Canadian English and
Numerous indigenous languages are also recognized. Various other
CANADIANS (French : Canadiens / Canadiennes) are people identified
with the country of
Canada . This connection may be residential,
legal, historical, or cultural. For most Canadians, several (or all)
of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their
Canada is a multilingual and multicultural society home to people of
many different ethnic, religious and national origins, with the
majority of the population made up of
Old World immigrants and their
descendants. Following the initial period of French and then the much
larger British colonization , different waves (or peaks) of
immigration and settlement of non-indigenous peoples took place over
the course of nearly two centuries and continue today. Elements of
Indigenous, French, British, and more recent immigrant customs,
languages and religions have combined to form the culture of Canada
and thus a
Canadian identity .
Canada has also been strongly
influenced by its linguistic, geographic and economic neighbour, the
United States .
Canadian independence from the
United Kingdom grew gradually over the
course of many years since the formation of the Canadian Confederation
World War I
World War I and
World War II
World War II , in particular, gave rise to a
Canadians to have their country recognized as a
fully-fledged sovereign state with a distinct citizenship. Legislative
independence was established with the passage of the Statute of
Westminster 1931 , the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946 took effect on
January 1, 1947, and full sovereignty was achieved with the patriation
of the constitution in 1982. Canada\'s nationality law closely
mirrored that of the
United Kingdom . Legislation since the mid-20th
century represents Canadians' commitment to multilateralism and
socioeconomic development .
* 1 Population
* 1.1 Immigration
* 1.2 Citizenship and diaspora
* 1.3 Ethnic ancestry
* 2 Culture
* 2.1 Religion
* 2.2 Languages
* 3 See also
* 4 Notes
* 5 References
* 6 Bibliography
* 7 Further reading
* 8 External links
Population of Canada
Population of Canada
As of 2010,
Canadians make up 0.5% of the world\'s total population ,
having relied upon immigration for population growth and social
development. Approximately 41% of current
Canadians are first- or
second-generation immigrants, and 20% of Canadian residents in the
2000s were not born in the country. Statistics
Canada projects that,
by 2031, nearly one-half of
Canadians above the age of 15 will be
foreign-born or have one foreign-born parent. Indigenous peoples ,
according to the 2011 Canadian Census , numbered at 1,400,685 or 4.3%
of the country's 33,476,688 population.
Main article: Immigration to
While the first contact with Europeans and indigenous peoples in
Canada had occurred a century or more before, the first group of
permanent settlers were the French , who founded the New France
settlements, in present-day
Ontario ; and
Acadia , in
Nova Scotia and
New Brunswick , during the early part of
the 17th century.
Approximately 100 Irish-born families would settle the Saint Lawrence
Valley by 1700, assimilating into the Canadien population and culture.
During the 18th and 19th century; immigration westward (to the area
known as Rupert\'s Land ) was carried out by "
Voyageurs "; French
settlers working for the
North West Company ; and by British settlers
(English and Scottish ) representing the Hudson\'s Bay Company ,
coupled with independent entrepreneurial woodsman called "Coureur des
bois ". This arrival of newcomers led to the creation of the Métis ,
an ethnic group of mixed European and
First Nations parentage.
The British conquest of New
France was preceded by a small number of
Swedes who settled alongside the Scottish in Port Royal,
Nova Scotia , while some Irish immigrated to the Colony of
Newfoundland . In the wake of the British
Conquest of 1760 and the
Expulsion of the Acadians , many families from the British colonies in
New England moved over into
Nova Scotia and other colonies in Canada,
where the British made farmland available to British settlers on easy
terms. More settlers arrived during and after the American
Revolutionary War , when approximately 60,000 United Empire Loyalists
British North America , a large portion of whom settled in New
Brunswick . After the
War of 1812
War of 1812 , British (including British army
regulars), Scottish and Irish immigration was encouraged throughout
Rupert's Land, Upper
Canada and Lower
Between 1815 and 1850, some 800,000 immigrants came to the colonies
of British North America, mainly from the
British Isles as part of the
Great Migration of
Canada . These new arrivals included some
Highland Scots displaced by the
Highland Clearances to
Nova Scotia . The
Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s significantly
increased the pace of Irish immigration to
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island and
the Province of
Canada , with over 35,000 distressed individuals
Toronto in 1847 and 1848. Descendants of
Anglophone northern Europeans who arrived in the 17th, 18th and 19th
centuries are often referred to as
Old Stock Canadians .
