- Full name: Canada
- Population: 33.6 million (UN, 2009)
- Capital: Ottawa
- Largest city: Toronto
- Area: 9.9 million sq km (3.8 million sq miles)
- Major languages: English, French (both official)
- Major religion: Christianity
- Life expectancy: 78 years (men), 83 years (women) (UN)
- Monetary unit: 1 Canadian dollar = 100 cents
- Main exports: Machinery and equipment, automotive products, metals and plastics, forestry products,agricultural and fishing products, energy products
- GNI per capita: US $41,730 (World Bank, 2008)
- Internet domain: .ca
- International dialling code: +1
Canada is the second largest country in the world after Russia. However, its population is only about one-fifth of Russia's.
Nearly 90% of Canadians live within 200km of the border with the United States, which means that Canada contains vast expanses of wilderness to the north.
The relationship to its powerful neighbour is a defining factor for Canada. The US and Canada have the world's largest trading relationship.
Immigration has helped to make Canada one of the world's richest nations. Challenges related to discrimination and integration are gaining increasing attention. Many recent newcomers hail from Asia. Canada's indigenous peoples make up less than two per cent of the population. The way in which provincial governments share land and natural resources with native groups is an ongoing issue.
Health care and living standards are among the highest in the world. Canada's economy is based on vast natural resources, a robust financial industry, and innovative manufacturing including the renewable energy sector. Canada has remained resilient through the global financial crises.
Cost of living is affordable, although the strong currency has made it relatively more expensive in recent times. Canada's real attraction comes in the form of nature and outdoor activities. In summer, there's hiking, boating, golf, and fishing. Winter offers outdoor activities like skiing, snow mobiling, and ice fishing. Canadians are warm, welcoming, and fun, and the country still retains many of the charms brought by her early visitors from Europe.Back