- Our people
- Our languages
- Our religions
- Our national identity
- Our land and natural environment
- Our 'typically Canadian things'
Who better to help count the 150 candles on Canada's birthday cake than Statistics Canada that has been telling this country's story in numbers for more than a century?
This 'By the numbers' article presents interesting facts compiled to portray Canada's ethnocultural diversity, our national identity, land and natural environment, and more. Happy Canada 150!
(Last updated: June 26, 2017)
How we have grown in 150 years! Did you know that Canada's population has increased tenfold since Confederation?
- 35.2 million — Canada's total population in 2016.
- 3.5 million — Canada's total population in the 1871 Census, the first Census after Confederation.
The age composition of Canada's population has also changed considerably since Confederation.
- 5,839,570 — The number of people aged 0 to 14 years old in 2016, compared with 1,462,380 in 1871, the year of the first census after Confederation.
- 5,935,630 — The number of people aged 65 and older in 2016, compared with 127,465 in 1871, the year of the first census after Confederation.
- 8,230 — The number of centenarians living in Canada in 2016. For these centenarians, there were only 19 men for every 100 women.
- 41.0 — The average age of Canadians in 2016.
Canada's ethnocultural diversity stems from the Aboriginal peoples who lived here well before the first European settlers arrived.
- 1.4 million — The number of people who reported an Aboriginal identity in 2011.
- 4.3% — The percentage of the total population of Canada who reported an Aboriginal identity in 2011.
- 851,560 — The number of people identified as a First Nations person only in 2011, representing 60.8% of the total Aboriginal population and 2.6% of the total Canadian population.
- 451,795 — The number of people identified as Métis only in 2011. They represented 32.3% of the total Aboriginal population and 1.4% of the total Canadian population.
- 59,445 — The number of people identified as Inuit only in 2011. They represented 4.2% of the total Aboriginal population and 0.2% of the total Canadian population.
- Over 600 — The number of First Nations/Indian bands enumerated in Canada in 2011, for example, Musqueam Indian Band, in British Columbia, Sturgeon Lake First Nation, in Alberta, and Atikamekw of Manawan, in Quebec.
Source: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: First Nations People, Métis and Inuit, 2011 National Household Survey
More than 17 million people from all over the world have made Canada their home since Confederation in 1867.
- 6,775,800 — The number of foreign-born people who came through the immigration process and who were living in Canada in 2011. The vast majority of immigrant population lived in four provinces: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta, and most lived in the nation's largest urban centres.
- 20.6% — The proportion of Canada's foreign-born population, the highest among the G8 countries, in 2011.
- 6,264,800 — The number of people who identified themselves as a member of a visible minority group in 2011. Combined, the three largest visible minority groups-South Asians, Chinese and Blacks-accounted for 61.3% of the visible minority population in 2011. They were followed by Filipinos, Latin Americans, Arabs, Southeast Asians, West Asians, Koreans and Japanese.
- Over 200 — The number of ethnic origins reported in 2011.
Source: Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada, 2011 National Household Survey
Canada's diversity also evolved as English and French became the languages of convergence and integration into Canadian society. More than 200 languages were reported in the 2011 Census of Population as a home language or mother tongue. These include Canada's two official languages (English and French), Aboriginal languages, immigrant languages and sign languages.
- 63.5% — The proportion of population whose mother tongue was neither English nor French who reported speaking English at home in 2011.
- 7.1 million — The number of people who reported speaking French most often at home in 2011, accounting for 21.4% of the Canadian population.
- 17.5% — The bilingualism rate of the Canadian population in 2011.
- Over 60 — The number of Aboriginal languages, grouped into 12 distinct language families, identified in the 2011 Census of Population.
- 23 — The number of immigrant major language families identified in the 2011 Census of Population.
- 213,000 — The number of people who reported an Aboriginal mother tongue in 2011. The Cree languages, Inuktitut and Ojibway were the three most frequently reported Aboriginal mother tongues.
