Form of Government: Federal state
Area: 9 897 170 sq km
Population: 37 314 442 inhab. (estimate 2019)
Density: 3.77 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 83° - 42° N; long. 141° - 53° W
Capital: Ottawa (capital) 934 243 inhab. (2016); Ottawa-Gatineau 1 414 399 inhab. (2018), urban agglomeration
Currency: Canadian dollar (100 cents)
Human development index: 0.926 (rank: 12)
Head of State: The British Sovereign
Prime Minister: Justin Trudeau (LPC), since 4 November 2015
House of Commons: seats based on the elections of 19 October 2015: LPC (Liberal Party), 184; CPC (Conservative Party), 99; NDP (New Democratic Party, social democratic), 44; BQ (Bloc Québecois), 10; Greens, 1
Internet: (Statistics Canada)
Member of APEC, Commonwealth, Council of Europe observer, EBRD, NAFTA, NATO, OAS, OECD, OSCE, UN, WTO


Useful information

International license plate code CDN
International dialling code 001
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 120
Driving side rigth
Internet code .ca

GMT Ottawa -5; Saint John's (Newfoundland and Labrador) -3.30; Halifax -4; Winnipeg -6; Regina -6; Edmonton -7; Vancouver -8
DST Ottawa -4; Saint John's (Newfoundland and Labrador) -2.30; Halifax -3; Winnipeg -5; Regina not applied; Edmonton -6; Vancouver -7
DST duration (start-end) mid March (Sunday 9)-early November

Annual average temperature (°C) Ottawa 6.3; Montréal 6.5; Coppermine -11; Fort Smith -3; Halifax 7.2; Vancouver 11
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Ottawa -10.5/20.5; Montréal -10/19; Coppermine -28/9; Fort Smith -25/16; Halifax -4/18.5; Vancouver 5/18
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Ottawa 8.5/2.5; Montréal 8/2; Coppermine 9/0; Fort Smith 11/1; Halifax 7/3; Vancouver 7/1
Annual average precipitation (mm) Ottawa 925; Montréal 1060; Coppermine 236; Fort Smith 333; Halifax 1530; Vancouver 1595
Days of rainfall (annual average) Ottawa 147; Montréal 139; Coppermine 84; Fort Smith 95; Halifax 132; Vancouver 155

Politics and current affairs

Despite positive economic results, in 2019, J. Trudeau’s government suffered a drop in popularity due to a scandal regarding undue pressure on a minister that favoured a construction company.

Canada is bordered by the United States to the south, and Alaska (USA) to the west. To the north lies the ice-cap of the Arctic Ocean and, to the east, the Atlantic Ocean, while the Pacific Ocean lies off its west coast. Canada comprises four great natural regions: the Canadian Shield, the Canadian Rockies and the Pacific Coast, the lowlands of the River St. Lawrence, and the Canadian Appalachians. The Canadian Shield, which occupies about half the country, forms a broad basin around Hudson Bay and is dotted with lakes (Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake, Lake Athabasca, Lake Winnipeg), with higher land in the Plains to the west stretching as far as the Rocky Mountains.
To the east, the Shield continues in the form of the Labrador Peninsula. The north is fragmented into many small islands which form the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Mountain ranges form the northern part of the Rockies, the highest peak of which, Mount Robson, is 3954 m above sea-level. West of the Rockies stretches a vast plateau, crossed by many rivers and streams (River Yukon and its tributaries) and dotted with a multitude of lakes. Beyond, parallel to the coast, lies the chain of Coast Mountains (Mount Logan, 5959 m, in the Saint Elias Mountain range). The Appalachian Mountains are located in the south-east of the country (extending to the island of Newfoundland), while the valley of the River St. Lawrence, Canada’s most fertile area, which also has the highest population, separates the Canadian Shield from the Appalachians.
The largest rivers are the Yukon, the Fraser and the Columbia, which flow into the Pacific Ocean; the Mackenzie which flows into the Arctic Ocean; the Saskatchewan, which flows into Lake Winnipeg; the Churchill and the Nelson, whose waters flow into Hudson Bay, and the St. Lawrence, which flows out of Lake Ontario and into the Atlantic Ocean.
The climate is predominantly continental, with long, cold winters and short summers with light rainfall.


