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IntroductionA 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. Canada faces the political challenges of meeting public demands for quality improvements inhealth care and education services, as well as responding to the particular concerns of predominantly francophone Quebec. Canada also aims to develop its diverse energy resources while maintaining its commitment to the environment. |
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total: 9,984,670 sq km
country comparison to the world: 2
land: 9,093,507 sq km
water: 891,163 sq km

land boundaries
total: 8,893 kmborder countries: US 8,893 km (includes 2,477 km with Alaska)

maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north

mostly plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast

elevation extremeslowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Logan 5,959 m

natural resources
iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, rare earth elements, molybdenum, potash, diamonds, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower |
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Mneral de hierro, plomo, carbon
Land use
arable land: 4.57%
permanent crops: 0.65%
other: 94.78% (2005)

irrigated land7,850 sq km (2003) |
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Total renewable water resources
3,300 cu km (1985)

Fresh water withdrawal (domestic/ industrial/ agricultural)
total: 44.72 cu km/yr (20%/69%/12%)
per capita: 1,386 cu m/yr (1996)

natural hazards
continuous permafrost in north is a serious obstacle to development; cyclonic storms form east of the Rocky Mountains, a result of the mixing of air masses fromthe Arctic, Pacific, and North American interior, and produce most of the country's rain and snow east of the mountains
volcanism: the vast majority of volcanoes in Western Canada's Coast Mountains remain dormant

environmental current issues
air pollution and resulting acid rain severely affecting lakes and damaging forests; metal smelting, coal-burning utilities, and vehicle emissionsimpacting on agricultural and forest productivity; ocean waters becoming contaminated due to agricultural, industrial, mining, and forestry activities

environment international agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine LivingResources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Marine Life Conservationgeography note
second-largest country in world (after Russia); strategic location between Russia and US via north polar route; approximately 90% of the population is concentrated within 160 km of the US border |
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33,759,742 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36

Age structure: | |
0-14 years: 16.1% (male 2,761,711/female2,626,836)15-64 years: 68.7% (male 11,633,950/female 11,381,735)65 years and over: 15.2% (male 2,220,189/female 2,862,787) (2010 est.) |

Median age: | |
total: 40.7 yearsmale: 39.6 yearsfemale: 41.8 years (2010 est.) |

Population growth rate: | |
0.804% (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 138 |

Birth rate: | |
10.28 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)country comparison to the...
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