- 6,390,000 — The number of people who spoke an immigrant language at home in 2011. The top 10 immigrant languages spoken most often at home were: Punjabi, Chinese n.o.s., Cantonese, Spanish, Tagalog, Arabic, Mandarin, Italian, Urdu and German.
- 25,000 — The number of people who reported using a sign language in 2011.
Source: Linguistic Characteristics of Canadians, 2011 National Household Survey
Consistent with changing immigration patterns, Canada is also a nation of people with diverse religions.
- 22.1 million — The number of people who reported they were affiliated with a Christian religion in 2011, accounting for 67.3% of the total population.
- 2.4 millions — The number of people identified themselves as Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist in 2011, accounting for 7.2 % of Canada's population. More specifically, slightly over 1 million individuals identified themselves as Muslim, representing 3.2% of the nation's total population. Hindus represented 1.5%, Sikhs 1.4%, Buddhists 1.1% and Jewish 1.0%.
- 329,500 — The number of people who identified themselves as Jewish in 2011, accounting for 1% of total population.
- 7.8 million — The number of people who reported that they had no religious affiliation in 2011, accounting for 23.9% of Canada's population.
Source: Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada, 2011 National Household Survey
Our national identity
Canada 150 provide unique opportunities to strengthen our sense of what it means to be Canadian. But what are Canadians' perceptions of national identity concerning national symbols, shared Canadian values and pride?
- 90% — The proportion of Canadians who reported feeling a strong sense of belonging to Canada in 2013.
- 87% — The proportion of Canadians, aged 15 years and older, who reported being proud to be Canadian in 2013.
- 93% — The proportion of Canadians that believed the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is an important symbol of the Canadian identity in 2013. Next highest were the national flag (91%), the national anthem (88%), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (87%) and hockey (77%).
- 92% — The proportion of people that believed Canadians collectively share the values of human rights in 2013. Next highest were respect for the law (92%), and gender equality (91%).
Source: Canadian Identity, 2013
Our land and natural environment
Canada extends across 10 provinces and three territories, spanning the shores of three oceans. With its high mountains, various forests, grasslands, rivers, lakes and arctic tundra, our country has one of the most diverse and beautiful landscapes in the world!
- 9,984,670 km2 — The total area of Canada, the second-largest country in the world.
- 5,514 km — The longest distance from east to west.
- 4,634 km — The longest distance from south to north.
Source: Canada Year Book, 2012
Agriculture also occupies a large portion of Canada's landscape in many areas of the country.
- 93.4 million acres — The total area of cropland in Canada in 2016.
- 483 — The number of acres used as cropland by an average farm in Canada in 2016.
- 33 — The number of acres used as cropland by an average farm in Canada in 1871, the year of the first census after Confederation.
Besides an abundance of land, Canada has water aplenty!
- 1,169,561 km2 — The area of freshwater in Canada, accounting for 11.7% of the country's total area.
- 243,042 km — The length of the coastline on three oceans – the longest coastline in the world.
- 614 metres — The depth of Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories, the deepest lake in Canada.
- 4,241 km — The length of Mackenzie River, Northwest Territories, from its furthest source to its ultimate outflow, the longest river in Canada.
- 2,765 km2 — The area of Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron, Ontario, which holds the title of the world's largest island in a freshwater lake.
Sources: Freshwater in Canada, Human Activity and the Environment, 2016, Summary tables, Principal rivers and their tributaries and Canada Year Book, 2012
Our 'typically Canadian things'
From tourtière, honey and smoked meat to poutine, butter tarts and bacon—Canada has its own culinary traditions. With a landscape as diverse as Canada's, flavours tend to vary by region. That's especially true for one of our favourite sweets—none other than maple syrup!
- 11,468 — The number of Canadian farms who reported having maple taps in 2016.
- 47 million — The total number of taps on maple trees in Canada in 2016.
- $486.7 million — The value of maple products produced in Canada in 2016.
