Introduction :: Canada


A land of vast distances and rich natural resources, Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867, while retaining ties to the British crown. Canada repatriated its constitution from the UK in 1982, severing a final colonial tie. Economically and technologically, the nation has developed in parallel with the US, its neighbor to the south across the world’s longest international border. Canada faces the political challenges of meeting public demands for quality improvements in health care, education, social services, and economic competitiveness, as well as responding to the particular concerns of predominantly francophone Quebec. Canada also aims to develop its diverse energy resources while maintaining its commitment to the environment.

Geography :: Canada


Northern North America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean on the east, North Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Arctic Ocean on the north, north of the conterminous US

Geographic coordinates

60 00 N, 95 00 W

Map references

North America


total: 9,984,670 sq km

land: 9,093,507 sq km

water: 891,163 sq km

Area – comparative

Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 8,893 km

border countries (1): US 8893 km (includes 2477 km with Alaska)

note: Canada is the world’s largest country that borders only one country


202,080 km

note: the Canadian Arctic Archipelago – consisting of 36,563 islands, several of them some of the world’s largest – contributes to Canada easily having the longest coastline in the world

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north


mostly plains with mountains in west, lowlands in southeast


mean elevation: 487 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mount Logan 5,959 m

Natural resources

bauxite, iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, rare earth elements, molybdenum, potash, diamonds, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower

Land use

agricultural land: 6.8% (2011 est.)

arable land: 4.7% (2011 est.) /** permanent crops:** 0.5% (2011 est.) /** permanent pasture:** 1.6% (2011 est.)

forest: 34.1% (2011 est.)

other: 59.1% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

8,700 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

vast majority of Canadians are positioned in a discontinuous band within approximately 300 km of the southern border with the United States; the most populated province is Ontario, followed by Quebec and British Columbia

Natural hazards

continuous permafrost in north is a serious obstacle to development; cyclonic storms form east of the Rocky Mountains, a result of the mixing of air masses from the Arctic, Pacific, and North American interior, and produce most of the country’s rain and snow east of the mountains

volcanism: the vast majority of volcanoes in Western Canada’s Coast Mountains remain dormant

Environment – current issues

metal smelting, coal-burning utilities, and vehicle emissions impacting agricultural and forest productivity; air pollution and resulting acid rain severely affecting lakes and damaging forests; ocean waters becoming contaminated due to agricultural, industrial, mining, and forestry activities

Environment – international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Marine Life Conservation

Geography – note

note 1: second-largest country in world (after Russia) and largest in the Americas; strategic location between Russia and US via north polar route; approximately 90% of the population is concentrated within 160 km (100 mi) of the US border

note 2: Canada has more fresh water than any other country and almost 9% of Canadian territory is water; Canada has at least 2 million and possibly over 3 million lakes – that is more than all other countries combined

People and Society :: Canada


37,694,085 (July 2020 est.)


noun: Canadian(s)

adjective: Canadian

Ethnic groups

Canadian 32.3%, English 18.3%, Scottish 13.9%, French 13.6%, Irish 13.4%, German 9.6%, Chinese 5.1%, Italian 4.6%, North American Indian 4.4%, East Indian 4%, other 51.6% (2016 est.)

note: percentages add up to more than 100% because respondents were able to identify more than one ethnic origin


English (official) 58.7%, French (official) 22%, Punjabi 1.4%, Italian 1.3%, Spanish 1.3%, German 1.3%, Cantonese 1.2%, Tagalog 1.2%, Arabic 1.1%, other 10.5% (2011 est.)


Catholic 39% (includes Roman Catholic 38.8%, other Catholic .2%), Protestant 20.3% (includes United Church 6.1%, Anglican 5%, Baptist 1.9%, Lutheran 1.5%, Pentecostal 1.5%, Presbyterian 1.4%, other Protestant 2.9%), Orthodox 1.6%, other Christian 6.3%, Muslim 3.2%, Hindu 1.5%, Sikh 1.4%, Buddhist 1.1%, Jewish 1%, other 0.6%, none 23.9% (2011 est.)

Age structure

population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 51.2

youth dependency ratio: 23.9

elderly dependency ratio: 27.4

potential support ratio: 3.7 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 41.8 years

male: 40.6 years

female: 42.9 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

0.81% (2020 est.)

