Canada Society and Economy

By | December 25, 2021

Population and society

The Canadian population density, with 3.9 residents per square kilometer, is among the lowest in the world. Most of the population lives in metropolitan areas of the major cities of the country, located on the border with U know. The metropolitan area of ​​Toronto has about 6,000,000 residents, Montreal 4,000,000, Calgary 1,400,000, Ottawa, the capital, about 1,300,000.

Life expectancy at birth has increased and, thanks above all to immigration flows, births and the population have also grown at one of the fastest rates among the G7 countries. English and French are the two official languages: about 65% of the population is English-speaking, 20.6% is French-speaking, while 11% speak other languages.

The second Canadian public expenditure item, after health care, is that reserved for education (equal to 5.3% of GDP), which is open and free for all, including refugees and immigrants, both at primary level is secondary. For Canada society, please check

The university system Canada is among the best in the world. According to the Qs World University index, based on peer review parameters, faculty / student ratio, internationalization rate and number of citations in scientific publications, McGill University of Montreal and the University of Toronto are among the top 35 best universities in the world.

Public spending on health is very high and exceeds 7.5% of GDP. A 1984 reform (called the Canada Health Act) establishes that the health system must rest on five pillars: universality, globality, accessibility, validity abroad and public administration. In other words, health care spending is about 70% funded by the state and medical coverage is universal and free. The state is estimated to have spent nearly $ 6,000 per citizen in 2013; nevertheless, two-thirds of Canadians opt for private insurance that also guarantees medical benefits not covered by the state health system.

Freedom and rights

Canada is among the first countries in the world in terms of democracy. The level of perceived corruption is among the lowest in the world and political and civil rights are fully respected: Canada is in 10th place in the world ranking of Transparency International on perceived corruption, the best performer within the G7.

The media system is pluralistic, competitive and free from government pressure, although there is an effective information oligopoly. Quebecor, headquartered in Montreal, controls the most important French-language television network and Sun Media Publishing owns more than one hundred newspapers and magazines distributed throughout the territory. Finally, Bell Canada, the largest telephone company in the country, manages Ctv Television, the Bell ExpressVu satellite-TV and controlled the national newspaper The Globe and Mail, which was later owned by The Woodbridge Company.

After the 2015 elections, over a quarter of seats in parliament (26%) are occupied by women, who are well represented even in the most important job categories. Following two years of heated internal debate, in 2004 the Supreme Court sanctioned the legality of same-sex marriage, guaranteed by a national law approved the following February.


Canada is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the freest economy among G7 members and a GDP that reaches nearly $ 1600 billion. The country suffered its first economic recession in 2009 (-2.7%) since 1991, as an effect of the global crisis, but since 2010 it has shown a solid recovery trend, with growth of around 1.5-2% per year. . Growth declined to 1% between 2014 and 2015, but is expected to return to 2%, or even more, in the next few years. The service sector employs over three quarters of the workforce (76.1%) and accounts for more than two thirds of GDPtotal (70.8%). Canada differs from the large economies of the rest of the planet in being a net exporter of energy, even though it is among the first countries in the world for consumption. This is due to its huge natural and hydrocarbon resources. Canada is also the world’s second largest producer of uranium (around 16% of total reserves), behind Kazakhstan. The country also boasts important diamond deposits, so much so that Ottawa’s diamond production accounts for just over 8% of the entire world precious gem industry. Canada is also a major producer of wheat (the sixth in the world), mostly exported to the United States. The fishing sector, traditionally highly developed, has undergone a progressive decline in recent years as the natural reproductive capacity of the fish fauna has been exceeded. Washington is Ottawa’s most important trading partner: it absorbs 77% of Canadian exports and supplies more than 50% of imports.

Bilateral trade intensified considerably with the establishment of NAFTA. Still in the field of international trade, may take a significant relevance to Ottawa also Ceta and TPP. Thanks to an exchange that has exceeded $ 50 billion since 2009, China has become Canada’s second largest trading partner. This generated a balance deficit on the Canadian side of over 40 billion dollars. Given the large spaces that make up the Canadian territory, infrastructures play a fundamental role: the country boasts a railway transport system which, with its 52,002 kilometers, is the third by length of all OECD countries., behind only the United States and Germany.

Energy and environment

Canada is a net exporter of energy, almost exclusively to the US, of which it is the world’s largest supplier of oil (almost 3.5 million barrels per day). Ottawa has traditionally exported large quantities of oil and natural gas to the United States, but the latter’s energy demand is rapidly decreasing due to the increasingly widespread extraction of shale oil and shale gas from US soil.

On its territory, Canada has the third estimated oil reserves in the world (172 billion barrels), behind only Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. At the same time, Ottawa is the fourth largest producer of natural gas in the world, with approximately 143 billion cubic meters per year (G mc / y), after Russia and the USA. The problem is that it is oil from tar sands, the extraction of which is both expensive and polluting at the same time. Furthermore, the concentration of fields in the west of the country makes it cheaper for Canada to export oil directly to the United States rather than internally, to its eastern area. Also for this reason, Canada imports huge quantities of oil – about 2 million barrels a day – mostly from Algeria, the main trading partner in Africa, as well as from the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Norway and Saudi Arabia. Domestic consumption of natural gas is instead of about 85 Gmc / y, which allows Canada to have a surplus to export (about 60 Gmc / y). In addition to hydrocarbon resources, Ottawa has two other main sources of electricity generation: hydroelectricity and nuclear power.

Canada is also the second largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world behind China, but ahead of Brazil, the USA and Russia. Nuclear power generation plants, which account for 10.8% of total electricity production, are concentrated mainly in Ontario, in the eastern part of the country.

Canada, among the top ten countries in the world for CO 2 emissions, ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, but was subsequently the first country to withdraw from the agreement in December 2011. At the basis of this decision lay concern of the government that heavy environmental constraints could have jeopardized the performance of the economy, in the face of a particularly difficult economic situation. The decision to abandon the Kyoto Protocol was also influenced by the desire to exploit unconventional oil fields.

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