- 12.2 million — The number of gallons of maple syrup produced in Canada in 2016. The province of Quebec accounted for over 90% of the production, with 11.2 million gallons!
- $381,393,079 — The value of maple sugar and maple syrup exported from Canada in 2016.
While we know there's more to Canada than maple taffy and beavertails, there are a few 'typically Canadian' foods and beverages that we call our own.
- $287 — The average expenditure on cheese per Canadian household in 2015.
- 2,785,311 kg — The quantity of cheese, fresh, unripened or uncured, including whey cheese and curd, exported from Canada in 2016.
- $213 — The average expenditure on fish and seafood per Canadian household in 2015.
- $57,930,046 — The value of salmon, Pacific, fresh/chilled, exported from Canada in 2016.
- $63 — The average expenditure on bacon and ham per Canadian household in 2015.
- $43 — The average expenditure on potatoes (except sweet potatoes) per Canadian household in 2015.
- $263,410,800 — The value of potatoes, fresh or chilled, exported from Canada in 2016.
- 246,106,119 kg — The quantity of wheat or meslin flour exported from Canada in 2016.
- $20,326,584 — The value of tomato ketchup and other tomato sauces exported from Canada in 2016.
- $10 — The average expenditure on ketchup per household in 2015.
- $163 — The average expenditure on coffee and tea per household in 2015.
- $9.2 billion — The value of all beers sold by liquor stores, agencies and other retail outlets in Canada in 2015-2016.
Whether you're skating during the winter months or camping during the summer, it's no secret that Canadians enjoy the great outdoors.
- $25 670 820 — The value of ice skates attached to boots exported from Canada in 2016.
- $63,487 — The value of ski-boots/cross country ski foot and snowboard boots, exported from Canada in 2016.
- $395,961,858 — The value of snowmobiles and similar vehicles exported from Canada in 2016.
- 410,904 — The number of rowing boats, canoes, sculls and other pleasure boats exported from Canada in 2016.
- 285,691 — The number of rifles, sporting, hunting or target-shooting exported from Canada in 2016.
- $16,159 — The value of sleeping bags exported from Canada in 2016.
- $10,348,457 — The value of fishing rods exported from Canada in 2016.
Canadians also love their national sports teams!
- $3.2 billion — The total operating revenue for the spectator sports industry in 2015. Canadian sports teams and clubs from the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, The National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer accounted for 63.4% of it.
Here is a list of places across Canada for which founders may have been inspired by 'typically Canadian things', from our wildlife, climate, activities, foods and symbols!
- Bacon Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador
- Baie-des-Chaloupes, Quebec
- Beaver, Newfoundland and Labrador
- Beersville, New Brunswick
- Canoe, British Columbia
- Caribou, Yukon
- Freeland, Prince Edward Island
- Green Gables, Prince Edward Island
- Grizzly, Alberta
- Habitant, Nova Scotia
- Hockey Estates, Alberta
- Huard, Quebec
- Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan
- Jumbo Glacier, British Columbia
- Juno, Manitoba
- L'Érable, Quebec
- Lac-de-la-Sucrerie, Quebec
- Le Petit-Canada, Quebec
- Les Castors, Quebec
- Little Buffalo, Alberta
- Little Salmonier, Newfoundland and Labrador
- Loon, Ontario
- L'Orignal, Ontario
- Maple Leaf, Prince Edward Island
- Mooseland, Nova Scotia
- Northland, Ontario
- Polaris, Nunavut
- Potato River, Saskatchewan
- Ruisseau-à-Patates, Quebec
- Saint-Agricole, Quebec
- Snowball, Ontario
- Snowflake, Manitoba
- Snowville, Ontario
- Stanley, New Brunswick
- Sugarcane, British Columbia
- The Beaver Lodge, Northwest Territories
- The Maples, Ontario
- Winter, Saskatchewan
Source: 2016 Census Profile
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See features on many other subjects in By the numbers.