- author, Team BBC Gujarati
- position, New Delhi
Canada is the second largest country in the world by area. Canada’s distance from east to west is 4700 miles or approximately 7560 kilometers. Canada is such a large country that it is divided into a total of six time zones to make it run smoothly.
But in terms of population, it has less than half of the total population of the world.
According to the World Population Meter, Canada’s population in 2023 is only three crore eighty-eight lakh.
India’s total land area is 29 lakh 73 thousand 190 sq km while Canada’s total land area is 90 lakh 93 thousand 510 km.
So, despite having almost three times the land area of India, the population of Canada is half that of Gujarat. Only four people live there per square kilometer.
Apart from this, there is also a huge imbalance in the state-wise population in Canada.
According to many experts, Canada’s extremely unique geography and climate are responsible for this.
In this article we will try to know its reasons.
Population concentrated in southern province
Most of Canada’s population lives in its border states with the United States. That is, most of the people live in its southern part.
About 98 percent of Canada’s population lives in states in southern Canada, such as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
Apart from this, more than 80 percent of people live within 100 kilometers of the US border.
While in the northern states of Canada, Yukon, Northwest and Nunavut, the population of Canada is only about 1 lakh 30 thousand.
Known as the ‘Northern Territories’, these three states account for 33 percent of Canada’s land area.
Why is Canada’s northern region desperate?
Yukon, Northwest and Nunavut – These three states known as the ‘Northern Territories’ are rich in mineral deposits such as gold, lead, copper, diamonds and zinc. Crude oil and gas have also been discovered but this industry will take time to develop.
In winter, the sun seems to disappear in this area and it is dark for three months. Here the extremely dangerous winters are very long and the summers are very short.
Much of the north is known as the tundra region, a vast rocky arctic plain.
Due to the cold arctic climate, the area is devoid of trees and the ground is permanently frozen.
A large number of people live here whose livelihood depends on things like catching fish, hunting animals, etc.
Yukon province recorded a record low of -63 degrees Celsius. The main occupation of this state is mining.
Canada’s highest mountain, Mount Logan, is located here.
Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Province, is considered the diamond capital of North America.
The Mackenzie River here is the second longest river in North America. Its length is 4200 km.
Nunavut is also the coldest region of these two states.
Why overpopulation along the US border?
Most Canadians live in border areas close to the US. The direct reason behind it is more favorable climate. This is a much warmer region than the northern provinces of Canada.
The border between Canada and the United States is about 8891 kilometers long, which is considered the main center of trade between the two countries.
An estimated $576 billion worth of trade passes through this border annually. There are approximately one million Americans who make a day trip to Canada for one reason or another. More than 1.3 million trucks ply every year.
24 hours the movement of people between the two countries starts by crossing the border. Thus, the population of Canada is concentrated there because of all these conveniences.
A very large forest area
Canada is incredibly rich in forests. One-tenth of the world’s forests are in Canada. While this is 38 to 40 percent of Canada’s total land area. But one-third of these forests are located in the northern provinces of the country.
As these forests are located in extremely cold weather, most of the areas are inaccessible. Also, the Canadian government has implemented strict laws to protect these forests. About 7 percent of the forest area is completely prohibited.
Thus, due to the harsh climate and forests, a third of the country seems to be out of reach of humans – vast plains and only dense forest in the distance.