Beginning in the late 1850s, the immigration of Chinese into the
Colony of Vancouver Island and
Colony of British Columbia peaked with
the onset of the
Fraser Canyon Gold Rush . The Chinese Immigration
Act of 1885 eventually placed a head tax on all Chinese immigrants, in
hopes of discouraging Chinese immigration after completion of the
Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway .
Permanent Residents admitted in 2013,
by top 10 source countries
United Kingdom and Territories
United Arab Emirates
Top 10 Total
The population of
Canada has consistently risen, doubling
approximately every 40 years, since the establishment of the Canadian
Confederation in 1867. In the mid-to-late 19th century,
Canada had a
policy of assisting immigrants from Europe , including an estimated
100,000 unwanted "
Home Children " from Britain. Block settlement
communities were established throughout western
Canada between the
late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some were planned and others were
spontaneously created by the settlers themselves.
Canada was now
receiving a large number of European immigrants, predominantly
Germans , Scandinavians , Dutch ,
Poles , and
Legislative restrictions on immigration (such as the Continuous
journey regulation and Chinese Immigration Act ) that had favoured
British and other European immigrants were amended in the 1960s,
opening the doors to immigrants from all parts of the world. While
the 1950s had still seen high levels of immigration by Europeans, by
the 1970s immigrants were increasingly Chinese, Indian , Vietnamese ,
Jamaican and Haitian . During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Canada
received many American
Vietnam War draft dissenters. Throughout the
late 1980s and 1990s, Canada's growing Pacific trade brought with it a
large influx of South Asians , who tended to settle in British
Columbia . Immigrants of all backgrounds tend to settle in the major
urban centres . The Canadian public, as well as the major political
parties, are tolerant of immigrants.
The majority of illegal immigrants come from the southern provinces
of the People\'s Republic of
China , with Asia as a whole, Eastern
Africa and the
Middle East all contributing to
the illegal population. Estimates of numbers of illegal immigrants
range between 35,000 and 120,000. A 2008 report by the Auditor
Sheila Fraser , stated that
Canada has lost track
of approximately 41,000 illegal immigrants whose visas have expired.
CITIZENSHIP AND DIASPORA
Canadian nationality law Members of the first
official Canadian Citizenship ceremony held at the Supreme Court of
Ottawa , January 3, 1947
Canadian citizenship is typically obtained by birth in
Canada or by
birth or adoption abroad when at least one biological parent or
adoptive parent is a Canadian citizen who was born in
Canada (and did not receive citizenship by being born
Canada to a Canadian citizen). It can also be granted to a
permanent resident who lives in
Canada for three out of four years and
meets specific requirements.
Canada established its own nationality
law in 1946, with the enactment of the Canadian Citizenship Act which
took effect on January 1, 1947. The Immigration and Refugee
Protection Act was passed by the Parliament of
Canada in 2001 as Bill
C-11, which replaced the Immigration Act of 1976 as the primary
federal legislation regulating immigration. Prior to the conferring
of legal status on Canadian citizenship, Canada\'s naturalization laws
consisted of a multitude of Acts beginning with the Immigration Act of
According to Citizenship and Immigration
Canada , there are three
main classifications for immigrants: Family class (persons closely
related to Canadian residents), Economic class (admitted on the basis
of a point system that accounts for age, health and labour-market
skills required for cost effectively inducting the immigrants into
Canada's labour market) and
Refugee class (those seeking protection by
applying to remain in the country by way of the Canadian immigration
and refugee law ). In 2008, there were 65,567 immigrants in the
family class, 21,860 refugees, and 149,072 economic immigrants amongst
the 247,243 total immigrants to the country.
