cold

Snow. Most Canadians see some of this every year!

Record High Temperature – Canada

Canada’s record high temperature, 45 °C (113 °F), was recorded at both Midale and Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan on July 5, 1937.

Record Low Temperature – Canada

Canada’s record low temperature, -63 °C (minus 81 °F), was measured at Snag, Yukon Territory on February 3, 1947.

An Even Lower Temperature, But…

… it was measured on top of a mountain. A temperature of -77.5 °C (-108 °F) was recorded on Mount Logan in 1991. This is a record low measurement for the northern hemisphere and the lowest temperature measured outside of Antarctica.

Prior to this, the lowest recorded temperature in the northern hemisphere had been -68 °C (-90 °F) in Verkhoyansk, Siberia.

The Canadian measurement was taken at a height of almost 6000 m on Mount Logan, Canada’s highest mountain. The Siberian measurement was taken at the much lower of elevation of 107 m.

References and Further Reading

Record High Temperatures

Northern Hemisphere Lowest Temperature

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Largest Island in Canada

Baffin Island


The largest Island in Canada is Baffin Island. Its area is 507,451 km2 (195,928 square miles).

Baffin Island is part of the territory of Nunavut and it is the fifth biggest island on Earth. The four islands larger than Baffin Island are:

• Greenland 2,130,800 km2
• New Guinea 785,753 km2
• Borneo 748,168 km2
• Madagascar 587,713 km2

Baffin Island is more than double the size of the UK and is slightly smaller than France.

Australia (7,617,930 km2) is much larger than any of the islands above, but Australia is classified as a continent, not an island.

Only two US states are bigger than Baffin Island – Alaska and Texas.

Nasa Satellite Image of Baffin Island


Four Canadian provinces are smaller than Baffin Island. These are:

• Newfoundland and Labrador

• New Brunswick

• Nova Scotia

• Prince Edward Island

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The Slimmest and Fattest in Canada

The Slimmest and Fattest in Canada

In recent years, the number of obese Canadians has increased dramatically.

Atlantic Canada has some of the worst Canadian obesity rates and contains the two cities which are home to Canada’s fattest people. In first place for fatties is St. John’s with a rate of 36.40 per cent obese. It is followed by the similarly named Saint John with similarly fatty statistics at 34.70 per cent obese.

Vancouver has the lowest obesity rate with 11.70 per cent. Toronto has the second lowest percentage of obese people at 15.60 per cent.

Canadian Obesity by City

City Percentage Obese
St. John’s 36.40
Saint John 34.70
Hamilton 34.60
Windsor 33.20
Thunder Bay 32.60
Regina 31.80
Kitchener 30.70
Oshawa 29.60
Kingston 28.90
Saskatoon 27.00
London 26.60
Greater Sudbury 26.10
Calgary 25.70
Winnipeg 25.20
Abbotsford 25.00
St. Catharines 23.10
Montreal 21.20
Edmonton 20.10
Ottawa 19.70
Victoria 19.00
Saguenay 18.90
Halifax 18.40
Quebec 17.30
Toronto 15.60
Vancouver 11.70

References and Further Reading

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Uranium Canada

Uranium Canada

Canada sources approximately 20 to 30% of the world’s annual uranium output. As such, Canada is the largest producer of natural uranium in the world.

The province of Saskatchewan holds the world’s richest deposits of uranium – Saskatchewan produces all of Canada’s uranium.

Over 80% of the uranium produced in Canada is exported for electricity generation.

Canada mines uranium ore in the form of pitchblende, a black mineral. The ore is crushed and milled to separate the uranium.

Mining companies are exploring northern Saskatchewan and Alberta for new uranium deposits.

The energy contained in Canada’s current uranium reserves is approximately equivalent to 6.5 billion tonnes of coal or 20 billion barrels of oil.

