Canada 150: What the numbers tell us about our country

In honour of Canada hitting the big 1-5-0 on Saturday, here are a few other numbers to inspire some patriotic fervour, courtesy of Statistics Canada.

Use this to dazzle your friends and neighbours with your knowledge of your country on its birthday

Ninety-one per cent of Canadians think the flag is an important national symbol, according to 2013 Statistics Canada data. The only symbol that ranked higher was the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, at 93 per cent. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Need something to talk about before the fireworks begin on Canada Day? In honour of the country hitting the big 1-5-0 on Saturday, here are a few other numbers to inspire some patriotic fervour, courtesy of Statistics Canada. 

A total of 20.3 per cent of Canada's population in 2011 was foreign born, the highest proportion among G8 countries that same year. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)


Canada's population is 10 times its size in 1870, the year of the first census after Confederation. Here is a closer look at the people who make up the country:

  • 35.2 million: the population in 2016.
  • 3.5 million: the population in 1870.
  • 41: the average age of a citizen in 2016.
  • 1.4 million: number of people who reported having an Indigenous identity in 2011 (4.3 per cent of the country's total population).
  • 17 million: number of people from around the world who have made their home in Canada since 1867.
  • 20.6 per cent: proportion of the population listed as foreign born in 2011 (the highest among G8 countries).
  • 6.2 million: number of people who self-identify as being part of a visible minority group in 2011 (the three largest identify as South Asian, Chinese and black, and make up 60 per cent of the visible minority population).
  • Over 200: number of ethnic origins reported in 2011.
Ninety per cent of Canadians reported having 'a strong sense of belonging in Canada,' according to 2013 Statistics Canada data. (Blair Gable/Reuters)


Canada is made up of 10 provinces and three territories, and, in terms of sheer geography, we're the second largest country: 

  • 9,984,670 square km: total area.
  • 5,514 km: longest distance from east to west.
  • 4,634 km: longest distance from north to south.
  • 1,169,561 square km: total area of fresh water.
As a country, Canada is among the wettest on Earth. About a tenth of the total area, or 1,169,561 square kilometres, is water.

National identity and values

According to Statistics Canada, Canadians seem to have a strong sense of who they are and what their country stands for:

  • 93 per cent believed the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is "the country's most important national symbol" in 2013, followed by the national flag (91 per cent), the national anthem (88 per cent), the RCMP (87 per cent), and hockey (77 per cent).
  • 92 per cent believed "Canadians collectively share the value of human rights" in 2013, followed by respect for the law (92 per cent), and gender equality (91 per cent).
  • 90 per cent reported "a strong sense of belonging to Canada" in 2013.
  • 87 per cent over age 15 reported "being proud to be Canadian" in 2013.
Sugar? No thank you, we're sweet enough. As a nation, we produced 46.2 million litres of maple syrup in 2016. (Facebook)

As Canadian as maple syrup

"As Canadian as maple syrup" might be a cliché, but there's good reason for it:

  • 47 million: number of maple trees reportedly tapped in 2016.
  • $486.7 million: value of maple products produced in Canada in 2016.
  • 46.2 million: number of litres of maple syrup produced in Canada in 2016 (Quebec alone produces 42.4 million litres, or 90 per cent of the country's syrup).
  • $381.3 million: value of Canadian maple sugar and maple syrup exports in 2016.
No wonder ketchup has its own chip flavour in Canada. Not only do we export $20.3 million worth of ketchup and tomato sauces in 2016, but the average Canadian household spent $10 on ketchup in 2015. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

What Canadians eat and drink

Here are some numbers that'll make you hungry or thirsty: 

  • $9.2 billion: value of all beer sold by liquor stores, agencies and other retail outlets in Canada in 2016.
  • $263.4 million: value of potatoes exported from Canada in 2016.
  • $57.9 million: value of salmon, Pacific, fresh/chilled from Canada in 2016.
  • $20.3 million: value of ketchup and other tomato sauces exported from Canada in 2016.
  • $287: what the average household spent on cheese in 2015.
  • $163: what the average household spent on coffee and tea in 2015.
  • $10: what the average household spent on ketchup in 2015.
Canadians love a good skate and we like to share that passion with the world. In 2016, we exported $25.3 million worth of ice skates. (FotoDuets/Shutterstock)

Wild about winter goods

It's called the Great White North for a reason, eh? Here are export totals in 2016 of winter-related vehicles and sports items: 

  • $395.9 million: snowmobiles and similar vehicles.
  • $25.3 million: ice skates.
  • $63,487: ski boots and snowboard boots.
Bacon Cove, N.L., is one of the many Canadian-sounding place names in this country. (Submitted by Bertha Hawco)

Canadian-sounding places

What's in a name? Depends on who you ask, but these towns sound more Canadian than most: 

  • Beersville, N.B.
  • Beaver, N.L.
  • L'Érable, Que.
  • Grizzly, Alta.
  • Habitant, N.S.
  • Bacon Cove, N.L.
  • Loon, Ont.
  • Winter, Sask.
  • Les Castors, Que. 
  • Hockey Estates, Alta.
  • Snowball, Ont.
  • Le Petit-Canada, Que.