Canada resettles over
one in 10 of the world's refugees and has one of the highest
per-capita immigration rates in the world.
As of a 2010 report by the Asia Pacific Foundation of
Canada , there
were 2.8 million Canadian citizens abroad . This represents about 8%
of the total Canadian population. Of those living abroad, the United
States, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, China, Lebanon, United
Arab Emirates, and
Australia have the largest
Canadian diaspora .
Canadians in the
United States constitute the greatest single
expatriate community at over 1 million in 2009, representing 35.8% of
Canadians abroad. Under current
Canadian law ,
Canada does not
restrict dual citizenship , but Passport
Canada encourages its
citizens to travel abroad on their
Canadian passport so that they can
access Canadian consular services .
Main article: Ethnic origins of people in
Canada has 34 ethnic groups with at least 100,000 members each, of
which 11 have over 1 million people and numerous others are
represented in smaller amounts. According to the 2006 census, the
largest self-reported ethnic origin is "Canadian" (32%), followed by
English (21%), French (15.8%), Scottish (15.1%), Irish (13.9%), German
(10.2%), Italian (4.6%), Chinese (4.3%), North American Indian (4.0%),
Ukrainian (3.9%), and Dutch (Netherlands) (3.3%). In the 2006
census, over five million
Canadians identified themselves as a member
of a visible minority . Together, they make up 16.2% of the total
population: most numerous among these are South Asian (4.0%), Black
(2.5%), and Filipino (1.1%). Indigenous peoples are not considered a
visible minority under the Employment Equity Act , and this is the
definition that Statistics
Canada also uses. Map of the dominant
self-identified ethnic origins of ancestors per census division of
"CANADIAN/CANADIEN" ENGLISH FRENCH SCOTTISH GERMAN
ITALIAN NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN UKRAINIAN EAST INDIAN
AREA OF LARGEST PROPORTION
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador (43.2%)
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island (40.5%)
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island (29.2%)
British Columbia (10.6%)
North American Indian
Northwest Territories (36.5%)
British Columbia (5.7%)
Northwest Territories (6.9%)
(Those not included elsewhere.) 1.29%
British Columbia (1.3%)
For a complete list see: Canadian ethnic groups
Main article: Culture of
Canada A 1911 political cartoon on
Canada's bicultural identity showing a flag combining symbols of
France and Canada; titled "The next favor. 'A flag to suit
Canada's culture is a product of its ethnicities, languages,
religions, political and legal system (s).
Canada has been shaped by
waves of migration that have combined to form a unique blend of art ,
cuisine , literature , humour , and music . Today,
Canada has a
diverse makeup of nationalities and constitutional protection for
policies that promote multiculturalism rather than cultural
assimilation . In Quebec, cultural identity is strong, and many
French-speaking commentators speak of a
Quebec culture distinct from
English Canadian culture. However, as a whole,
Canada is a cultural
mosaic : a collection of several regional, indigenous, and ethnic
Canadian government policies such as official bilingualism ; publicly
funded health care ; higher and more progressive taxation ; outlawing
capital punishment ; strong efforts to eliminate poverty ; strict gun
control ; leniency in regard to drug use, and, most recently,
legalizing same-sex marriage are social indicators of Canada's
political and cultural values .
American media and entertainment are
popular, if not dominant, in English Canada; conversely, many Canadian
cultural products and entertainers are successful in the United States
and worldwide. The Government of
Canada has also influenced culture
with programs, laws and institutions. It has created Crown
corporations to promote Canadian culture through media and has also
tried to protect Canadian culture by setting legal minimums on
Canadian content . Monument to
Multiculturalism by Francesco
Toronto ; four identical sculptures are located in Buffalo
Sarajevo , and
Canadian culture has historically been influenced by Indigenous ,
French and British cultures and traditions. Most of Canada's territory
was inhabited and developed later than other European colonies in the
Americas, with the result that themes and symbols of pioneers,
trappers, and traders were important in the early development of the
Canadian identity .
