Canada: Country and Foreign Investment
History, Population, Language and Culture
The earliest settlors in Canada were prehistoric hunters who travelled to the region in around 40,000 to 30,000 BC from Asia by crossing the Bering Strait before it was covered by meltwater at the end of the Ice Age. These people formed the various Indian tribes that settled throughout the region.
French colonies established their first settlements in the 17th century. The country was later receded to the United Kingdom in 1763. Canada was established as a self-governing state in 1867 but retained its ties to the British Crown.
The country’s constitution of March 29, 1867, created a federation of four provinces, which were later divided into 10 provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan) and three territories (the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon Territory). On April 17, 1982, a new constitution was approved solidifying the territory’s autonomy from the UK.
In 2011, the population of Canada was 34.4 million. In a 2006 Census, after Canadian or Canadian with mixed origins (10 million), other most frequently reported origins in descending order, either alone or with other origins, were English, French, Scottish, Irish, German, Italian, Chinese, North American, Indian and Ukrainian.
The 2006 Census estimated the “visible minority” population at just over 5 million (16.2% of the population), and included Blacks (2.5%), South Asians (4%), Chinese (3.9%), and Latin Americans, Arabs, Southeast Asians, West Asians, Koreans and Japanese (together, 5.1%). Two-thirds of visible minority individuals had arrived in Canada as immigrants since 2001.
Owing to its strong economic links to the US, and temperate conditions in the south, 90% of the population is concentrated within 160 km of its southern boundary with the US. Further north, the country is less populated due to the Arctic climate.
English (the predominant language) and French are the official languages of Canada. The main religions are Roman Catholic (42.6% of the population), Protestant (23.3%, including United Church at 9.5%, Anglican at 6.8%, Baptist at 2.4%, and Lutheran at 2%), other Christian (4.4%), and Muslim (1.9%).