References and Further Reading

Mineral Resources of Canada – Uranium

Uranium Reserves and Production

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Largest Freshwater Island in the World – Manitoulin Island

Largest Freshwater Island in the World – Manitoulin Island

Canada is home to the largest freshwater island in the world.

Manitoulin Island, in Lake Huron, is the world’s largest island surrounded by freshwater.

The island itself has 108 freshwater lakes.

Its area is 2,766 km2 (1,068 square miles).

It has a permanent population of 12 thousand people.

Great Lakes and Manitoulin Island


Higher Resolution Image of Manitoulin Island with its own lakes


References and Further Reading

Manitoulin Island

Manitoulin Island Area

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Canada’s Highest Mountain – Still Growing

Canada’s Highest Mountain – Still Growing

Mount Logan – Canada’s Highest Mountain

Canada’s highest mountain is Mount Logan, 5,959 metres (19,551 ft) high.

As a result of tectonic activity, Mount Logan continuies to gain height by an average of a few millimetres each year.

Mount Logan Location


Mount Logan is located at 60o 34′ N, 140o 24′ W. It is the highest peak in the St. Elias mountain range, which runs from Alaska in the West to the Yukon in the east.

Mount Logan may be the world’s largest mountain. Its overall footprint covers a greater area than any other known mountain massif on Earth.

It is named after Sir William Edmond Logan, founder of the Geological Survey of Canada.

Mount Logan, Yukon


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Capital Cities of Canada

Capital Cities of Canada

Canada is federal country. Each of its provinces and territories has its own capital city and government.

Canada’s Capital Cities

Province/Territory Capital City
Canada Ottawa
Newfoundland & Labrador St. John’s
Prince Edward Island Charlottetown
Nova Scotia Halifax
New Brunswick Fredericton
Quebec Quebec City
Ontario Toronto
Manitoba Winnipeg
Saskatchewan Regina
Alberta Edmonton
British Columbia Victoria
Yukon Whitehorse
North West Territories Yellowknife
Nunavut Iqaluit

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Top 10 Countries Visited by Canadians

Top 10 Countries Visited by Canadians

The USA was by far the number one choice of places for Canadians to visit, followed by Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Top 10 Countries Visited by Canadians

Country of origin Nights Spent
United States 176,106
Mexico 15,857
United Kingdom 10,440
France 9,074
Cuba 8,615
Dominican Republic 6,322
China 6,275
Italy 3,906
Germany 3,416
Spain 2,438

Source: Statistics Canada, Canada at a Glance 2013, using 2011 data

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Top 10 Countries for Visitors to Canada

Top 10 Countries for Visitors to Canada

The USA is by far the biggest source of visitors to Canada, followed by Mexico.

Top 10 countries of Origin for Visitors to Canada

Country of origin Spending in Canada
(CAN$ millions)
United States 6,133
United Kingdom 796
France 544
Germany 450
China 407
Australia 392
Japan 307
South Korea 236
Mexico 177
India 162

Source: Statistics Canada, Canada at a Glance 2013, using 2011 data

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Canadian Cattle Country

Cattle in Canada


Canada is home to 14 million cattle. Most of these cattle live on the prairies, with over 5 million in the rodeo province of Alberta and more than 3 million in Saskatchewan.

Nearly 60 percent of Canada’s beef is produced in Alberta – beef is Alberta’s number one agricultural commodity.

Alberta has 21 million hectares of farmland (52 million acres). Almost one-third of all Alberta farmland is natural land for pasture. Alberta averages 189 beef cattle per farm.

References and Further Reading

Alberta Beef

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Canada – World’s Largest Source of Cesium

Canada – World’s Largest Source of Cesium

Cesium is a rare chemical element.

It is present in the Earth’s crust at an average of approximately 3 parts per million.

More than two-thirds of the world’s reserves of Cesium – 110,000 tonnes – are found at Bernic Lake, Manitoba, Canada.

At the present rate of world mine production, which may be between 5,000 and 10,000 kg/yr, these reserves will last thousands of years.