Birth rate

10.2 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)

Death rate

7.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)

Net migration rate

5.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)

Population distribution

vast majority of Canadians are positioned in a discontinuous band within approximately 300 km of the southern border with the United States; the most populated province is Ontario, followed by Quebec and British Columbia


urban population: 81.6% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: 0.97% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas – population

6.197 million Toronto, 4.221 million Montreal, 2.581 million Vancouver, 1.547 million Calgary, 1.461 million Edmonton, 1.393 million OTTAWA (capital) (2020)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother’s mean age at first birth

28.1 years (2012 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

10 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 4.3 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 4.5 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 83.4 years

male: 81.1 years

female: 85.9 years (2020 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.57 children born/woman (2020 est.)

Drinking water source

improved:** urban:** 100% of population

rural: 98.9% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved:** urban:** 0% of population

rural: 1.1% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

10.6% (2017)

Physicians density

2.31 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

2.5 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved:** urban:** 100% of population

rural: 98.7% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved:** urban:** 0% of population

rural: 1.3% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate


HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS – deaths


Obesity – adult prevalence rate

29.4% (2016)

Education expenditures

5.3% of GDP (2011)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 16 years

male: 16 years

female: 17 years (2016)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 11.1%

male: 12.5%

female: 9.6% (2018 est.)

Government :: Canada

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Canada

etymology: the country name likely derives from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word “kanata” meaning village or settlement

Government type

federal parliamentary democracy (Parliament of Canada) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm; federal and state authorities and responsibilities regulated in constitution


name: Ottawa

geographic coordinates: 45 25 N, 75 42 W

time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November

note: Canada has six time zones etymology: the city lies on the south bank of the Ottawa River, from which it derives its name; the river name comes from the Algonquin word “adawe” meaning “to trade” and refers to the indigenous peoples who used the river as a trade highway

Administrative divisions

10 provinces and 3 territories; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon


1 July 1867 (union of British North American colonies); 11 December 1931 (recognized by UK per Statute of Westminster)

National holiday

Canada Day, 1 July (1867)


history: consists of unwritten and written acts, customs, judicial decisions, and traditions dating from 1763; the written part of the constitution consists of the Constitution Act of 29 March 1867, which created a federation of four provinces, and the Constitution Act of 17 April 1982

amendments: proposed by either house of Parliament or by the provincial legislative assemblies; there are 5 methods for passage though most require approval by both houses of Parliament, approval of at least two thirds of the provincial legislative assemblies and assent and formalization as a proclamation by the governor general in council; the most restrictive method is reserved for amendments affecting fundamental sections of the constitution, such as the office of the monarch or the governor general, and the constitutional amendment procedures, which require unanimous approval by both houses and by all the provincial assemblies, and assent of the governor general in council; amended 11 times, last in 2011 (Fair Representation Act, 2011)

Legal system

common law system except in Quebec, where civil law based on the French civil code prevails

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: minimum of 3 of last 5 years resident in Canada


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Julie PAYETTE (since 2 October 2017)

head of government: Prime Minister Justin Pierre James TRUDEAU (Liberal Party) (since 4 November 2015)

cabinet: Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister usually from among members of his/her own party sitting in Parliament

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister for a 5-year term; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition in the House of Commons generally designated prime minister by the governor general

note: the governor general position is largely ceremonial; Julie PAYETTE, a former space shuttle astronaut, is Canada’s fourth female governor general but the first to have flown in space

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of:

Senate or Senat (105 seats; members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister and can serve until age 75)
House of Commons or Chambre des Communes (338 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote with terms up to 4 years)
elections: Senate – appointed; latest appointments in December 2018

House of Commons – last held on 21 October 2019 (next to be held in October 2023)
election results:
Senate – composition as of December 2018 – men 51, women 54, percent of women 51.4%
House of Commons – percent of vote by party – CPC 34.4%, Liberal Party 33.1%, NDP 15.9%, Bloc Quebecois 7.7%, Greens 6.5%, other 2.4%; seats by party – Liberal Party 157, CPC 121, NDP 24, Bloc Quebecois 32, Greens 4; composition – men 240, women 98, percent of women 29%; note – total Parliament percent of women 34.3%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court of Canada (consists of the chief justice and 8 judges); note – in 1949, Canada abolished all appeals beyond its Supreme Court, which prior to that time, were heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)

judge selection and term of office: chief justice and judges appointed by the prime minister in council; all judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 75

subordinate courts:** federal level:** Federal Court of Appeal; Federal Court; Tax Court; federal administrative tribunals; Courts Martial; provincial/territorial level: provincial superior, appeals, first instance, and specialized courts; note – in 1999, the Nunavut Court – a circuit court with the power of a provincial superior court, as well as a territorial court – was established to serve isolated settlements

