The 2011 Canadian census counted a total population of 33,476,688, an increase of around 5.9 percent over the 2006 figure. Between 1990 and 2008, the population increased by 5.6 million, equivalent to 20.4 percent overall growth. The main drivers of population growth are immigration and, to a lesser extent, natural growth. About four-fifths of the population lives within 150 kilometres (93 mi) of the United States border. Approximately 80 percent of Canadians live in urban areas concentrated in the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor, the British Columbia Lower Mainland, and the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor in Alberta. Canada spans latitudinally from the 83rd parallel north to the 41st parallel north, and approximately 95% of the population is found below the 55th parallel north. In common with many other developed countries, Canada is experiencing a demographic shift towards an older population, with more retirees and fewer people of working age. In 2006, the average age was 39.5 years; by 2011, it had risen to approximately 39.9 years. As of 2013, the average life expectancy for Canadians is 81 years.Map of the dominant self-identified ethnic origins of ancestors per census division of 2006. Canadian English French Scottish German Italian First Nations Ukrainian East Indian Inuit
According to the 2006 census, the country's largest self-reported ethnic origin is Canadian (accounting for 32% of the population), followed by English (21%), French (15.8%), Scottish (15.1%), Irish (13.9%), German (10.2%), Italian (4.6%), Chinese (4.3%), First Nations (4.0%), Ukrainian (3.9%), and Dutch (3.3%). There are 600 recognized First Nations governments or bands, encompassing a total of 1,172,790 people.
Canada's aboriginal population is growing at almost twice the national rate, and four percent of Canada's population claimed aboriginal identity in 2006. Another 16.2 percent of the population belonged to a non-aboriginal visible minority. The largest visible minority groups are South Asian (4.0%), Chinese (3.9%) and Black (2.5%). Between 2001 and 2006, the visible minority population rose by 27.2 percent. In 1961, less than two percent of Canada's population (about 300,000 people) could be classified as belonging to a visible minority group, and less than one percent as aboriginal. By 2007, almost one in five (19.8%) were foreign-born, with nearly 60 percent of new immigrants coming from Asia (including the Middle East). The leading sources of immigrants to Canada were China, the Philippines and India. According to Statistics Canada, visible minority groups could account for a third of the Canadian population by 2031.
Canada has one of the highest per-capita immigration rates in the world, driven by economic policy and family reunification. In 2010, a record 280,636 people immigrated to Canada. The Canadian government anticipated between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents in 2012, a similar number of immigrants as in recent years. New immigrants settle mostly in major urban areas like Toronto and Vancouver. Canada also accepts large numbers of refugees, accounting for over 10 percent of annual global refugee resettlements.
Canada is religiously diverse, encompassing a wide range of beliefs and customs. According to the 2011 census, 67.3 percent of Canadians identify as Christian; of this, 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 Baptists (1.9%). About 23.9 percent declare no religious affiliation, a significant increase over the figure of 16.5% recorded in the 2001 census. The remaining 8.8 percent are affiliated with non-Christian religions, the largest of which are Islam (3.2%) and Hinduism (1.5%).
Canadian provinces and territories are responsible for education. The mandatory school age ranges between 5–7 to 16–18 years, contributing to an adult literacy rate of 99 percent. As of 2011, 88 percent of adults aged 25 to 64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, compared to an OECD average of 74 percent. In 2002, 43 percent of Canadians aged 25 to 64 possessed a post-secondary education; for those aged 25 to 34, the rate of post-secondary education reached 51 percent. According to a 2012 NBC report, Canada is the most educated country in the world. The Programme for International Student Assessment indicates that Canadian students perform well above the OECD average, particularly in mathematics, science, and reading.Largest metropolitan areas in Canada by population (2011 Census) view talk edit Name Province Population Name Province Population Toronto Ontario 5,583,064 London Ontario 474,786 Montreal Quebec 3,824,221 St. Catharines–Niagara Ontario 392,184 Vancouver British Columbia 2,313,328 Halifax Nova Scotia 390,328 Ottawa–Gatineau Ontario–Quebec 1,236,324 Oshawa Ontario 356,177 Calgary Alberta 1,214,839 Victoria British Columbia 344,615 Edmonton Alberta 1,159,869 Windsor Ontario 319,246 Quebec Quebec 0765,706 Saskatoon Saskatchewan 260,600 Winnipeg Manitoba 0730,018 Regina Saskatchewan 210,556 Hamilton Ontario 0721,053 Sherbrooke Quebec 201,890 Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo Ontario 0477,160 St. John's Newfoundland and Labrador 196,966 Language Main article: Languages of Canada See also: List of endangered languages in Canada Approximately 98% of Canadians can speak English and/or French. English – 56.9% English and French (Bilingual) – 16.1% French – 21.3% Sparsely populated area ( < 0.4 persons per km2)
Canada's two official languages are Canadian English and Canadian French. Official bilingualism is defined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Official Languages Act, and Official Language Regulations; it is applied by the Commissioner of Official Languages. English and French have equal status in federal courts, Parliament, and in all federal institutions. Citizens have the right, where there is sufficient demand, to receive federal government services in either English or French, and official-language minorities are guaranteed their own schools in all provinces and territories.
English and French are the first languages of 59.7 and 23.2 percent of the population respectively. Approximately 98 percent of Canadians speak English or French: 57.8 percent speak English only, 22.1 percent speak French only, and 17.4 percent speak both. The English and French official-language communities, defined by the first official language spoken, constitute 73.0 and 23.6 percent of the population respectively.
The 1977 Charter of the French Language established French as the official language of Quebec. Although more than 85 percent of French-speaking Canadians live in Quebec, there are substantial Francophone populations in Ontario, Alberta, and southern Manitoba; Ontario has the largest French-speaking population outside Quebec. New Brunswick, the only officially bilingual province, has a French-speaking Acadian minority constituting 33 percent of the population. There are also clusters of Acadians in southwestern Nova Scotia, on Cape Breton Island, and through central and western Prince Edward Island.
Other provinces have no official languages as such, but French is used as a language of instruction, in courts, and for other government services, in addition to English. Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec allow for both English and French to be spoken in the provincial legislatures, and laws are enacted in both languages. In Ontario, French has some legal status, but is not fully co-official. There are 11 Aboriginal language groups, composed of more than 65 distinct dialects. Of these, only the Cree, Inuktitut and Ojibway languages have a large enough population of fluent speakers to be considered viable to survive in the long term. Several aboriginal languages have official status in the Northwest Territories. Inuktitut is the majority language in Nunavut, and is one of three official languages in the territory.
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).