News·The National Today

Canada by the numbers: Happiness, immigration, life expectancy and more

A closer look at the day's most notable stories with The National's Jonathon Gatehouse: In anticipation of Canada Day, a run-down of key statistical indicators of life in this country, as well as an examination of the health effects of climate change.

Newsletter: A closer look at the day's most notable stories

A young reveller takes in Canada Day. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Welcome to The National Today newsletter, which takes a closer look at what's happening around some of the day's most notable stories.


  • In anticipation of Canada Day on Monday, we look at some numbers that define the country in 2019.
  • Climate change is not only having a physical impact on the planet, it's affecting people's health, says Danielle Martin, a noted Canadian doctor. 
  • Missed The National last night? Watch it here.

Canada, by the numbers

Monday is Canada Day, and to mark the country's 152nd birthday, here are some numbers you should know:


37,578,285 — Canada's population as of 12:15 p.m. ET on Friday.

3,463,000 — the country's estimated population in 1867

46,995,360 — the number of maple taps in Canadian trees in 2016.


36,581 — the number of people who attended Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill last year.

34.7 C — the daily high temperature in Ottawa last July 1.

11 — the number of statutory holidays in most Canadian provinces and territories.

19 — the number in Japan this year, due to the ascension of the new emperor

28 — the number of public holidays in Cambodia


1st — Canada's rank among the 25 countries that accepted UN refugees in 2018.

28,100 — the number of refugees who resettled here last year.

1.4 million — the number of people in need of permanent resettlement.


9th — Canada's ranking among nations in the latest World Happiness Report, just behind New Zealand and ahead of Austria

5th — Canada's ranking in 2015.


A man hikes the Darkwoods Conservation Area in B.C. (The Nature Conservancy of Canada/Gordon MacPherson)


82.782 years — the life expectancy in Canada for 2019.

13th — this country's ranking for life expectancy, behind Sweden and ahead of South Korea.


5.4 per cent — Canada's jobless rate in May, the lowest figure in at least 43 years.


1.23  percentage of Canada's GDP devoted to military spending in 2018.

14th — Canada's place on the list of world's biggest defence spenders last year.

$21.6 billion US — the amount Canada spent on its military in 2018.

$4.27 billion US — the amount Canada devoted to foreign aid in 2017.

1.2 — the percentage of last year's record $1.822 trillion in global military spending that Canada was responsible for.


Almost 70 — the percentage of Canadians who participate in outdoor or wilderness activities.

44  the percentage who say they hike or backpack.

32 — the percentage who view or photograph wildlife.

16 — the percentage who forage for food.


704 megatonnes — Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions in 2016

1st — Canada's ranking in per capita carbon emissions among G20 nations.

7th — Canada's overall world ranking.


You can always count on music and fireworks over the Old Port to celebrate Canada Day in Montreal. (AFP/Getty Images)


206,624,103 – the number of potted plants produced in Canada in 2017.

$5.9 billion – the amount spent by Canadian households on tools and equipment for home and garden in the last quarter of 2018.


5,032 – the number of bars, restaurants and other establishments licensed to sell alcohol in Canada in 2018.

360 — the actual and planned cannabis retail locations across Canada as of May 2019.

5.884 million litres — the volume of eggnog sold commercially in Canada in December 2018.

7 the reported number of fireworks accidents/incidents in Canada in 2017-2018.

  • You may also like our early-morning newsletter, the Morning Brief — start the day with the news you need in one quick and concise read. Sign up here.

Climate change and health

Climate change isn't just affecting the planet, it has consequences for our health, producer Perlita Stroh writes.

Danielle Martin has been a family doctor in Toronto since 2006, but recently patients have been coming to her practice with symptoms for conditions she wasn't trained for in medical school.

Dr. Danielle Martin reports seeing more patients complaining of conditions related to climate change. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

"We're seeing diseases that we never used to see, and I think part of that is because of climate change," says Martin, who is also executive vice-president and chief medical executive at Women's College Hospital.

"When I was training, I really didn't know a lot about issues like Lyme disease, for example."

The proliferation of Lyme disease in areas where it never used to exist is just one of the health effects of climate change as the Earth's temperature warms. Others include a longer and more severe allergy season, asthma and other breathing complications resulting from more frequent wildfire seasons, and more widespread cases of dehydration and even death from heat waves. 

There's also a mental health disorder referred to as "eco-anxiety" — anxiety related to the possibility of environmental disasters.

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization said climate change is the biggest health threat of the 21st century, and that assessment has moved more physicians to become involved.

Courtney Howard, president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, says there are things the medical community can do to help address the situation — changes that benefit both the environment and personal well-being.

"We can help our patients by encouraging them to transition to a more plant-rich diet that will help people lower their greenhouse gas emissions and also be better for health," she says, as well as promoting other small changes, such as urging people to get around more on bicycles rather than driving.

A note to readers

This is my final edition of the National Today newsletter, as I'm moving on to some other writing opportunities at CBC News.

Thanks for subscribing and reading over the past 20 months, and for all the feedback that you've sent my way. 

Pulling together a mini-newspaper in a matter of a few hours each day is a tremendous amount of work, and wouldn't have been possible without the help of Ian Johnson, Adam Miller, Simi Bassi, Natalie Crowell and many other colleagues at The National. My thanks to them all.

The National Today is going to take a two-month break and then return in September, refreshed and revitalized under new management.

Have a great summer and please keep reading in the fall.

A few words on...

Vicarious embarrassment.

Quote of the moment

"Thick mountains could not stop the river from flowing into the sea. The current difficulties facing China-Canada relations are only temporary … The Sino-Canadian friendship has a deep, profound history, a history that is unstoppable."

Lu Shaye, China's frequently undiplomatic ambassador to Canada, offers an olive branch in his farewell speech before leaving his post this week.

What The National is reading

  • Case of Hamilton man allegedly spying for China tangled in secrecy (CBC)
  • France hits record temperature of 45.1 C (BBC)
  • Steven Seagal film to tell story of Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi (Guardian)
  • 15% of Russian mayors prosecuted over past decade, study says (Moscow Times)
  • Japan court orders compensation for kin of leprosy patients (Associated Press)
  • Grieving people gathered on a Facebook support group. Then a hacker showed up (NYTimes)
  • Former NASA intern may make millions from original moon landing film (CBC)
  • Serial dine-and-dasher stiffing restaurants all over Calgary (Calgary Herald)

Today in history

June 28, 1989: Museum of Civilization acquires Champlain's astrolabe

Canada's new $257-million Museum of Civilization acquired a brass chunk of Canadian history, paying $250,000 to repatriate Samuel de Champlain's astrolabe from New York City. The explorer was said to have lost the navigation device while portaging around some Ottawa River rapids in 1613. Its fate remained a mystery until a 14-year-old farm boy found it lying under a log on the shore of Green Lake near Cobden, Ont., in 1867, the year of Confederation. Spoiler: there is no proof that it actually belonged to Champlain.

Champlain's astrolabe returns to Canada

33 years ago
Duration 2:05
Explorer Samuel de Champlain's lost navigation device has found its way back to Canada — and into Canada's new Museum of Civilization.

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Jonathon Gatehouse

CBC Investigative Journalist

Jonathon Gatehouse has covered news and politics at home and abroad, reporting from dozens of countries. He has also written extensively about sports, covering seven Olympic Games and authoring a best-selling book on the business of pro-hockey. He works for the national investigative unit in Toronto.