What you need to know about Canada


Canada, located in North America, covers an area of 9,984,670 km². It is the second largest country in the world after Russia. Made up of ten provinces and three territories, it extends from east to west of the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, and north to the Arctic Ocean, sharing two borders with the United States.

Canada is a constitutional monarchy with a federal parliamentary system, which recognizes Queen Elizabeth II since her coronation on February 6, 1952. It is also a bilingual and multicultural nation, with English and French being the two official languages at the federal level. New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province. Quebec is officially French, but English is also spoken. The other provinces are English-speaking.

Demography of Canada

Canada's capital is Ottawa. The main cities are Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, among others. Among the various provinces listed are Ontario, which is the most populated province, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta. Two-thirds of Canadians live in the south, near the border with the United States.

The population in 2017 was 36,708,083, according to Statistics Canada. From 2011 to 2016, Canada had the highest population growth in the Group of Seven (G7) countries. About two-thirds of this result is attributed to increased migration.

The average age of Canadians is 40.6 years. The most represented age group is the 15 to 64 age group, followed by those aged 64 and over. In 2016, according to Statistics Canada, the number of people close to retirement has exceeded the number of young people preparing to enter the labour market.

Politics in Canada

Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, is the current Prime Minister. He was sworn in November 2015 and will normally hold office until 2019, the year of the next federal election.

The Governor General of Canada is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister, but he has no real power. Rideau Hall in Ottawa and the Citadelle in Quebec City are the governor's residences.

Canada's federal parliamentary system is part of a democratic tradition inherited from 16th-century English democracy. The legislative branch consists of the Parliament, composed of the Governor General of Canada who represents the Queen, the Senate and the House of Commons.

Canada is considered one of the richest nations in the world. The country is also a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the G7. Its market economy is slightly more subject to government intervention than the US economy, but much less so than most European countries. In November 2018, the unemployment rate stood at 5.6%, the lowest rate in 40 years.

Immigration in Canada

More than 16 million people visit Canada each year. Each year, nearly 400,000 foreign workers go there to take up temporary jobs. In 2017, according to data from the Canadian Bureau for International Education, 494,525 international students were enrolled in Canadian schools (all levels combined).