Cesium is used in highly precise atomic clocks.

NIST-F1, America’s primary time and frequency standard, is a cesium fountain atomic clock developed at the NIST laboratories in Boulder, Colorado. NIST-F1 contributes to the international group of atomic clocks that define Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the official world time. As scientists continue to improve the underlying technology, uncertainty in NIST-F1′s measurement of time is continually improving. Currently it neither gains nor loses as much a second in more than 60 million years.

References and Further Reading

Mineral Commodity Profiles – Cesium

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Detached Houses in Canada

Detached Houses in Canada
Detached, standalone, houses are the most common type of property in Canada, followed by apartments. Over one-half of Canadian households live in detached houses while almost one-third of Canadian households live in an apartment.

House Types in Canada, 2011

Type of Dwelling Percentage of Households
Single detached 56.3 %
Single attached 11.3 %
Apartment 30.6 %
Dwelling part of a condominium development 8.8 %
Other 1.8 %

Data provided by Statistics Canada

People in rural Canada are most likely to live in detached houses. Proportions of households in detached houses for some of the bigger cities are as follows:

Proportion of Detached Households in Selected Cities, 2011

City Percentage of Detached Houses
Regina, Saskatchewan 69 %
Winnipeg, Manitoba 63 %
Calgary, Alberta 59 %
Hamilton, Ontario 57 %
Halifax, Nova Scotia 51 %
Toronto, Ontario 41 %
Vancouver, British Columbia 18 %
Montreal, Quebec 33 %

Data provided by Statistics Canada, 2011 Census, Focus on Geography Series

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Levels of Immigration to Canada

Levels of Immigration to Canada

Canada welcomed 248,748 new permanent residents in 2011.

190,842 temporary foreign workers and 98,383 foreign students also arrived.

The combined total was 537,973 newcomers for the year.

Top 10 Source Countries for Permanent Residence in Canada 2010

Country Number Granted Residence
Philippines 34,991
China 28,696
India 24,965
United States 8,829
Iran 6,840
United Kingdom 6,550
Haiti 6,208
Pakistan 6,073
France 5,867
United Arab Emirates 5,223

Source: Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, October 2012

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Canadian Life Expectancy – Older Canadians expected to live to just 60.

Canadian Life Expectancy – Older Canadians expected to live to just 60.

Canadians born in 2009 have a life expectancy of 81.1 years.

Life expectancy was 78.8 years for men and 83.3 years for women.

People born in Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut had the lowest life expectancy, at 75.1 years.

People born in British Columbia had the highest life expectancy, at 81.7 years.

Life expectancy has increased throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, as shown in the table below.

Life Expectancy through the years for Canadians

Year of Birth Life Expectancy Males (years) Life Expectancy Females (years)
1920 to 1922 59 61
1930 to 1932 60 62
1940 to 1942 63 66
1950 to 1952 66 71
1960 to 1962 68 74
1970 to 1972 69 76
1980 to 1982 72 79
1990 to 1992 75 81
2000 to 2002 77 82
2003 to 2005 78 83
2005 to 2007 78 83
2009 79 83

Figures provided by Statistics Canada

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Canadian Nobel Prize Winners

Canadian Nobel Prize Winners

Prize Winners Who Were Born In Canada and Worked in Canada

Frederick Grant Banting – The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1923 – shared with John James Richard Macleod for the discovery of insulin.

Banting was born on November 14, 1891, at Alliston, Ontario. Educated at the Public and High Schools at Alliston, he later went to the University of Toronto to study divinity, but soon transferred to the study of medicine.

Bertram N. Brockhouse – The Nobel Prize in Physics 1994 – shared with Clifford G. Shull for pioneering contributions to the development of neutron scattering techniques for studies of condensed matter.

Brockhouse was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, and worked at McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario.

