Canada 's population grew by +5.4% between 2001 and 2006—more rapidly than any other G8 country over the same period—for a total population of 31,612,897 (2006 Census). This was due primarily to an increase in international migration.

Immigrants now account for more than 70% of all Canadian labour force growth and, by 2030, will account for all population growth. Canada 's recent immigration levels have been double those of the United States , with priority given to high-skill workers.

  • Canada has the highest percentage of individuals achieving at least college or university education among the 50 countries surveyed (Source: World Competitiveness Yearbook, 2006).


Canada is becoming increasingly urbanized, with the vast majority of population growth taking place in metropolitan areas.  Nearly 25 million people, or 80% of Canadians, now live in Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Ottawa-Gatineau, Calgary and Edmonton.


The fastest population growth has been in Alberta—where a 10.6% population increase between 2001 and 2006 was twice the national average—and Ontario, the most populous province, with 12,160,282 residents. British Columbia and Québec are the next fastest-growing regions in the country.

Geographic Features

  • The 2nd largest country in the world, Canada covers the entire northern part of the North American continent, with the exception of Alaska.
  • Its massive land area is 9,093,507 sq. km, excluding freshwater areas that hold 10% of the world's fresh water.
  • Canada has the world's longest coastline at 243,792 km, surrounded by the Arctic , Atlantic and Pacific Oceans .
  • The southernmost point of land in Canada is farther south than Rome while the northernmost tip of land is close to the North Pole.
  • Canada shares a common border with the United States that stretches across 8,893 km.
  • 17 of Canada 's 20 largest cities are within an hour and a half drive of the US border.

Economic Activity

In 2006-07, Canada reported its 11th consecutive balanced budget and 10th consecutive budget surplus. The surpluses have been used to pay down the federal government's debt, which is projected to fall to 29% of GDP by 2008-09.

Canada remains the top performer among the G7 in GDP growth and is expected to continue its dynamic performance.  Canada has achieved exceptionally strong employment growth, with a 67.5% labour force participation rate—the highest in Canada 's history—and an unemployment rate of 6.1% in 2007, the lowest in 30 years. Canada also enjoys the lowest overall labour costs in the G7.

Characteristics of the Main Productive Sectors

The Canadian economy is well diversified and fast becoming knowledge-based.

The reasons for Canada 's economic success:

  • highly-educated population
  • wealth of natural resources
  • strength of its manufacturing and construction industries
  • health of the financial and service sectors
  • ability to span distances using communications and transportation technologies
  • dynamic trade relationships with other nations, especially the US
  • ability to compete in a global marketplace

Did you Know that:

The United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) released its 2009 Human Development Report, and ranked 182 countries in terms of the quality of life of their citizens, or the UN Human Development Index (HDI). The criteria included life expectancy, literacy rates, school enrollment, and the country's economy. Norway is ranked the first, followed by Australia and Iceland.  Canada is no. 4.  The 4th best country in the world to live in out of 182 countries.


World Bank ranks Canada 7th among 178 countries for the ease of Doing business

According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2008 several factors such make Canada one of the best place for engaging in business. Canada ranks particularly well for the ease in creating a new business (2nd), the protection of business investors (5th) and access to credit (7th).