First Nations played a critical part in the
development of European colonies in
Canada , particularly for their
role in assisting exploration of the continent during the North
American fur trade . The British conquest of New
France in the
mid-1700s brought a large
Francophone population under British
Imperial rule , creating a need for compromise and accommodation. The
new British rulers left alone much of the religious, political, and
social culture of the French-speaking habitants , guaranteeing through
Quebec Act of 1774 the right of the Canadiens to practise the
Catholic faith and to use French civil law (now
Quebec law ).
The Constitution Act of 1867 was designed to meet the growing calls
Canadians for autonomy from British rule, while avoiding the overly
strong decentralization that contributed to the Civil War in the
United States. The compromises made by the Fathers of Confederation
Canadians on a path to bilingualism , and this in turn contributed
to an acceptance of diversity.
Canadian Forces and overall civilian participation in the First
World War and Second World War helped to foster
Canadian nationalism ,
however, in 1917 and 1944, conscription crisis\' highlighted the
considerable rift along ethnic lines between Anglophones and
Francophones. As a result of the First and Second World Wars, the
Canada became more assertive and less deferential to
British authority. With the gradual loosening of political ties to
United Kingdom and the modernization of Canadian immigration
policies, 20th-century immigrants with African ,
Caribbean and Asian
nationalities have added to the
Canadian identity and its culture.
The multiple-origins immigration pattern continues today, with the
arrival of large numbers of immigrants from non-British or non-French
Canada was adopted as the official policy of the
government during the premiership of
Pierre Trudeau in the 1970s and
1980s. The Canadian government has often been described as the
instigator of multicultural ideology, because of its public emphasis
on the social importance of immigration .
administered by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration and
reflected in the law through the Canadian
Multiculturalism Act and
section 27 of the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms .
Religion in Canada
Religion in Canada (2011 National Household Survey) Catholic
(38.7%) Other Christian (28.6%) Non-religious (23.9%) Islam
Buddhism (1.1%) Judaism
(1.0%) Other religions (0.6%)
Canada as a nation is religiously diverse, encompassing a wide range
of groups, beliefs and customs. The preamble to the Canadian Charter
of Rights and Freedoms references "God", and the monarch carries the
title of "Defender of the Faith ". However,
Canada has no official
religion , and support for religious pluralism (Freedom of religion in
Canada ) is an important part of Canada\'s political culture . With
the role of
Christianity in decline, it having once been central and
integral to Canadian culture and daily life, commentators have
Canada has come to enter a post-Christian period in a
secular state, with irreligion on the rise. The majority of
Canadians consider religion to be unimportant in their daily lives,
but still believe in God. The practice of religion is now generally
considered a private matter throughout society and within the state.
The 2011 Canadian census reported that 67.3% of
Canadians identify as
Christians ; of this number, Catholics make up the largest
group, accounting for 38.7 percent of the population. The largest
Protestant denomination is the United Church of
Canada (accounting for
6.1% of Canadians); followed by Anglicans (5.0%), and
About 23.9% of
Canadians declare no religious affiliation, including
agnostics , atheists , humanists , and other groups. The remaining
are affiliated with non-Christian religions, the largest of which is
Islam (3.2%), followed by
Sikhism (1.4%), Buddhism
Before the arrival of European colonists and explorers, First Nations
followed a wide array of mostly animistic religions . During the
colonial period, the French settled along the shores of the Saint
Lawrence River , specifically
Latin Rite Roman Catholics , including a
number of Jesuits dedicated to converting indigenous peoples; an
effort that eventually proved successful. The first large Protestant
communities were formed in the
Maritimes after the British conquest of
New France, followed by American Protestant settlers displaced by the
American Revolution. The late nineteenth century saw the beginning of
a substantive shift in Canadian immigration patterns. Large numbers of
Irish and southern European immigrants were creating new Roman
Catholic communities in English Canada. The settlement of the west
Eastern Orthodox immigrants from Eastern Europe
Pentecostal immigrants from the United States.
