Open main menu


World Factbook (1982) Canada.jpg
(See reference map II)


9,971,500 km2; 4% cultivated, 2% meadows and pastures, 44% forested, 42% waste or urban, 8% inland water

Land boundaries: 9,010 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 12 nm (fishing 200 nm)

Coastline: 90,908 km


Population: 24,469,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 1.1%

Nationality: noun—Canadian(s); adjective—Canadian

Ethnic divisions: 44% British Isles origin, 30% French origin, 26% other

Religion: 48% Protestant, 47% Catholic, 5% other

Language: English and French official

Literacy: almost complete

Labor force: 11.9 million (December 1981); 41% service, 19% manufacturing, 17% trade, 8% transportation and utilities, 6% construction, 4% agriculture, 5% other; 7.6% unemployment (1981 average); 8.6% unemployment (December 1981)

Organized labor: 30% of labor force


Official name: Canada

Type: federal state recognizing Elizabeth II as sovereign

Capital: Ottawa

Political subdivisions: 10 provinces and 2 territories

Legal system: based on English common law, except in Quebec, where civil law system based on French law prevails; constitution is British North America Act of 1867 and various amendments; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

National holiday: Canada Day, 1 July (official name: Dominion Day)

Branches: federal executive power vested in Cabinet collectively responsible to House of Commons, and headed by Prime Minister; federal legislative authority resides in Parliament (282 seats) consisting of Queen represented by Governor General, Senate, and Commons; judges appointed by Governor General on the advice of the government; Supreme Court is highest tribunal

Government leaders: Prime Minister Pierre E. TRUDEAU; Governor General Edward R. SCHREYER

Suffrage: universal over age 18

Elections: legal limit of five years but in practice usually held within four years, last election February 1980; voter turnout, 72%

Political parties and leaders: Liberal, Pierre Trudeau; Progressive-Conservative, Joe Clark; New Democratic, Edward Broadbent

Voting strength (1980 election): Liberal, 44%; Progressive Conservative, 33%; New Democratic Party, 20%; Parliamentary seats as of March 1982 — Liberal (146 seats), Progressive Conservative (101 seats), New Democratic Party (32 seats), Independent (1 seat), vacant (2 seats)

Communists: approx. 2,000

Member of: ADB, Colombo Plan, Commomwealth, DAC, FAO, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICES, ICO, ICRC, IDA, IDB, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, International Lead and Zinc Study Group, IMCO, IMF, IPU, ISO, ITC, ITU, IWC—International Whaling Commission, IWC—International Wheat Council, NATO, OAS (observer), OECD, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WSG


GNP: $252.2 billion (1980 in 1980 prices), $10,832 per capita (1980); 63% consumption, 20% government, 20% investment, —3% net foreign trade; real growth rate 5.3% (1970-74), 2.8% (1975-80)

Agriculture: main products—livestock, grains (principally wheat), dairy products; food shortages—fresh fruits and vegetables; caloric intake, 3,180 calories per day per capita (1966-67)

Fishing: catch 892 million metric tons; exports 784.7 million metric tons (1978)

Major industries: mining, metals, food products, wood and paper products, transportation equipment, chemicals

Shortages: rubber, rolled steel, fruits, precision instruments

Crude steel: 15.9 million metric tons produced (1980)

Electric power: 78,000,000 kW capacity (1980); 366.677 billion kWh produced (1980), 15,260 kWh per capita

Exports: $66,289 million (f.o.b., 1980; principal items—transportation equipment, wood and wood products including paper, ferrous and nonferrous ores, crude petroleum, wheat; Canada is a major food exporter

Imports: $59,473 million (f.o.b., 1980); principal items—transportation equipment, machinery, crude petroleum, communication equipment, textiles, steel, fabricated metals, office machines, fruits and vegetables

Major trade partners: 67% US, 11% EC, 4.4% Japan (1980)

Aid: economic—(received US, $412.8 million Ex-Im Bank, FY70-79); Canada commitments to LDCs (1970-79), bilateral ODA and OOF, $12.0 billion

Budget: total revenues $42,250 million; current expenditures $51,213 million; gross capital expenditure $1,014 million; budget deficit $9,167 million (1980; National Accounts Basis)

Monetary conversion rate: there is no designated par value for the Canadian dollar, which was allowed to float freely on the exchanges beginning 1 June 1970; since then the Canadian dollar has moved between US$0.81-1.04 in value, C$1.00=US$0.8572 (official rate, 1980 average)

Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March


Railroads: 68,978 km total; 67,616 km standard gauge (1.435 m), 43 km electrified; 1,183 km 1.067-meter gauge (in Newfoundland); 179 km 0.914-meter gauge

Highways: 829,325 km total; 640,850 km surfaced (189,800 km paved), 188,475 km earth

Inland waterways: 3,000 km

Pipelines: oil, 23,564 km total crude and refined; natural gas, 74,980 km

Ports: 19 major, 300 minor

Civil air: 599 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 1,863 total, 1,510 usable; 358 with permanent-surface runways; 4 with runways over 3,659 m, 30 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 316 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: excellent service provided by modern telecom media; 15.9 million telephones (66.6 per 100 popl.); countrywide AM, FM, and TV coverage including 630 AM, 80 FM, and 500 TV stations; 8 coaxial submarine cables; 2 satellite stations with total of 5 antennas and 70 domestic satellite stations


Military manpower: males 15-49, 6,694,000; 5,744,000 fit for military service; 202,000 reach military age (17) annually