Political parties and leaders

Bloc Quebecois [Mario BEAULIEU]
Conservative Party of Canada or CPC [Erin O’TOOLE]
Green Party [Jo-Ann ROBERTS]
Liberal Party [Justin TRUDEAU]
New Democratic Party or NDP [Jagmeet SINGH]
People’s Party of Canada [Maxime BERNIER]

International organization participation

ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CD, CDB, CE (observer), EAPC, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAFTA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

Ambassador Kirsten HILLMAN (since 17 July 2020)
chancery: 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001

telephone: 1 682-1740

FAX: 1 682-7726
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco/Silicon Valley, Seattle

trade office(s): Houston, Palo Alto (CA), San Diego; note – there are trade offices in the Consulates General

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d’Affaires Richard M. MILLS, Jr. (since 23 August 2019)

telephone: 1 688-5335

embassy: 490 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8

mailing address: P. O. Box 5000, Ogdensburg, NY 13669-0430; P.O. Box 866, Station B, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5T1

FAX: 1 688-3082
consulate(s) general: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver

consulate(s): Winnipeg

Flag description

two vertical bands of red (hoist and fly side, half width) with white square between them; an 11-pointed red maple leaf is centered in the white square; the maple leaf has long been a Canadian symbol

National symbol(s)

maple leaf, beaver; national colors: red, white

National anthem


Economy :: Canada

Economy – overview

Canada resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and high living standards. Since World War II, the impressive growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. Canada has a large oil and natural gas sector with the majority of crude oil production derived from oil sands in the western provinces, especially Alberta. Canada now ranks third in the world in proved oil reserves behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia and is the worlds seventh-largest oil producer.

TThe 1989 Canada-US Free Trade Agreement and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (which includes Mexico) dramatically increased trade and economic integration between the US and Canada. Canada and the US enjoy the worlds most comprehensive bilateral trade and investment relationship, with goods and services trade totaling more than $680 billion in 2017, and two-way investment stocks of more than $800 billion. Over three-fourths of Canadas merchandise exports are destined for the US each year. Canada is the largest foreign supplier of energy to the US, including oil, natural gas, and electric power, and a top source of US uranium imports.

Given its abundant natural resources, highly skilled labor force, and modern capital stock, Canada enjoyed solid economic growth from 1993 through 2007. The global economic crisis of 2007-08 moved the Canadian economy into sharp recession by late 2008, and Ottawa posted its first fiscal deficit in 2009 after 12 years of surplus. Canada’s major banks emerged from the financial crisis of 2008-09 among the strongest in the world, owing to the financial sector’s tradition of conservative lending practices and strong capitalization. Canadas economy posted strong growth in 2017 at 3%, but most analysts are projecting Canadas economic growth will drop back closer to 2% in 2018.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1.774 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.721 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.697 trillion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1.653 trillion (2017 est.)

GDP – real growth rate

3% (2017 est.)
1.4% (2016 est.)
1% (2015 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)

$48,400 (2017 est.)
$47,500 (2016 est.)
$47,400 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving

20.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
20% of GDP (2016 est.)
20.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

GDP – composition, by end use

household consumption: 57.8% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 20.8% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 23% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 30.9% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -33.2% (2017 est.)

GDP – composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.6% (2017 est.)

industry: 28.2% (2017 est.)

services: 70.2% (2017 est.)

Agriculture – products

wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables; dairy products; fish; forest products


transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, fish products, petroleum, natural gas

Industrial production growth rate

4.9% (2017 est.)

Labor force

19.52 million (2017 est.)

Labor force – by occupation

agriculture: 2%

industry: 13%

services: 6%

industry and services: 76%

manufacturing: 3% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate

6.3% (2017 est.)
7% (2016 est.)