The earliest documentation of Jewish presence in
Canada occurs in the
1754 British Army records from the
French and Indian War
French and Indian War . In 1760,
Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst attacked and won Montreal
for the British. In his regiment there were several Jews, including
four among his officer corps, most notably Lieutenant Aaron Hart who
is considered the father of Canadian Jewry. The Islamic , Jains ,
Sikh , Hindu and Buddhist communities, although small, are as old as
the nation itself. The 1871 Canadian Census (first "Canadian" national
census ) indicated thirteen Muslims among the populace, with
approximately 5000 Sikh by 1908. The first Canadian mosque was
constructed in Edmonton , in 1938, when there were approximately 700
Muslims in Canada.
Buddhism first arrived in
Canada when Japanese
immigrated during the late 19th century. The first Japanese Buddhist
Canada was built in
Vancouver in 1905. The influx of
immigrants in the late 20th century, with Sri Lankan , Japanese ,
Indian and Southeast Asian customs, has contributed to the recent
expansion of the Jain, Sikh, Hindu and Buddhist communities.
Languages of Canada
Languages of Canada Approximately 98% of
Canadians can speak English or French as of 2008. ENGLISH - 56.9%
ENGLISH AND FRENCH (BILINGUAL) - 16.1% FRENCH - 21.3% SPARSELY
POPULATED AREA ( < 0.4 PERSONS PER KM2)
A multitude of languages are used by 35 million Canadians, with
English and French (the official languages ) being the mother tongues
of approximately 60% and 20% of
Canadians respectively. In 2011,
nearly 6.8 million
Canadians listed a non-official language as their
mother tongue. Some of the most common non-official first languages
include Chinese (mainly Cantonese ; 1,072,555 first-language
speakers), Punjabi (430,705), Spanish (410,670), German (409,200), and
Italian (407,490). Less than one percent of
Canadians (just over
250,000 individuals) can speak an indigenous language . About half
this number (129,865) reported using an indigenous language on a daily
Canadians speak several sign languages ; the
number of speakers is unknown of the most spoken ones, American Sign
Language (ASL) and
Quebec Sign Language (LSQ), as it is of Maritime
Sign Language and Plains Sign
Talk . There are only 47 speakers of
Inuit sign language Inuiuuk .
English and French are recognized by the Constitution of
official languages. All federal government laws are thus enacted in
both English and French, with government services available in both
languages. Two of Canada's territories give official status to
indigenous languages. In
Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun are
official languages alongside the national languages of English and
Inuktitut is a common vehicular language in territorial
government. In the
Northwest Territories , the Official Languages Act
declares that there are eleven different languages: Chipewyan , Cree ,
English, French, Gwich\'in , Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut,
North Slavey , South Slavey and Tłįchǫ . Multicultural media are
widely accessible across the country and offer specialty television
channels, newspapers and other publications in many minority
In Canada, as elsewhere in the world of European colonies , the
frontier of European exploration and settlement tended to be a
linguistically diverse and fluid place, as cultures using different
languages met and interacted. The need for a common means of
communication between the indigenous inhabitants and new arrivals for
the purposes of trade, and (in some cases) intermarriage, led to the
development of Mixed languages . Languages like Michif , Chinook
Bungi creole tended to be highly localized and were often
spoken by only a small number of individuals who were frequently
capable of speaking another language. Plains Sign Talk, which
functioned originally as a trade language used to communicate
internationally and across linguistic borders, reached across Canada,
United States and into Mexico.
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List of Canadians
List of Canadians
Persons of National Historic Significance
* List of Prime Ministers of
Canada – book
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