A federal state, Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 and member of the British Commonwealth in 1926.
Its own Constitution was issued on 25 April 1982. There are ten provinces (each with its own legislative and executive bodies) and three territories. Since 1935 the country has been governed alternately by the Liberal Party (progressive) and the Reform Alliance Party (conservative).
To protect the indigenous minorities, on 1 April 1999, the autonomous territory of Nunavut was created (separated officially from the Northwest Territories), for the Inuit people to govern themselves. On 29 May 1993, a framework agreement was signed in response to the requests for independence made by the various indigenous communities of the Yukon. On 27 April 1999, a treaty was signed, assigning 2000 km2 of land to the Nisga’a people, over which they have considerable autonomy. A similar treaty was signed on 26 August 2003 with the Tlicho, to whom an area of 39 000 km2 was allocated.
The head of state is the British Sovereign, represented by a Governor General appointed on the recommendation of the Canadian Prime Minister. The government is accountable to Parliament, which is made up of two houses: the House of Commons (338 members, elected by direct suffrage, usually the house is dissolved after four years) and the Senate (105 members appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister and in office up to the age of 75 years).

Military service is voluntary.

The legal system is based on British Common Law, with the exception of the Province of Québec, where the organization is influenced by the French legal system.
The Supreme Court of Canada is based in Ottawa. Each province has its own Supreme Court as well as lower-level courts and its own police force. There is also a federal police force (the RCMP, Royal Canadian Mounted Police) which operates on a national level.

Air force30.2%2015
Crimes5 334per 100 000 pop.2017
Homicides1.8per 100 000 pop.2017

Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Toronto2 731 571inhab.2016
Montréal1 704 694inhab.2016
Urban agglomerations
Toronto6 341 935inhab.2018
Montréal4 255 541inhab.2018


Population by age and gender (% - 2018)

The population is centred in the southern part of the country, particularly in the Ontario and Québec areas close to the border with the US. The growth rate is positive, partly because of the contribution of immigrants (mainly from Asia).

Demographic statistics
Birth rate9.72018
Death rate7.12018
Ethnic groups


English (official)
French (official)
Population by selected age groups
0-14 years15.4%2018
15-29 years18.4%2018



Economic situation.
The government, led by J. Trudeau, loosened its tight control over the budget to allow for an expansion in public spending, particularly investments in infrastructure, and to stimulate the economy, partially in contrast with the effects of the low price of hydrocarbons. The strong economic growth registered in 2017 slowed down in 2018-19. An increase in unemployment generated by the 2008-09 crisis was reabsorbed. Family debt is at very high levels.

Economy - General data
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)113.12index2016
Balance of trade-19 155.1M US$2018
Economy - Employment
Active population20 266 278units2018
Active population, Females47.3%2018
Economy - Unemployment
Unemployment rate5.8%2018
Unemployment rate, Females44.7%2018
Economy - State budget
Expenses320 548M LCU2017
Revenues313 152M LCU2017
Employment by economic activity
GDP by economic activity
Financial data
Currency in circulation90.193BN LCU2018
International reserves83 925.6M US$2018