Prize Winners Who Were Born In Canada and Worked Elsewhere

David H. Hubel – The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1981 – for discoveries concerning information processing in the visual system – shared with Roger W. Sperry and Torsten N. Wiesel.

Hubel was born in Windsor, Ontario.

“Three of my grandparents were also born in Canada: the fourth, my paternal grandfather, emigrated as a child to the U.S.A. from the Bavarian town of Noerdlingen.

“When I was born I acquired U.S. citizenship through my parents and Canadian citizenship by birth. (When it comes to prizes I don’t know whether each country gets half credit or both get full credit.)”

Henry Taube – The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1983 – for his work on the mechanisms of electron transfer reactions, especially in metal complexes.

Taube was born in Neudorf, Saskatchewan where he obtrained a B.S. and an M.S. before undertaking Ph.D. Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Sidney Altman – The Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1989 – shared with Thomas R. Cech for their discovery of catalytic properties of RNA

“I was born in Montreal in 1939, the second son of poor immigrants. My mother worked in a textile mill and my father in a grocery store before they met and married.

“For our immediate family and relatives, Canada was a land of opportunity. However, it was made clear to the first generation of Canadian-born children that the path to opportunity was through education.”

Richard E. Taylor – The Nobel Prize in Physics 1990 – for pioneering investigations concerning deep inelastic scattering of electrons on protons and bound neutrons, which have been of essential importance for the development of the quark model in particle physics.

Taylor was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

“My father was the son of a Northern Irish carpenter and his Scottish wife who homesteaded on the Canadian prairies; my mother was an American, the daughter of Norwegian immigrants to the northern United States who moved to a farm in Alberta shortly after the first World War.”

Taylor obtained in M.S. at the University of Alberta in Edmonton before moving to Stanford, USA for his graduate studies.

Rudolph A. Marcus – The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1992 – for his contributions to the theory of electron transfer reactions in chemical systems.

Marcus was born in Montreal, Canada, where he attended McGill University.

Willard S. Boyle – The Nobel Prize in Physics 2009 – for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit – the CCD sensor – shared with Charles K. Kao and George E. Smith.

Willard S. Boyle was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia.

Prize Winners Who Were Born Elsewhere and Worked in Canada

John James Richard Macleod – The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1923 – shared with Frederick Grant Banting for the discovery of insulin.

Macleod was born on September 6, 1876 at Cluny, near Dunkeld, Perthshire, Scotland. In 1918 he was elected Professor of Physiology at the University of Toronto, Canada. Here he was Director of the Physiological Laboratory and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.

Gerhard Herzberg – The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1971 – for his contributions to the knowledge of electronic structure and geometry of molecules, particularly free radicals.

Herzberg was born in Hamburg, Germany. In August 1935 he left Germany as a refugee and took up a guest professorship at the University of Saskatchewan. From 1945 to 1948 Herzberg was professor of spectroscopy at the University of Chicago. He returned to Canada in 1948 and was made Principal Research Officer then Director of the Division of Physics at the National Research Council

John C. Polanyi – The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1986 – for contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes – shared with Dudley R. Herschbach and Yuan T. Lee.

Polanyi was born in 1929 in Berlin, Germany, of Hungarian parents. His University training was at Manchester University, England, where he obtained his B.Sc. in 1949, and his Ph.D. in 1952.

In 1952 he moved to Canada.

Michael Smith – The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1993 – for contributions to the developments of methods within DNA-based chemistry – shared with Kary B. Mullis.

Smith was born in 1932 in Blackpool, England and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1956.

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Breathe Easy? Asthma Rates in Canada

Asthma in Canada


8.6 percent of Canadians suffer from asthma.

Rates are highest in Manitoba (10.7 percent) and lowest in Ontario (7.8 percent).

Females throughout Canada suffer higher rates of asthma than males — 9.8 percent vs 7.4 percent.