Population below poverty line

9.4% (2008 est.)

note: this figure is the Low Income Cut-Off, a calculation that results in higher figures than found in many comparable economies; Canada does not have an official poverty line

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 24.8% (2000)


revenues: 649.6 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 665.7 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

39.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

89.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
91.1% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: figures are for gross general government debt, as opposed to net federal debt; gross general government debt includes both intragovernmental debt and the debt of public entities at the sub-national level

Fiscal year

1 April – 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1.6% (2017 est.)
1.4% (2016 est.)

Current account balance

-$48.75 billion (2017 est.)
-$49.32 billion (2016 est.)


$423.5 billion (2017 est.)
$393.5 billion (2016 est.)

Exports – partners

US 76.4%, China 4.3% (2017)

Exports – commodities

motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, aircraft, telecommunications equipment; chemicals, plastics, fertilizers; wood pulp, timber, crude petroleum, natural gas, electricity, aluminum


$442.1 billion (2017 est.)
$413.4 billion (2016 est.)

Imports – commodities

machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, crude oil, chemicals, electricity, durable consumer goods

Imports – partners

US 51.5%, China 12.6%, Mexico 6.3% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$86.68 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$82.72 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt – external

$1.608 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$1.55 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

Canadian dollars (CAD) per US dollar –
1.308 (2017 est.)
1.3256 (2016 est.)
1.3256 (2015 est.)
1.2788 (2014 est.)
1.0298 (2013 est.)

Energy :: Canada

Electricity access

electrification – total population: 100% (2016)

Electricity – production

649.6 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity – consumption

522.2 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity – exports

73.35 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity – imports

2.682 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity – installed generating capacity

143.5 million kW (2016 est.)

Electricity – from fossil fuels

23% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)

Electricity – from nuclear fuels

9% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Electricity – from hydroelectric plants

56% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Electricity – from other renewable sources

12% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Crude oil – production

4.264 million bbl/day (2018 est.)

Crude oil – exports

2.818 million bbl/day (2017 est.)

Crude oil – imports

806,700 bbl/day (2017 est.)

Crude oil – proved reserves

170.5 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)

Refined petroleum products – production

2.009 million bbl/day (2017 est.)

Refined petroleum products – consumption

2.445 million bbl/day (2017 est.)

Refined petroleum products – exports

1.115 million bbl/day (2017 est.)

Refined petroleum products – imports

405,700 bbl/day (2017 est.)

Natural gas – production

159.1 billion cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas – consumption

124.4 billion cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas – exports

83.96 billion cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas – imports

26.36 billion cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas – proved reserves

2.056 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

640.6 million Mt (2017 est.)

Communications :: Canada

Telephones – fixed lines

total subscriptions: 13.842 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 37 (2018 est.)

Telephones – mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 33,211,401

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 90 (2018 est.)

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: excellent service provided by first-rate technology; offers 99% coverage with LTE; consumer demand for mobile data services have prompted telecom companies to invest and advance LTE infrastructure, and further investment in 5G; govt. policy has aided the extension of broadband to rural and regional areas, with the result that services are almost universally accessible; govt. sets up $400 million public-private partnership to exploit benefits of 5G (2020)

domestic: 37 per 100 fixed-line; 90 per 100 mobile-cellular; comparatively low mobile penetration provides further room for growth; domestic satellite system with about 300 earth stations (2018)

international: country code – 1; landing points for the Nunavut Undersea Fiber Optic Network System, Greenland Connect, Persona, GTT Atlantic, and Express, KetchCan 1 Submarine Fiber Cable system, St Pierre and Miquelon Cable submarine cables providing links to the US and Europe; satellite earth stations – 7 (5 Intelsat – 4 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean, and 2 Intersputnik – Atlantic Ocean region) (2019)

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic’s effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry – mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite – has moderated

Broadcast media

2 public TV broadcasting networks, 1 in English and 1 in French, each with a large number of network affiliates; several private-commercial networks also with multiple network affiliates; overall, about 150 TV stations; multi-channel satellite and cable systems provide access to a wide range of stations including US stations; mix of public and commercial radio broadcasters with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the public radio broadcaster, operating 4 radio networks, Radio Canada International, and radio services to indigenous populations in the north; roughly 1,119 licensed radio stations (2016)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 33,743,954

percent of population: 91% (July 2018 est.)

