Canada has a reputation of being one of the friendliest countries in the world, with a great international student and one of the most positive immigration policies in the world. Canada has consistently ranked in the top 15 of the world's "best nations" to live in. Three Canadian cities have also found their way to various lists of "most livable cities" in the world over the past three years: Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver. Small wonder that so many people want to settle permanently in the country!
As the largest of three countries that make up North America (the United States of America and Mexico are the other two), Canada is the second largest country in the world (after Russia) with a total area (land and water) of 9,984,670 sq. km. Canada is the world's largest country that borders only one country (the USA). The total land boundaries is 8,893 km, including 2,477 km, shared with Alaska. Climate varies from temperate in the south to subarctic and arctic in the north.
Not many know this but Canada has more fresh water than any other country in the world with at least two million lakes: more than all other countries combined! As of 2012, a total of 8,700 sq. km. was irrigated land. With all of its natural resources (iron, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, natural gas, hydropower to name a few), approximately 6.8% of land has been devoted to agriculture while 34.1% is forest cover.
As a high-tech industrial society in the trillion-dollar class, Canada resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system and high living standards. In addition, the country's petroleum sector is rapidly expanding, because Alberta's oil sands significantly boosted Canada's proven oil reserves. Canada now ranks third in the world in proved oil reserves behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia and is the world’s fifth-largest oil producer.
Canada enjoys a substantial trade surplus with the US, which absorbs about three-fourths of Canadian merchandise exports each year. Canada is the US's largest foreign supplier of energy, including oil, gas, and electric power, and a top source of US uranium imports. Given its abundant natural resources, highly skilled labor force, and modern capital plant, Canada enjoyed solid economic growth for several years.
Administratively, Canada is divided into 10 provinces and 3 territories as follows:
The population of Canada was estimated at 35,362,905 in July 2016. However, most Canadian live about 300 km of the southern border with the United States. The most populated Canadian province is Ontario followed by Quebec and British Columbia. About 81.8% of the total population in 2015 lived in urban centers broken down as follows:
If you intend to immigrate to Canada, you would be happy to note that many Canadians are able to identify more than one ethnic origin in their families. While English and French are the official languages, other languages are spoken as well including Punjabi, Italian, Spanish, German, Cantonese, Tagalog and Arabic.
In 2015, the largest age group in Canada were people whose ages ranged between 25 and 54 years old, followed by people aged 65 years and older. The third largest group were children, aged 0 to 14 years old. In fact, the median age for Canadians is currently estimated at 42 years old: males 40.8 year; female 43.3 years.
The government of Canada cares for its citizens and residents with a good number of Social Welfare programs offered by the federal government including:
Canada has also one of the finest health care systems in the world with excellent hospitals, clinics and doctors' offices in almost all communities. National Health Insurance coverage is encouraged as health services may be available free of charge to Canadian residents who are registered in the program.