The Anglo-Canadians make up the largest proportion of the population, followed by the French-Canadians. While the Indians of various tribes live all over the country, the Inuit (Eskimos) settle in northern Canada, especially in Nunavut, a self-governing territory.
The population of the sparsely populated country is also very unevenly distributed: Four fifths of the huge country, especially large parts of the polar north, are almost uninhabited. Nature lovers can wander through the tundras and forests for days without meeting a soul.
The vast majority of Canadians live in a strip on the border with the United States, nearly 65% of them in the eastern provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Accordingly, urbanization is well advanced: Almost 80% of Canadians are at home in a city. The major cities, where over half of Canadians live, are the preferred settlement centers. The three megacities of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal no longer differ with their skylines from the big cities of the USA.
The natural resources of Canada are its natural resources, its energy sources, mainly hydropower, the fertile soil of the prairies and the endless forests of coniferous forest zone. The development of these natural resources is extremely difficult, especially in the northern regions of Canada. The industrial conurbations of the highly developed industrial country are therefore in the south of the country, but have hardly any connections with one another. Rather, they are closely intertwined with the neighboring economic areas of the USA, which are also Canada’s most important trading partners.
The economic upswing from an agricultural to an industrialized country took place during and after the Second World War, supported by an increasing demand for Canadian products. It had a positive effect that the European competition initially failed due to the effects of the war.
Two thirds of the usable area is used for arable farming. The most important arable areas are the prairie provinces of Manitobe, Saskatchewan and Alberta. With highly mechanized cultivation, they produce around 90% of the wheat harvest as well as most of the oat, barley and oilseed yields. Canada is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of these agricultural products.
The livestock and dairy industry provides around half of the share of agriculture in GDP.
Mining and industry
Canada has significant natural resources. The province of Alberta produces oil, natural gas and coal. Ontario is rich in nickel, copper, iron, and gold. Zinc and molybdenum are found in British Columbia and iron, copper and asbestos in the province of Quebec. There are other huge oil and natural gas reserves in the Canadian Arctic. In the industry, therefore, is the country with its wide variety of industries, processing of agricultural and montane raw materials, d. H. the food and beverage industry, the iron, steel and metal processing industry and, last but not least, the chemical industry, are of great importance. Production technology and rationalization are very advanced in the factories of these branches.
The most important branch of industry in Canada, however, is the pulp and paper industry, which is based on Canada’s abundance of forests. In the production of wood pulp, pulp, cardboard and paper, the country ranks first in world production.
Motor vehicle and aircraft construction, the plastics industry and branches of the high-tech sector continue to be regarded as growth industries. Tourism is of growing economic importance for the country . Canada, the huge country with its spectacular natural landscapes, is attracting more and more tourists, mainly from the USA and increasingly from Europe and Japan. Many are nature lovers who explore the country by motorhome and often fulfill a longstanding childhood dream.
The traffic density in Canada is a reflection of the population density:
In the south there is a dense network of roads and railways. In the north only the plane helps.
The main road link in the country is the Transcanada Highway, which connects the west coast with the east coast and is almost 8,000 km long.
Shipping is naturally of great importance. The Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River are the main inland waterways in the country.
The first settlers came from France at the beginning of the 17th century and founded the city of Quebec in 1608. British settlers followed a few years later. After France and England declared the areas inhabited by their settlers to be colony, conflicts between the two nations became more and more frequent, in which the resident Indian tribes were drawn.
The Seven Years’ War from 1756 to 1763 brings the decision. A British army conquers Quebec and advances to the Great Lakes. France loses its Canadian colony to Great Britain. However, the winners recognized the independence of the French population, which continues to this day.
After the American War of Independence (1775 to 1783), many British-loyal Americans fled and settled in the south of the British colony of Canada. They were followed in the 19th century by more than a million new settlers, mainly European ones, who also began to colonize the west along the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. The first stretch of rail to the Pacific coast, the Canadian Pacific Railway, was completed in 1885.
In the second half of the 19th century, the eastern provinces (including Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick) initially merged to form a federal state, the Dominion Canada. Other western provinces join the blossoming nation a little later.
More immigrants poured into the country in the first decades of the 20th century. The population doubles. In 1931 Canada finally obtained its complete independence from the British mother country. Since then it has been a parliamentary federal state, which as a monarchy belongs to the Commonwealth of Nations.