Primary sector
Thanks to the high level of mechanization, farming is very productive and promotes substantial exports. Wheat is grown on a very large scale (concentrated in the provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba). Other important cereals include oats and barley (Alberta and Saskatchewan), and maize (Ontario and Québec). Potatoes are grown only in New Brunswick, on Prince Edward Island and in Ontario. In the other Atlantic provinces the predominant crops are flax (Canada is the world’s largest producer of linseed), soya (Ontario), rapeseed, blueberries, sugar beet and tobacco.
Forest covers about one third of the land.
The most common tree species is spruce, followed by pine, cedar, birch and maple. Canada’s large cover of forest, exploited in a sustainable manner, has created a flourishing timber industry (solid wood and wood pulp).
Livestock and fishing.
Intensive livestock farming, particularly of cattle and pigs, is practised mainly in the provinces of Alberta, Québec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Rearing and, on a smaller scale, hunting animals for their pelts, particularly minks and silver foxes, are practiced.
Cod, salmon and sole fishing is very important (along the fragmented Pacific coast), as well as lobster, prawns, crab, halibut, pollack, cod and shellfish (on the Atlantic coast), whitefish, pike, perch, trout and sturgeon (in the lakes). Fish farming is also widespread (mussels, oysters, salmon and perch).

Land use
arable land5.31%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
barley7 891.31000 t2017
cereals, total56 310.7431000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
potatoes4 410.8291000 t2017
roots and tubers, total4 410.8291000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
asparagus8.9561000 t2017
cabbages210.71000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Pulses
beans, dry256.8351000 t2017
beans, green53.951000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Grape
grapes89.4431000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
rapeseed21 3281000 t2017
soybeans7 716.61000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
mustard seed121.61000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
hops01000 t2017
sugar beet510.2641000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Flax
linseed507.6061000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fruits
apples345.5681000 t2017
apricots0.9421000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Others
mushrooms132.5561000 t2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
barley2 197.6321000 ha2017
maize1 339.3211000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
potatoes342.2181000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
cabbages9.921000 ha2017
carrots and turnips8.2581000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
beans, dry116.391000 ha2017
beans, green8.6961000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
grape11.61000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
rapeseed8 443.0841000 ha2017
soybeans2 632.7961000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
mustard seed98.9061000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
hops01000 ha2017
sugar beet7.6421000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
linseed323.5811000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
apples13.81000 ha2017
apricots0.1051000 ha2017


timber155 120 6002017
Livestock - Cattle
cattle11 5351000 heads2017
cattle and buffaloes11 5351000 heads2017
Livestock - Pigs
pigs14 2501000 heads2017
Livestock - Sheep
sheep813.91000 heads2017
Livestock - Goats
goats30.0621000 heads2017
Livestock - Equines
asses and mules41000 heads2017
equines, total402.3031000 heads2017
Livestock - Poultry
birds177 9421000 heads2017
Livestock - Beekeeping
honey36.9931000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
butter87.231000 t2014
cheese407.261000 t2014
crustaceans and molluscs431 137t2017
freshwater fishes19 491t2017


