Economy overview: As a wealthy, high-tech industrial nation, Canada today strongly resembles the US in its market-oriented economy, production system, and high standard of living. After World War II, the impressive growth of manufacturing, mining, and the service sector transformed the country from a predominantly agricultural to an industrialized and urbanized one. Since 1993, the level of real economic growth has averaged almost 3% per year. Unemployment is falling and government budget surpluses are partly used to reduce large public sector debt. The 1989 US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (which includes Mexico) dramatically accelerated trade and economic integration with the US. With its vast natural resources, with a skilled workforce and a modern manufacturing base, Canada has a good economic outlook. There are two problems, the first of which is the continuing constitutional stalemate between the Anglo-French speaking areas, which increases the possibility of excavating the federation, and the other is the possible drain to the United States of qualified personnel, attracted by higher wages, lower taxes and more developed and high-tech infrastructure. See businesscarriers.com to know more about Canada Economics and Business.
GDP: Purchasing Power Parity $774.7 billion (2000 est.)
Real GDP growth rate: 4.3% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $24,800 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 3%; industry: 31%; services: 66% (2000 est.).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of family income or consumption: 10% of the poorest families account for: 2.8%; 10% of the wealthiest families account for: 23.8% (1994).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 2.6% (2000).
Labor force: 16.1 million people (2000).
Employment structure: service sector 74%, industrial production 15%, construction 5%, agriculture 3%, other 3% (2000).
Unemployment rate: 6.8% (2000).
Budget: revenues: $126.1 billion; expenses: $125.3 billion, including capital investments – $14.8 billion (2000).
Spheres of economy: extraction and processing of mineral resources, food production, timber and paper industry, production of transport equipment, chemical industry, production of fish products, oil and gas industry.
Growth in industrial production: 4.5% (2000 est.).
Electricity generation: 567.193 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 26.38%; hydropower: 60%; nuclear fuel: 12.31%; others: 1.31% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 497.532 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 42.911 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity import: 12.953 billion kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: wheat, barley, oilseeds, tobacco, fruits, vegetables; dairy; timber products; fish.
Exports: $272.3 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Exports: Automobiles and components, newsprint, pulp, timber, crude oil, machinery, natural gas, aluminium, telecommunications equipment, electricity.
Export partners: US 86%, Japan 3%, UK, Germany, South Korea, Netherlands, China (1999).
Imports: $238.2 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Imports: machinery and equipment, crude oil, chemicals, motor vehicles and parts, consumer durables, electricity.
Import partners: USA 76%, Japan 3%, UK, Germany, France, Mexico, Taiwan, South Korea (1999).
External debt: $1.9 billion (2000)
Economic Aid Donor: Official Development Support $1.3 billion (1999).
Currency: Canadian dollar.
Currency code: CAD.
Exchange rate: CAD/USD – 1.5032 (January 2001), 1.4851 (2000), 1.4857 (1999), 1.4835 (1998), 1.3846 (1997), 1.3635 (1996).
Fiscal year: April 1-March 31.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 18.5 million (1999).
Mobile cell phones: 4.207 million (1997)
Telephone system: excellent service provided by modern equipment; domestic: national satellite system with approximately 300 earth stations; international: 5 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations: 5 Intelsat (4 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) and 2 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region).
Broadcast stations: AM – 535, FM – 53, shortwave – 6 (1998).
Radio receivers: 32.3 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 80 (and many repeaters) (1997).
Televisions: 21.5 million (1997)
Internet country code: ca
ISPs: 760 (2000 est.).
Number of users: 13.28 million (2000 est.).
Transport Railways: total: 36,114 km; note – the two main transcontinental freight railways Canadian National (privatized in November 1995) and Canadian Pacific Railway; passenger transportation is carried out by the state company VIA, which does not have its own railway network; standard gauge: 36,114 km (1.435 m gauge) (156 km electrified) (1998).
Roads: total: 901,902 km; paved: 318,371 km (including 16,571 km of expressways); unpaved: 583,531 km (1999 est.)
Waterways: 3,000 km including the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Pipelines: for crude and refined oil – 23,564 km; for natural gas – 74,980 km.
Ports and harbours: Becancourt (Quebec), Vancouver, Windsor, Halifax, Hamilton, Quebec, Montreal, New Westminster, Prince Rupert, St. John (New Brunswick), St. John’s (Newfoundland), Sept-Iles, Sidney, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Tre Riviere, Churchill.
Merchant fleet: total: 121 ships (displacement 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 1,767,259 gross register tons / 2,633,290 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of different types: barges – 1, bulk carriers – 67, cargo ships – 13, chemical tankers – 5, combined dry cargo ships – 1, passenger ships – 3, cargo-passenger ships – 1, oil tankers – 17, ships for the transport of railway wagons – 2, ferries for the transport of loaded vehicles – 7, coastal passenger ships – 3, specialized tankers – 1 (2000 est.).
Airports: 1,417 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 517; over 3,047 m: 18; from 2438 to 3047 m: 15; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 151; from 914 to 1,523 m: 244; less than 914 m: 89 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 900; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 74; from 914 to 1,523 m: 362; less than 914 m: 464 (2000 est.). Helipads: 18 (2000 est.).
Branches of the Armed Forces: Canadian Forces (includes Army, Navy, Air Force, Signal Corps, Training Troops), Royal Mounted Police.
Enlistment age: 17 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49: 8,325,084 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 7,114,851 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: male: 215,627 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $7.5 billion (FY00-01)
Military spending as part of GDP: 1.3% (FY00-01)
International problems International disputes: dispute over the maritime border with the United States (Dixon Entrance, Beaufort Sea, Juan de Fuca Strait, Machias Seal Island).
Illicit drugs: illegal production of cannabis for the domestic drug market; the use of hydroponic technologies allows growing high-quality marijuana indoors; the country’s role as a transit point for heroin and cocaine destined for the US market is growing.