Canada Demographics

What is the population of Canada?

Population 37,694,085
Population Growth Rate 0.77%
Urban Population 80.7%
Population in Major Urban Areas Toronto 5.573 million; Montreal 3.856 million; Vancouver 2.267 million; Calgary 1.216 million; OTTAWA (capital) 1.208 million; Edmonton 1.142 million
Nationality Noun Canadian(s)
Nationality Adjective Canadian
Ethnic Groups British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%
Languages Spoken English (official) 58.8%, French (official) 21.6%, other 19.6%

Canada Learning

What is school like in Canada?


Because Canadian schools are funded and overseen at the federal, provincial, and local government levels, the quality of the structures and classroom resources can vary somewhat. In general, schools are in good shape and are run well.

Perhaps of more interest, schools can vary their curriculum significantly. For example, at Vimy Ridge Academy in Edmonton School District in Alberta, students learn hockey skills for half of the school day. Some schools are taught in French, others in English. Some have Christian agendas, others are Islamic, and at least one concentrates on both.

Most schools require their students to bring their own lunches from home, and those who live close enough to the school sometimes will walk home for lunch and come back to school for the afternoon session. A few schools do have a cafeteria, mostly at the high school level. There is no national school lunch or breakfast program for Canadian schools.

Education Culture

Canada does not have a national school system; however, all children have the right to receive at least a public-funded education between the ages of six and sixteen. These public schools are funded by local and state taxes and are under those jurisdictions. Each province is divided into districts. A school board directs each district, and the board is made of people who are elected from within the district to establish policies for how the schools are administered.

In addition to public schools, families also have available a number of charter and private schools. For example, certain areas of Canada offer many faith-based private schools, but private schools require a fee from parents who send their children to attend there. Parents must also pay for certain expenses in a public school as well, but the basic books, teachers’ salaries, building maintenance, and the like are paid for from public funds.

Kindergarten is usually available at age four or five for one year prior to entrance into elementary school, which begins at age six. School systems usually include grades one through six or eight in elementary school, and some provinces include grades seven through eight or nine in middle school. Grades nine or ten through twelve attend high school, often also called secondary school. In smaller, rural communities, it is not uncommon for elementary school to include grades one through eight, with high school covering the remaining grades through twelve.


Children are in school for an average of six or seven hours per day (depending on provincial and local regulations), Monday through Friday, for approximately 190 days per year. School usually begins on the first Monday in September and finishes in early June. There is a two-week break toward the end of December, and most also have a spring break in February or March of one week.

Each school has its own dress code. A few require particular school uniforms, and some religious-based schools may require a particular dress code based on the sponsoring religion of that school. For example, a particular school may prohibit clothes that expose too much skin or undergarments, are gang-related, or are otherwise just not safe. Furthermore, given the cold temperatures in many parts of the country during the winter, students should dress appropriately to the weather conditions.

There is no national board of education in Canada, so each province and territory establishes its own curriculum. However, nearly all elementary schools will teach mathematics, language arts (such as reading and writing), science, social studies (including history and geography), and physical education. Secondary schools will teach increasingly focused aspects of these general subject areas and often include additional elective courses such as drama, choral and instrumental music, life skills (such as cooking or personal finances), foreign languages, athletics, and technical skills.

Schools provide their students (and parents) a report card either three or four times a year, depending on the province.  What the school actually teaches can vary widely between provinces.

To School

Most children ride buses provided by the school, some ride bikes to school or walk, and yet others will ride in a carpool or with a parent. The method of transportation often depends on whether the school is in an urban or rural setting, the time of year, and the economic status of the parents.

Canada Health Information

What are the health conditions in Canada?

Contraceptive Prevalence Rate - female 15-49 74%
Contraceptive Prevalence - note Note: percent of women aged 18-44
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 8.2
Drinking Water Source - percent of rural population improved 99%
Drinking Water Source - percent of total population unimproved 0.2%
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 100%
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 11.2%
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.3%
HIV/Aids Deaths 950
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population 3.2
Infant Mortality Rate - female deaths/1,000 live births 4.43
Infant Mortality Rate - male deaths/1,000 live births 5.11
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 4.78
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 12
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth 27.6
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 26.2%
People Living with HIV/AIDS 68,000
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population 2.07
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of total population unimproved 0.2%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 100%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of rural population improved 99%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 1.59

Canada Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Canada?

Life Expectancy at Birth 81 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - female 84 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - male 78 Years
Median Age 41 Years
Median Age - female 42 Years
Median Age - male 40 Years

Canada Infant Mortality - per 1,000 live births

Canada median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 10
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 8.2
Median Age 41 Years
Median Age - female 42 Years
Median Age - male 40 Years
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population 5.65
Population Growth Rate 0.77%
Sex Ratio 0-14 Years - male/female 1.05
Sex Ratio 15-24 Years - male/female 1.06
Sex Ratio 25-54 Years - male/female 1.03
Sex Ratio 55-64 Years - male/female .99
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.06
Sex Ratio of Total Population - male/female .99
Sex Ratio Over 64 Years - male/female .79

Canada Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Canada?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

The level of public health and sanitation in Canada is high. Canada’s medical care is of a high standard but is government-controlled. Quick and easy access to ongoing medical care is difficult for temporary visitors who are not members of each province’s government-run health care plans. Many physicians will not take new patients. Access to a specialist is only by referral and may take months to obtain. Emergency room waits can be very long. Some health care professionals in the province of Quebec may speak only French.

