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Canada
Overview
Background
A land of vast distances and rich natural resources, Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the British crown. Economically and technologically the nation has developed in parallel with the US, its neighbor to the south across an unfortified border. Its paramount political problem continues to be the relationship of the province of Quebec, with its French-speaking residents and unique culture, to the remainder of the country.
Natural resources
iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, diamonds, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower
Land use
arable land: 4.94%
permanent crops: 0.02%
other: 95.04% (1998 est.)
Population
32,207,113 (July 2003 est.)
Ethnic groups
British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%
Religions
Roman Catholic 46%, Protestant 36%, other 18%
note: based on the 1991 census
Languages
English 59.3% (official), French 23.2% (official), other 17.5%
Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97% (1986 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%
Capital
Ottawa
Government type
confederation with parliamentary democracy
Independence
1 July 1867 (from UK)
National holiday
Canada Day, 1 July (1867)
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