Secondary sector
Canada is extremely rich in mineral and energy resources. Oil extraction from oil shales (Alberta) put the country in first place worldwide for oil deposits in the early 21st century. The largest coal deposits are at Castor, Drumheller, Pembina, Sheerness, Crowsnest, Mountain Park, Coalspur, Alix, Camrose and Lethbridge (Alberta); Cape Breton Island and areas of Cumberland, Sydney and Pictou (Nova Scotia); Crowsnest and Vancouver (British Columbia); Minto, Chipman and Coal Creek (New Brunswick); Bienfait and Estevan (Saskatchewan).
There are important oil reserves at Swan Hills, Bonnie Glen, Mitsue, Zama, Rainbow Lake, Utikuma Lake, Redwater, Leduc-Woodbend, Pembina, Kaybob, Sylvan Lake, Medicine River, Deer Mountain and Goose River (all in Alberta), at Boundary Lake and Peejay (in British Columbia), at Midale, Dodsland and Weyburn (in Saskatchewan) and at Hartney in (Manitoba). There are many oil pipelines, the most important of which are those from Alberta’s oil fields to the US, Edmonton-Vancouver, Edmonton-Montréal. In areas with oil reserves, natural gas is also extracted. The largest field is at Medicine Hat, in Alberta, known as “Natural Gas City”. Other places where natural gas is produced include Martin Hills, Edson, Olds, Hussar, Cessford, Provost, Viking-Kinsella and Kessler; in Saint John (New Brunswick) there is a regasification plant. Canada is also a large producer of uranium and radium: the most important mines are in Saskatchewan (Cigar Lake, Key Lake, McArthur River, McClean Lake, Rabbit Lake). Lithium reserves are also significant (Québec).
Canada has deposits of almost all minerals. Nickel is mined in the district of Sudbury (Totten, Copper Cliff North, Kirkwood, Coleman, Little Stobie, Frood Stobie, Garson, Levack, Murray and Clarabelle), at Lynn Lake, Thompson, Creighton, Birchtree, Soab (in Manitoba) and near Voisey’s Bay. Iron is mined at Algoma and Steep Rock (in Ontario), Burnt Creek, Lake Carol, Wabush, Mount Wright, Schefferville and Québec Cartier (in Labrador), Michipicoten (a small island on Lake Superior), Quinsam Lake (Vancouver Island) and at Wabana (on Belle Isle, Newfoundland). There are considerable deposits of gold (at Kirkland Lake, Porcupine, Bourlamaque and Yellowknife), silver (at Cobalt and Atlin), platinum (at Sudbury) and diamonds, which are found in the territory of Nunavut (at Ekati, Diavik, Jerico and Snap Lake).
Other minerals mined are cobalt, lead (Nelson and Atlin, in British Columbia), zinc (at Amos, Mattagami and Rouyn in Québec, at Flin Flon in Manitoba, at Nelson, Riondel, Kimberley, Salmo, Remac and Windermere in British Columbia, at Timmins in Ontario, at Buchans in Newfoundland and at Bathurst in New Brunswick), copper (Sherridon and Flin Flon in Manitoba, Noranda in Québec, Geco, North Coldstream, Willroy and Kam-Kotia in Ontario, at River Jordan, Benson Lake, Britannia Beach, Merritt, Greenwood and Highland Valley in British Columbia, and on the Gaspé Peninsula). Large deposits of zinc, copper and silver are also found at Timmins, in Ontario. Other minerals include molybdenum (in British Columbia), tin, tungsten (Yukon), antimony (Lake George), bismuth (Pressiac Township and Trail), selenium, titanium (Allard Lake and St. Urbain), niobium and tantalum (Lake Bernic) and mica. Canada is one of the world’s leading producers of sulfur (a by-product from the processing of pyrites and natural gas) and potassium chloride (at Regina, Pine Point and Esterhazy). Rock salt is extracted in Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Québec and Saskatchewan.
Most of the energy produced comes from exploiting the country’s huge hydro-electric potential. The James Bay Project (Québec) and Churchill Falls (Québec) are two of the largest power plants. Mostly in Ontario, there are 19 active nuclear reactors, based on CANDU technology, which has been developed independently and sold abroad. Thermal power plants are located at Lennox (Ontario) and Wabamun (Alberta).
The most important segments of industry are those associated with the exploitation of natural resources, but hi-tech sectors are also expanding, including IT and electronics (Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montréal), aerospace (Québec and Montréal), engineering with hi-tech materials, bio-technologies, healthcare products and telecommunications. In addition, Vancouver now claims to be the third-largest hub in North America for films and television (after Los Angeles and New York).
The metal-working industry produces cast iron and iron alloys, with steelworks (at Hamilton), zinc foundries (at Trail, Valleyfield, Flin Flon and Timmins), copper foundries (at Noranda, Montréal-East, Copper Cliff, Coniston, Flin Flon, Falconbridge and Murdochville), tough copper plants (at Montréal and Copper Cliff), lead and casting lead plants (at Trail, Belledune Point, Calgary and Montréal), nickel plants (at Thompson, Port Colborne, Falconbridge, Fort Saskatchewan, Coniston, Copper Cliff and Sherritt Gordon), cadmium processing (at Flin Flon, Trail and Valleyfield), and cobalt processing (at Port Colborne, Thompson, Cobalt and Fort Saskatchewan). Canada is one of the world’s leading aluminium producers, with plants (at Arvida, Kitimat, Isle Maligne, Shawinigan and Beauharnois) which process imported bauxite. There are oil refineries at Lloydminster, Edmonton and Scotford (in Alberta); Burnaby, Price George (in British Columbia); St. John (in New Brunswick); Dartmouth (in Nova Scotia); Sarnia, Nanticoke, Oakville, Clarkson (in Ontario); Lévis, Montréal (Québec); Regina (in Saskatchewan); Come By Chance (Newfoundland).
Chemical companies tend to produce fertilizers (at Sarnia, Welland, Port Maitland, Fort Saskatchewan, Trail, Calgary, Redwater and Brandon), ammonia (at Trail), synthetic rubber, plastic materials and resins, helium (at Swift Current, in Saskatchewan) and chlorine. The industry associated with forest exploitation is very important. Production plants making cellulose, wood pulp and paper are located at Ottawa, Hull, Vancouver, Québec and Trois-Rivières; newsprint production is concentrated at Thunder Bay, Gatineau and Port Alberni. Ottawa is one of the world’s largest trading centres for timber. Montréal, Toronto and Kitchener are important for the furniture industry. Canada is one of the world’s top producers of groundwood pulp and chemical pulp. Companies in the sector are moving towards developing activities with a high degree of added value (such as components for furniture, prefabricated houses).
The automotive industry is based in Ontario, with plants at Alliston, Brampton, Cambridge, Ingersoll, Oakville, Oshawa, Windsor and Woodstock. Montréal, Rivière-du-Loup, Winnipeg and Calgary are important railway construction centres. There are shipyards at Lauzon, Halifax, Sydney, Victoria, Vancouver and Montréal. The textile industry is based in Québec where the processing of cotton predominates, but also of silk and yarns in general (at factories in Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, Drummondville, Trois-Rivières, Shawinigan Falls, Sherbrooke, Magog and Valleyfield). In Ontario there are many woollen mills, knitwear companies and carpet factories (in Toronto, Hamilton, Woodstock, London, Galt, Ingersoll, Briantford, Niagara Falls, Saint Catharines, Kingston and Peterborough). Artificial textile fibres are produced in Cornwall, Drummondville and Edmonton. Synthetic fibres are made in the valley of the St. Lawrence (at Drummondville, Ste.-Thérèse, Richmond and Cornwall) and in Ontario (at Millhaven, Galt, Brantford, Kingston, Cobourg and Welland).

