Canada is the largest country in North America and the second biggest in the world after Russia. It is administratively divided into ten provinces and three territories. The total population of Canada, which amounts to about 37.7 million, is very small in relation to the dimensions of the country. Most Canadians live in cities, which tend to be concentrated in the southern part of the country, along the U.S. border. As of 2019, Toronto is the largest city in Canada, with 6.2 million inhabitants, while the capital Ottawa is fifth, with 1.4 million. Canada’s unemployment rate increased noticeably during the pandemic to hit an all-time maximum of 13.7% in May 2020, and it started to decrease the months after slowly to hit the mark of 8.6% at the end of 2020. Canada ranks amongst the 20 countries with the highest life expectancy in the world, with an average of 82.25 years recorded in 2017.
Canada’s form of government is a federal parliamentary democracy within the context of a constitutional monarchy under the rule of Queen Elizabeth II. The state’s highest position is occupied by the Queen’s representative, the Governor-General of Canada, followed by the head of the government. The country is considered to have one of the most stable politics in the world, third after Norway and Denmark. Canada is a founding member of the United Nations, member of NATO, the World Trade Organization, the G20 and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Both French and English are official languages at a federal level in Canada. A number of regional languages are also recognized, such as Inuktitut, Chipewyan or Cree, which belong to First Nations.
Canada is one of the world’s wealthiest countries and a high-tech industrial society with a very high living standard. In 2020, Canada’s GDP per capita reached almost 44 thousand U.S. dollars, one of the highest globally, despite the contraction of 5.162 percent due to the covid-19 pandemic. The average inflation rate for the same year was 0.62 percent. Some of the most essential Canadian industries are chemicals, minerals, food products, wood and paper products. Canada is also considered the country with the third most oil reserves in the world, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Canadian agriculture produces wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fish and forest products, including maple syrup, a staple Canadian food. Canada’s most significant import and export partner is the U.S., but Canada has been strengthening its economic relations with Europe and Asia. The goods most imported by Canada are machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, crude oil, chemicals and electricity. Among the commodities most exported by Canada are motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, aircraft, telecommunications equipment, chemicals, petroleum and natural gas.
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