Traveler’s medical insurance is highly recommended even for brief visits. No Canadian health care provider accepts U.S. domestic health insurance, and Medicare coverage does not extend outside the United States. Visitors who seek any medical attention in Canada should be prepared to pay cash in full at the time the service is rendered.

Canada Education

What is school like in Canada?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 5.4%
Literacy - female 99%
Literacy - male 99%
Literacy - total population 99%
Literacy Definition Age 15 and over can read and write
School Life Expectancy - female 16 Years
School Life Expectancy - male 15 Years
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 16 Years

Canada Literacy

Can people in Canada read?

Literacy - female 99%
Literacy - male 99%
Literacy - total population 99%
Literacy Definition Age 15 and over can read and write
Predominant Language English (official) 58.8%, French (official) 21.6%, other 19.6%

Canada Crime

Is Canada a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

Although Canada generally has a lower crime rate than the United States, violent crimes do occur throughout the country, especially in urban areas. Visitors to large cities should be aware that parked cars are regularly targeted for opportunistic smash-and-grab thefts, and they are cautioned to avoid leaving any possessions unattended in a vehicle, even in the trunk. Due to the high incidence of such crimes, motorists in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and some other jurisdictions can be fined for leaving their car doors unlocked or for leaving valuables in view.

Auto theft in Montreal and Vancouver, including theft of motor homes and recreational vehicles, may even occur in patrolled and apparently secure parking lots and decks. SUVs appear to be particular targets of organized theft.

While Canadian gun control laws are much stricter than those in the United States, such laws have not prevented gun-related violence in certain areas.

Be aware of your surroundings. As in the United States, travelers in popular tourist areas may be targeted by pickpockets and other petty criminals.

In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, but if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Canada Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States, and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Canada’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs in Canada are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Canadian law prohibits the unlawful importation or trafficking of controlled substances and narcotics. Smugglers risk substantial fines, a permanent bar from Canada, and imprisonment.

Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements with certain countries, and customary international law, if you are arrested in Canada, you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Importation of Firearms: Firearms are much more strictly controlled in Canada than in the United States. Violation of firearms restrictions may result in prosecution and imprisonment.

Visitors bringing any firearms into Canada, or planning to borrow and use firearms while in Canada, must declare the firearms in writing using a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration form. Visitors planning to borrow a firearm in Canada must obtain a Temporary Firearms Borrowing License in advance. These forms must be presented in triplicate and signed in front of a CBSA officer at the border (it is not possible to make photocopies at the border). Full details and downloadable forms are available at the Canadian Firearms Centre website, under the heading "Visitors / Non Residents."

Canadian law requires that officials confiscate any firearms and weapons from persons crossing the border who deny having the items in their possession. Confiscated firearms and weapons are never returned. Possession of an undeclared firearm may result in arrest and imprisonment. Travelers are strongly advised to inspect all belongings thoroughly prior to travel to Canada to avoid the accidental import of ammunition or firearms.

Canada has three classes of firearms: non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited.

Non-restricted firearms include most ordinary hunting rifles and shotguns.

These may be brought temporarily into Canada for sporting or hunting use during hunting season, use in competitions, in-transit movement through Canada, or personal protection against wildlife in remote areas of Canada.

Anyone wishing to bring hunting rifles into Canada must:

Be at least 18 years old;

Properly store the firearm for transport; and

Follow the declaration requirements described above.

Restricted firearms are primarily handguns; while they are not firearms, pepper spray, mace, and some knives also are included in this category.

A restricted firearm may be brought into Canada, but an Authorization to Transport permit must be obtained in advance from a Provincial or Territorial Chief Firearms Officer.

Prohibited firearms include fully automatic, converted automatics, and certain military-style weapons, including weapons designed for civilian use. A full list of prohibited weapons is available on the Canadian Firearms Centre website. Prohibited firearms are not allowed into Canada.

Pornography: Canada has strict laws concerning child pornography, and in recent years there has been an increase in random checks of electronic media of travelers entering Canada.

Computers and cell phones are subject to searches without a warrant at the border and illegal content can result in the seizure of the computer as well as detention, arrest, and prosecution of the bearer.

Possession of child pornography is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Production and distribution of child pornography are punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Browsing for child pornography on the internet is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Prohibitions cover visual representations of sexual activity by persons (real or imaginary) under the age of 18 and include comic book imagery such as anime and manga.

Alcohol-related driving offenses, such as driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving while ability-impaired, and driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, are criminal offenses in Canada. Penalties are heavy, and any prior conviction (no matter how old or how minor the infraction) is grounds for exclusion from Canada. U.S. citizens with a DWI record must seek approval for rehabilitation from Canadian authorities before traveling to Canada, which requires several weeks or months to process.

Canada Population Comparison

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