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
coal52 1171000 t2017
coal, total54 612.11000 t2018
Mineral resources - Metal ores
antimony0.0011000 t2015
bismuth0.0031000 t2016
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
asbestos501000 t2011
barite101000 t2016
Mineral resources - Rocks
limestone1 8001000 t2018
silicates541000 t2018
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
diamonds23 0001000 ct2018
gold185 000kg2018


Electric energy - Generated
- hydro383 265M kWh2016
- thermal124 416.52M kWh2016
Electric energy - Installed capacity
- hydro80 0821000 kW2016
- thermal32 6011000 kW2016
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
total net generation649 625.71M kWh2016
total installed capacity143 5411000 kW2016


Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
alumina1 6001000 t2018
aluminium2 9001000 t2018
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
cars655 896no.2018
commercial vehicles1 364 944no.2018
Industry - Petrochemicals
bitumen4 7631000 t2016
petrol37 942.41000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
ammonia3 8001000 t2018
caustic soda514.81000 t2011
Industry - Clothing and footwear
footwear7 638 500pairs2004
Industry - Food and beverages
beer of barley1 894.41000 t2014
fish, frozen981000 t2003
Industry - Tobacco
cigarettes20 873.2M units2018
cigars5.8M units2018
Industry - Paper and wood products
chemical pulp9 462.6491000 t2017
chemi-mechanical pulp16 2991000 t2017
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
cement11 8701000 t2016
Industry - Various
chemicals production14 397.4M US$2015
food, beverages and tobacco production25 589.1M US$2015


