Population: 33.5 million, of which 80 per cent live in urban areas.
Political structure: A federation of 10 provinces and three territories. The capital is Ottawa and English and French are the official languages. The currency is the Canadian dollar.
Economy: Canada is a major producer of manufactured goods and the finance and construction sectors also make a significant contribution to gross domestic product. The country’s major exports are oil, gas and industrial goods and materials such as metals and ores, and machinery and equipment.
The US is by far Canada’s major trading partner and there is a free trade agreement between them. This meant the Canadian economy was severely infected by the downturn in the United States last year, with lower demand for its energy exports and manufactures. The government has an economic stimulus package underway with the promise to eliminate the budget deficit once recovery is assured.
Updated September 2009