The prevalence of asthma among adults in Canada (15 years of age and over) has been rising over the last 30 years:

Adult Asthma Rates in Canada

1979 – 2.3 %
1988 – 4.9 %
1994 – 6.1 %
2004 – 8.4 %
2011 – 8.5 %

Asthma is the biggest cause of absenteeism from school and the third leading cause of absence from the workplace.

There are approximately 10 asthma deaths per week in Canada.

Fifth Highest Asthma Rate in the World

Canada has the fifth highest rate of adult asthma in the world.

1. Wales
2. Australia
3. Scotland
4. Republic of Ireland
5. Canada
6. Estonia
7. New Zealand
8. United States
9. England
10. Malta

References / Further Reading

Asthma, by sex, provinces and territories

Asthma Facts & Statistics

World ranking for the percentage of adults with self-reported wheeze

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Population of Canadian Provinces

Population of Canadian Provinces

Most People

Ontario, with 13 million people, has the largest population of any of Canadian province.

Quebec, with 8 million people, is next most populous.

Nunavut, Canada’s largest territory, has an average of just 17 people for every 1,000 square km of territory. It is Canada’s most sparsely populated land.

Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, has a population density of almost 25,000 people for every 1,000 square km and is Canada’s most densely populated land.

Population of Canada and Canadian Provinces and Territories

Location Population
Canada 34,880,491
Newfoundland & Labrador 512,659
Prince Edward Island 146,145
Nova Scotia 948,695
New Brunswick 755,950
Quebec 8,054,756
Ontario 13,505,900
Manitoba 1,267,003
Saskatchewan 1,079,958
Alberta 3,873,745
British Columbia 4,622,573
Yukon 36,101
North West Territories 43,349
Nunavut 33,697

Figures from Statistics Canada, 2012 preliminary postcensal estimates.

Map of Canada

Click here for a larger map of Canada

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Good Eggs – Eggs in Canada

Good Eggs – Eggs in Canada

Each Canadian eats an average of about 190 eggs a year.

In total, Canada has about 20 million egg-laying hens laying about 7 billion eggs each year.

Canada has just over one thousand regulated egg farms with an average of between 17,000 and 18,000 hens each.

One egg farm in the United States, which is home to about 280 million egg-laying hens, can produce as many eggs as all of the egg farms in Canada combined.

Reference – Further Reading

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Basketball – A Canadian Invention

Basketball – A Canadian Invention

Basketball was invented by a Canadian – Dr. James Naismith. He was born on November 6, 1861 in Ramsay township, near Almonte, Ontario. His mother and father had immigrated to Canada from Scotland.

While at school Naismith’s played a game called duck-on-a-rock, trying to knock a “duck” off the top of a large rock by throwing another rock at it. He remembered this when tasked with devising an indoor, winter game for 18 students at the YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. He wanted to provide students with an activity that required skill and not strength. Basketball was the result.

On December 21st 1891, James Naismith’s class of secretaries played the first ever game of basketball. The ball was a soccer ball and the goals were two peach baskets. After a somewhat chilly initial reception the new game proved to be a big hit.

References – Further Reading

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Immigrants in Canada

Immigrants in Canada

Immigrant Numbers

Of Canada’s 34 million people, over 6 million are immigrants.

Immigrants born in the United Kingdom, numbering 515,135, were the largest immigrant grouping in the last Canadian census in 2006.

The largest numbers of immigrants arriving in Canada currently come from China, India and the Philippines.

In 2006, 155,105 people from China who had arrived since 2001 were in Canada. The corresponding figures for India and the Philippines were 129,140 and 77,880.

3 million immigrants live in Ontario, 1 million in British Columbia and 700,000 in Quebec.

19 percent of Canada’s population are immigrants. 28 percent of Ontrario’s, 27 percent of British Columbia’s and 16 percent of Alberta’s residents are immigrants. The provinces with the lowest proportions of immigrants are Newfoundland and Labrador (2 percent), Prince Edward Island (3 percent) and New Brunswick (3 percent).