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.
Canada is a world leader in terms of international trade; the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union is active from 2017. It is the largest exporter of timber for the construction industry, wood pulp, paper, aluminium, uranium, oil, chemicals, machinery, vehicles and agricultural commodities. The main imports are vehicles and spare parts, industrial machinery, chemicals, food products, computers, oil and consumer durables. The USA, Canada’s main trading partner, absorbs approximately 75% of its total exports (especially hydrocarbons, uranium, electricity).

Main exports (M US$ - 2017) crude oil 54 055, cars 46 527, machinery 32 394, vehicles and parts thereof 15 930, timber 14 095, gold 13 224, electric and electronic appliances 12 973, plastics 12 595, petroleum products 12 300, iron and steel 11 608, natural gas 10 302, aluminium 9 823, aircraft and parts thereof 9 692, chemicals 9 334, oil seeds 7 865, paper and paperboard 7 227, metal ores 6 997

Finance and banking.
The Canadian banking system withstood the global financial crisis of 2008-09 better than other developed countries, thanks to the high level of capitalization and a cautious credit policy. The central bank is the Bank of Canada. The First National Bank has been entrusted with the task of funding investments in Amerindian and Inuit communities. The Toronto and Montréal stock exchange, which are part of the TMX Group.

Composition of goods exports
manufactures49.059% of goods exports2018
fuels24.584% of goods exports2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
United States337 148M US$2018
China21 323M US$2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
United States234 329M US$2018
China58 280M US$2018
Merchandise Export
2018449 845M US$ -
2017420 830M US$ -
Merchandise Import
2018469 000M US$ -
2017442 184M US$ -


Tourism. Tourism, especially in Canada’s great national parks, is supported by marketing activities and excellent facilities. Most of Canada’s tourists come from the USA.

International Tourism
Expenditures31 816M US$2017
Number of arrivals20 798 000units2017


The transport system, which has been developed particularly between east and west, is well integrated with the American transport network. The railway network is based on two large trans-continental systems (the Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway), plus a company specialised in passenger transport (VIA Rail Canada) and other minor companies. The trans-continental motorway (the Trans-Canada Highway), connecting Saint John’s (in Newfoundland) to Vancouver, with extensions to Alaska and the north, deserves special mention. The air transport system is based on a network of about 1400 airports.

Communication - Transport
Civil aviation, km flown935 600 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried91 4041000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
Broadband subscribers380.144per 1000 pop.2017
Computers943.4per 1000 pop.2008

Social and welfare

Education and research.
Individual provinces are responsible for providing education. School is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 15 or 18 (according to the province). Primary education lasts between six and eight years, followed by between four and six years of secondary studies. In Québec, students who speak French have the right to be taught in their own language. There are similar guarantees for other ethnic minorities (Amerindians and the Inuit).

Social security and health.
The Federal Government administers the retirement pension system and provides support for families and the unemployed. Healthcare is free for everyone and is the responsibility of the provinces and the territories.

Social statistics - Education
Expected years of schooling16.1years2016
Gradautes, percentage56.7%2017
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
Teachers, primary level142 531units2001-02
Teachers, secondary level147 593units2001-02
Social statistics - Social protection
Social protection spending30.1% of total expenses2007
Social protection spending17.3% of GDP2017
Social statistics - Health
Hospital beds2.6per 1000 pop.2017
Physicians2.6per 1000 pop.2017
Social statistics - Diseases
HIV0.3% of adults2011
HIV, total0.2%2001
Museums1 476units2002-03
Museums, visitors27 840 000units2002-03
Research and development spending1.6% of GDP2017
Other social indicators
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking100%2016
Access to electricity100%2017
Household consumption expenditure
clothing, footwear5.4%2017