Did You Know?
Published: Thursday, August 02, 2012
Canada at a glance
Established: July 1, 1867
Area: 3,854,085 square miles. Canada is the second largest country in the world, with 10 provinces and three territories
Population: 34.03 million (July 2011 est.)
Capital: Ottawa, Ontario
National anthem: O Canada
People: Canada is a multicultural country. Ethnic Groups (wholly or partly) include: North American Origin 40%, British Origin 33%, French Origin 16%, Other European 29%, Aboriginal peoples 4%, South, East & South-East Asian 9%, Other (mostly Caribbean, Arab, African, Latin/Central/South American and West Asian) 6%. The total comes to more than 100% because many Canadians (approximately 38%) have a mixed background.
Languages: Canada has two official languages, English (59%) and French (23%). 17% of the population have another language as their ‘mother tongue’.
Religion(s): Roman Catholic 43%; Protestant 23% (including United Church 9%, Anglican 6%, Baptist 2%, Lutheran 2%), other Christian 4%, Muslim 1% other and unspecified 11%, none 16%.
Major political parties: Federal parties include the Conservative Party, Liberal Party, Bloc Quebecois (in Quebec only) and New Democratic Party (NDP). The Liberals and NDP are also represented at provincial level. There are also some notable provincial parties, like the Progressive Conservative Party, the Parti Quebecois in Quebec, the Saskatchewan Party and the Yukon Party.
Government: Canada is a constitutional monarchy and a federal state with a democratic system of government.
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor General David Lloyd Johnston
Head of Government: Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Foreign Minister: The Honourable John Baird
Membership of international groupings/organisations: Member of the Commonwealth; North America Free Trade Association (NAFTA); North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO); Organisation of American States (OAS); G8; G20; World Trade Organisation (WTO); La Francophonie.
Things you may not have known about Canada
(Quick facts that will make you a hit at dinner parties and office meetings)
- Canada is a Native American/First Nations word meaning “village” or “settlement.”
- Canada has the world’s ninth highest per capita income.
- Canada’s annual economy is roughly $1.6 trillion.
- In 2011, Forbes magazine named Canada #1 in its annual look at the Best Countries for Business. In addition, a recent Gallup Poll listed Canada one of the top five happiest nations in the world.
- Canada is the only place on earth where you can find animals like the Vancouver Island Marmot, Arctic fox, polar bear, North American elk and lemmings.
- Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world. The coastline includes the mainland coast and also the coasts of offshore islands.
- The world’s longest street is in Canada. Toronto’s Yonge Street runs 1,190 miles.
- Superman was conceptualized and co-created by a Canadian
- Archaeological studies and genetic analyses have indicated a human presence in the northern Yukon region from 24,500 BC, and in southern Ontario from 7500 BC.
- The first known attempt at European colonization began when Norsemen settled briefly at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland around 1, 000 AD.
- Canada has the smallest population among the G8 and emerging countries.
- Among G7 countries, Canada has the highest proportion of post-secondary education graduates in the workforce, at 22 percent.
- At different times, Bermuda, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Barbados, Jamaica and the West Indies Federation have all expressed interest in joining Canada.
- Canada is one of less than 20 sovereign nations that share a border with just one other country.
- Famous Canadians include James Cameron, Ryan Gosling, Nelly Furtado, Sarah MacLachan, Carly Rae Jepsen, Justin Beiber, Arcade Fire, Steve Nash, Sidney Crosby and, of course,Wayne Gretzky.
- Canadians invented basketball, insulin, the electron microscope, Trivial Pursuit, canola and the garbage bag, among a wide variety of other things. In addition, the telephone was invented in Brantford, Ontario.
- In 2009, Canada officially became the first country to have a majority female workforce.
- Canada has the world's largest solar farm.
- Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary are among the top five most livable cities in the world, as determined by the most recent Economist Intelligence Unit Global Liveability Report (2011).
Canada's most southern point, Pelee Island, sits south of more than half of the 50 U.S. states. This Ontario location, known for its vineyards, beaches, farms, and forestry, is also positioned on the same latitude as Portugal, Italy, German, Spain and France.