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10 Facts About Canadians

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)

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