10 Facts About Canadians

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Totem in the Byward Market

Totem in the Byward Market

Welcome to my new series, the “Canadian List of Ten”! Ten weeks, ten posts, ten lists and one hundred new Canadian things for you, from food to language, from city to weather.

Believe it or not, the stereotypical Canadian is not a lumberjack, doesn’t live in an igloo somewhere up North, and doesn’t always watch hockey.

Okay, the last part may be true. Hockey Night in Canada is probably the most popular TV program here.

Canadians are interesting people, mainly because the population is extremely diverse, which is not surprising considering that Canada welcomes around 250,000 newcomers every year.

All the statistic are from the World Factbook and Statistics Canada.

  1. Canada was first inhabited by various groups of Aboriginal people. They comprise the First Nations, the Inuits and the Métis, a culture of mixed blood originated in the mid-17th century when First Nation and native Inuit married European settlers. Aboriginal cultures, languages, art, and music are very much alive in today’s Canada.
  2. As of July 2009, the population of Canada is 33,739,859. With over 278 millions people, the U.S.A has 8.8 times greater population.
  3. About 3/4 of Canada’s population live within 150 kilometres (93 mi) of the United States border. 3/4 live in urban areas concentrated in the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor (Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa), the BC Lower Mainland (Vancouver and surroundings), and the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor in Alberta.
  4. In the 2006 Census, Canada had six metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people: Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Ottawa – Gatineau and, for the first time, Calgary and Edmonton. Together, this “millionaire’s club” had a total of 14.1 million residents, or 45% of Canada’s population.
  5. According to the 2006 census, 67.1% of Canadians speak English at home and 21.5% speak French at home. About 20% of Canadians are allophones, which means they have a language other than English or French as their first language. The five most widely-spoken non-official languages are Chinese, Punjabi, Spanish, Italian and Dutch.
  6. Like in many other developed countries, Canada’s population is aging. The median age is 39.5 years old. Nunavut has the younger population with a median age of 23.1 while Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick have the highest median age of 41.5 years old.
  7. According to the 2001 census by Statistics Canada, Canada has 34 ethnic groups with at least one hundred thousand members each, of which 10 have over 1,000,000 people and numerous others represented in smaller amounts. 16.2% of the population belonged to visible minorities: South Asian (4.0% of the population), Chinese (3.9%), Black (2.5%), and Filipino (1.1%).
  8. According to a 2005 forecast by Statistics Canada, the proportion of visible minorities in Canada could rise as high as 23% by 2017. A survey released in 2007 reveals that almost one in five Canadians (19.8%) is foreign born.
  9. As of May 2009, Canadian household debt was $1.3 trillion. US household debt has reached $14 trillion in 2009. Way too much for both countries, if you want my opinion.
  10. Over the past 20 years, Canada recorded much lower rates of violent crime than the United States did. However, rates for property offenses have generally been higher in Canada. The homicide rate is three times higher in the U.S.A. (source)

About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. I always love to read this 10 facts posts. You know I like to read and know more about other countries and visiting blogs are the best resource.

    My imagine has been that Canada and Norway is similar in a lot of ways, but I can tell there are some differences too 🙂 Like Norway have only almost 5 mill inhabitants. I still believe the climate and the fauna is very much alike though 🙂 And: Quite a lot of Norwegian, emigrated (not only to the US), to Canada. Since we are sailors, I think Vancouver was quite popular.
    .-= RennyBA’s Terella´s last blog ..Thanksgiving greetings from Norway =-.

  2. I’m surprised at Dutch…I never heard anyone speaking Dutch in Canada. I’d thought it’s be Arabic, Russian, Polish or some other language…I’m quite surprised, actually.

    Also, didn’t USA reached 300 million residents a while back? Maybe I’m wrong…

  3. @Seb – Oh yeah. Not as bad as in the US but still…

    @Nigel Babu – This is one of the reason why Canada needs immigrant, along with shortage of skills in some professions.

    @Agnes – 😉

    @RennyBA’s Terella – I had never realized Norway had such a small poluation – it’s like NZ!

    @Beth – I wouldn’t know about France either!

    @Sidney – Apparently not! There is a big Dutch population, I believe mostly in the Prairies – along with Ukrainian immigrants.

    @Lizz – Same as in many developed countries… I think the situation is the same in Europe.

    @khengsiong – Maybe they immigrated somewhere else? I guess it could be like Chinese immigrants. Mandarin is more widely spoken than Cantonese, but in some countries, the immigrant population is almost all from the South, so they speak Cantonese.

    @Bluefish – I’m not sure about the USA. Maybe if you include the number of illegal immigrants, which apparently makes a huge difference. I will double-check the figures.

    @London Caller – 我不会说广东话。 我在香港工作了的时候,我会说几个句子,但是我什么都忘了。

  4. As an expat Canadian in Madrid, the thing I miss most about Canada (or at least Ottawa and Montreal) is diversity. Madrid is incredibly monocultural and monolingual. I miss hearing other languages as I walk about or go to the stores.
    .-= richard´s last blog ..Manifesto of Aphorisms =-.

  5. Great list, Zhu. I’m surprised to see Spanish as one of the most spoken languages and not Portuguese, given the big Portuguese community that we have in Toronto and West (from Portugal, not Brazil). I know that the Spanish-speaking community has grown lately, but I still find it minuscule.

    The other thing that caught my attention is that Stats Canada continue to ignore Mississauga’s city status and puts it right with Toronto. Mississauga has more than 1,000,000 people living there as well.

    Finally, a comment about what Adem wrote. I’ve been in Canada for nine years now, and though 90% of them (ahem, of us) use the word ‘eh’ all the time, I have never heard anybody saying ‘aboot’, except Terrence and Phillip from South Park… 🙂
    .-= Gabriel´s last blog ..There are places I remember #03 =-.

  6. Thanks for the interesting facts! I never realized that Canada can be a little skewed, like a lot of the population living near the US border, a significant amount of the population being foreign-born, et cetera.
    .-= Linguist-in-Waiting´s last blog ..Minarets =-.

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