From ArticleWorld

Canada lies on the continent of North America and is the northern-most country in the world. With an area of 9,984,670 km², it is also the second largest country in the world. To its north lies the Arctic Ocean, to the west is the Pacific Ocean, to the south is the United States, and to the east is the Atlantic Ocean. Canada is comprised of provinces and territories. It has a good, highly technical economy and a stable government.

Georgraphics & Climate

Canada lies farther north than any other country in the world and the settlement Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Alert, located on Ellesmere Island and only 834 km south of the North Pole, is the northernmost settlement in the world. Canada’s highest peak is Mount Logan, which stands at 5,959 m. Since it is located so far north, Canada has extremely cold temperatures and harsh winters. The southern region of the country is temperate while the northern regions range from subarctic to arctic. Blizzards, ice storms, and temperatures below -50°C are common. Canada has four distinct seasons and, in contrast to its bitter winter weather, has mild summers with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 35-40°C. Because of its northern location, much of Canada cannot be settled, and has an extremely low population density of only 3.5 people per square kilometer. Canada is made up mostly of vast plains regions; a mountain range lies in the west and the lowlands in the southeast. Even with its large area, only 4.96% of Canada is arable land. Lakes take up much of Canada’s area; there are 31,191, all of which are larger than three square kilometers.

People & Culture

The population of Canada, as of July, 2005, is an estimated 32,805,041. The average age is 38.5 years. Approximately 39.4% of the population consider themselves "Canadian", while the rest of the population is almost evenly split between English, Irish, and Irish origins. Other ethnicity’s that make up a small part of Canada are: Chinese, German, Italian, Ukranian, and North American Indian. Aside from its already diverse ethnic population, Canada also recognizes the First Nations), Inuit, and Métis. They are only 3% of Canada’s total population but are growing in number rapidly.

Canada is officially a bilingual nation, and over 98% of Canadians speak both English and French. English is spoken in most areas with the exception of Quebec and New Brunswick, where French is the dominant language spoken. Inuktitut is spoken in the territory of Nanavut and even has official status. Non-official languages, some of which are Italian, German, Chinese, and Punjabi play a large role in Canada and over five million people list a non-official language as their primary language. There are also many languages spoken by Aboriginal groups, including Ojibwe and Cree.

The history and culture of the people in Canada has been influenced by many different forces, mainly British, French, and the United States. Europeans and French explorers settled in Canada and left their stamp on the land and the people. In later years the United States influenced Canadian culture because of their closeness in location and heavy migration across the border. Canada is known today for being socially liberal; they support homosexual marriages and legalizing marijuana use (still controversial, however).