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The Good Oil – From Canada

The Good Oil From Canada

Canada produces more oil than it consumes

Canada produces more oil than it needs for domestic consumption.

Nearly all of the surplus is exported to the USA.

The USA buys more oil from Canada than from any other country, including Saudi Arabia.

Canada's Oil Production vs Consumption
Canada’s Oil Production vs Consumption

Most of Canada’s oil comes from three sources: the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB); the oil sands deposits of northern Alberta; and offshore fields in the Atlantic Ocean.

Alberta’s oil sands lie within the WCSB. The WCSB is home to one of the biggest reserves of petroleum and natural gas on Earth and it also contains vast quantities of coal. The WCSB stretches across parts of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia the Northwest Territories.

Alberta has most of the oil and gas reserves and almost all of the oil sands in the WCSB. According to Statistics Canada, Alberta produces two-thirds of Canada’s oil and three-quarters of its natural gas.

WCSB - Photo By Qyd

Oil Forecasts

The Canada Oil & Gas Report forecasts that by 2013 Canada will consume 10.5 percent of the oil used by North America, while providing 34 percent of the supply.

North American oil consumption reached 21.7 million barrels per day in 2008. It is forecast to be around 21.8 million b/d by 2013. North American oil production in 2008 averaged 9.97 million b/d. It is forecast to be 11 million b/d by 2013. Net imports for the region should be 10.9 million b/d in 2013, down from 11.7 million b/d in 2008.

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Money, Money, Money: Loonies and Minting Money in Canada

Money in Canada


Canadians call their dollar The Loonie. This has less to do with insanity than the picture of the common loon – a Canadian bird – on the back of the $1 coin. The coin on the left was cast in 1987, the year in which the Loonie was minted for the very first time. The $1 coin is composed of 91.5% nickel, 8.5% bronze plating.

The picture of Queen Elizabeth on the front of the $1 coin has not yet inspired the nickname of The Queenie or the Lizzie.

The Royal Canadian Mint is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. At full production, 15 million coins can be produced there each day. Over 1 billion coins are minted each year in Winnipeg for use in cash transactions.


Canadian bank notes are produced by the Canadian Bank Note Company in Ottawa and are 100 percent cotton.

How Long Do Bank Notes Last in Canada?

According to the Bank of Canada, an average $5 or $10 bank note has a lifespan of 1 to 2 years. Higher value notes last longer. $20s last 2 to 4 years, $50s last 4 to 6 years and $100s last 7 to 9 years

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One-quarter of your Life watching Television

TV Viewing Habits in Canada


Digital Home Canada: Canadian adults (18 and over) watch more TV than children, an average of 28.8 hours a week in a full year. This works out at almost 1,500 hours of television viewing each year, including an estimated 25,000 commercials.

Statistics Canada: The average Canadian watches 21 hours of television per week during Fall/Autumn.

Most TV is watched in Quebec (23.8 hours per week) and least in Alberta (19.4 hours per week).

Female Canadians watch more television than males — 25.6 vs 20.9 hours a week. Females watch more reality tv and soaps and males watch more sport.

One-quarter of your Life watching Television

If we assume each adult is awake 16 hours a day, or 5840 hours a year, then the 1,500 hours of TV watched by the average Canadian adult each year works out at just over one-quarter of their waking hours watching television.

Watching TV in the bathroom

Canadians spend 37 percent of their TV watching time watching Canadian produced programmes and 63 percent watching foreign programmes.

Half of Canadians have a TV in the main bedroom.

128,000 Canadian households have TVs in the bathroom! (Now we know why newspaper sales are declining!)

References and Further Reading

Annual TV viewing figures

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Abbreviations of Canadian Provinces

Canada’s thirteen provinces and territories have two capital letter abbreviations which are used by Canada Post to help in the automatic sorting of mail. This system has been in place since the 1990’s.