Broadband – fixed subscriptions

total: 14,445,606

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 39 (2018 est.)

Military and Security :: Canada

Military and security forces

Canadian Forces: Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Joint Operations Command, Canadian Special Operations Forces Command; Primary Reserve (army, air, naval reserves); Coast Guard (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) (2019)

note: the Army reserves include the Canadian Rangers, which provides a limited presence in Canada’s northern, coastal, and isolated areas for sovereignty, public safety, and surveillance roles

Military expenditures

1.31% of GDP (2019 est.)
1.31% of GDP (2018)
1.44% of GDP (2017)
1.16% of GDP (2016)
1.2% of GDP (2015)

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Canadian Armed (CAF) Forces have approximately 66,000 total active personnel (23,000 Army; 8,300 Navy; 12,000 Air Force; 23,000 other uniformed personnel) (2019 est.)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the CAF’s inventory is a mix of domestically-produced equipment and imported weapons systems from Australia, Europe, Israel, and the US; since 2010, the leading supplier is the US; Canada’s defense industry develops, maintains, and produces a range of equipment, including aircraft, combat vehicles, naval vessels, and associated components (2019 est.)

Military deployments

540 Latvia (NATO); 150 Ukraine (training mission); up to 850 Middle East (multiple missions, including Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and NATO assistance mission Iraq) (2020)

Military service age and obligation

17 years of age for voluntary male and female military service (with parental consent); 16 years of age for Reserve and Military College applicants; Canadian citizenship or permanent residence status required; maximum 34 years of age; service obligation 3-9 years (2012)

Transportation :: Canada

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 51 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 879

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 89.38 million (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 3,434,070,000 mt-km (2018)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

C (2016)


1,467 (2013)

Airports – with paved runways

total: 523 (2017)

over 3,047 m: 21 (2017)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 19 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 147 (2017)

914 to 1,523 m: 257 (2017)

under 914 m: 79 (2017)

Airports – with unpaved runways

total: 944 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 75 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 385 (2013)

under 914 m: 484 (2013)


26 (2013)


110000 km gas and liquid petroleum (2017)


total: 77,932 km (2014)

standard gauge: 77,932 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)


total: 1,042,300 km (2011)

paved: 415,600 km (includes 17,000 km of expressways) (2011)

unpaved: 626,700 km (2011)


636 km (Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, shared with United States) (2011)

Merchant marine

total: 669

by type: bulk carrier 18, container ship 1, general cargo 76, oil tanker 16, other 558 (2019)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Halifax, Saint John (New Brunswick), Vancouver

oil terminal(s): Lower Lakes terminal

container port(s) (TEUs): Montreal (1,537,669), Vancouver (3,252,225) (2017)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Saint John
river and lake port(s): Montreal, Quebec City, Sept-Isles (St. Lawrence)

dry bulk cargo port(s): Port-Cartier (iron ore and grain),

Fraser River Port (Fraser) Hamilton (Lake Ontario)

Transnational Issues :: Canada

Disputes – international

managed maritime boundary disputes with the US at Dixon Entrance, Beaufort Sea, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Gulf of Maine, including the disputed Machias Seal Island and North Rock; Canada and the United States dispute how to divide the Beaufort Sea and the status of the Northwest Passage but continue to work cooperatively to survey the Arctic continental shelf; US works closely with Canada to intensify security measures for monitoring and controlling legal and illegal movement of people, transport, and commodities across the international border; sovereignty dispute with Denmark over Hans Island in the Kennedy Channel between Ellesmere Island and Greenland; commencing the collection of technical evidence for submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in support of claims for continental shelf beyond 200 nm from its declared baselines in the Arctic, as stipulated in Article 76, paragraph 8, of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 7,356 (Colombia), 7,192 (China), 7,141 (Haiti), 5,483 (Nigeria), 5,607 (Pakistan) (2018); 6,751 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum, are recognized as refugees, or have received alternative legal stay) (2019)

stateless persons: 3,790 (2018)

Illicit drugs

illicit producer of cannabis for the domestic drug market and export to US; use of hydroponics technology permits growers to plant large quantities of high-quality marijuana indoors; increasing ecstasy production, some of which is destined for the US; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering because of its mature financial services sector


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