The abbreviations are the initials of the province or territory if it consists of two words, otherwise the initials are taken from the first letter of the province or territory and then one other suitable letter. The choice of abbreviation has taken into account the American abbreviations for each of its states, so that there is no duplication.

Other shortened forms of the Canadian provinces and territories names are used for everyday purposes. The most common abbreviation for each one is also listed in the table below.

Abbreviations of Canadian Provinces and Territories

Province Postal Abbreviation Common Shortened Form
Alberta AB Alta.
British Columbia BC B.C.
Manitoba MB Man.
New Brunswick NB N.B.
Newfoundland and Labrador NL N.L.
Northwest Territories NT N.W.T.
Nova Scotia NS N.S.
Nunavut NU Nvt.
Ontario ON Ont.
Prince Edward Island PE P.E.I.
Quebec QC Que.
Saskatchewan SK Sask.
Yukon YK Y.T.

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Canada Lake Facts

Canada has more lake area than any other country in the world and so it should come as no surprise that roughly 20% of the world’s freshwater is to be found there.

There are an estimated 2 million lakes in Canada covering approximately 7.6% of Canada’s land area.

The largest lake wholly in Canada is Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories, covering an area of 31,328 square kilometres.

The deepest lake in Canada is Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories, which is 614 metres deep.

Canadians love their lakes and they are many outdoor tourism and recreation activities around them such as fishing, kayaking, hiking and biking.

Largest Lake In Each Canadian province

Province Lake Name Total Lake Area (square kilometres)
Newfoundland and Labrador Smallwood Reservoir 6,527
New Brunswick Grand Lake 165
Nova Scotia Bras d’Or Lake 1,099
Quebec Lac Mistassini 2,335
Ontario Lake Huron 36,000*
Manitoba Lake Winnipeg 24,387
Saskatchewan Lake Athabasca 7,935
Alberta Lake Claire 1,436
British Columbia Williston Lake 1,761
Yukon Territory Kluane Lake 409
Northwest Territories Great Bear Lake 31,328
Nunavut Nettilling Lake 5,542

Lakes lying across provincial boundaries are listed in the province with the greater lake area.
* Area of lake found in Canada.

Source: Natural Resources Canada and Environment Canada

Canadian Students’ Results vs Other Countries

Canadian Students’ Results vs Other Countries

Canadian students compare well with students in other countries according to the Programme For International Assessment (PISA) 2009.

The PISA educational assessment determined the skills and knowledge of 15 year old students in reading, math and science in each country. Over 5,000 students in each country sat a two hour long paper and pencil test and the results were compared and analyzed.

In Canada around 23,000 15-year-olds from about 1,000 schools participated across the ten provinces.

The results showed that Canadian students ranked fifth out of the sixty-five countries on the combined reading scale behind Shanghai-China, Korea, Finland and Hong Kong-China. Canada ranked eighth in math and seventh in science.

Results from the 2012 PISA study will be released in December 2013.

Top Countries on the PISA Scale

Country Reading Score Math Score Science Score
Shanghai China 556 600 575
Korea 539 546 538
Finland 536 541 554
Hong-Kong China 533 555 549
Singapore 526 562 542
Canada 524 527 529
New Zealand 521 519 532
Japan 520 529 539
Australia 515 514 527
Netherlands 508 526 522

Looking at individual provinces, Alberta had the highest reading score, followed by Ontario, then British Columbia. These three provinces had reading scores above the Canadian average of 524. Students in Alberta also obtained the highest math and science scores.

Canadian Provincial PISA Results

Province Reading Score Math Score Science Score
Alberta 533 529 545
Ontario 531 526 531
British Columbia 525 523 535
Quebec 522 543 524
Nova Scotia 516 512 523
Newfoundland and Labrador 506 503 518
Saskatchewan 504 506 513
New Brunswick 499 504 501
Manitoba 495 501 506
Prince Edward Island 486 487 495

Source: OECD and Statistics Canada

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