According to Ezinesports, the population of the Canada is still very scarce, if compared to the extension of the country: just over 3 residents / km 2 on average; even excluding the vast, substantially uninhabitable areas of the Arctic, negligible average values are obtained. The most densely populated of the provinces, the small Prince Edward Island, barely reaches 24 residents / km 2. Since the date of the first census (1871), however, the Canada only natural increase is weakly positive, according to the tendency common to the advanced Western countries. The demographic trend is differentiated according to the various regions: the Atlantic maritime provinces (especially Newfoundland) are decreasing or stationary, while the western ones (especially British Columbia) are increasing significantly.
Considering that the indigenous population of the Canadian territory was very weak and very dispersed, and that the descendants of the original peoples are now just about 2% of the total, after wars, spread of diseases, poor living conditions, marginalization and even express interventions of demographic containment (such as forced sterilization) had depressed this percentage to even lower values, it is evident that the population of Canada is an almost integral effect of immigration. Immigration flows have been significant since the mid-nineteenth century, even if they show a discontinuous trend. A first, long phase that saw small numbers of French, first and then also of British, settling mainly in the south-eastern regions, was followed by the start of massive immigration, from the 1880s to the beginning of the World War I ; resumed after the war, interrupted by the Great Depression, resumed until the new arrest caused by the Second World War immigration, which once again returned to considerable dimensions in the immediate post-war period, to then slow down with the 1970s and stabilize, as a whole largely came from the British Isles; the population of British origin, however, today constitutes just over a third of the total, while less than a quarter is that of French origin: the two main components, whose languages have official value in the country, together make up not even 57%, while about 40% of the population comes from a variety of regions; among these the Asian-Pacific area (from where almost half of the new immigrants arrive today) is becoming increasingly important to the detriment of the European area. The propensity of new immigrants for urban areas is strong (in the first place Toronto and Vancouver, which respectively absorb immigrants from the east and those from the west), so that the main cities have the greatest ethnic diversity. However, integration is proceeding quite rapidly, as evidenced by the increase in the number of those who consider themselves ‘Canadians’ with no further ethnic specifications (over a third), while people who recognize themselves as having only one ethnic background are very fewer than those who recognize themselves in several groups, as they belong to mixed families. There are just over 720,000 Italians, rising to almost 1.3 million even taking into account descendants from mixed families. Among the least integrated groups are the Chinese (over one million) and Asians in general, among the most integrated the residents of British and French origin, Irish, German, and Europeans in general,
The migratory dynamics have strongly influenced the religious composition, leading in recent decades to a clear prevalence of Catholics (44%) compared to Protestants (29%); followed by those who profess no religion (16.5%) and small portions of the population who practice a variety of different cults. The positive economic situation has, on the other hand, contributed to making Canada one of the countries with the highest standard of living in the world, in terms of both income and human development, a condition that certainly favors the solution of the problems of coexistence.
The distribution of the population remains highly unbalanced: between the eastern provinces (Québec and Ontario alone are home to almost two thirds of Canadians) and the western ones (essentially for reasons of historical origin, linked to the variable antiquity of the occupation, which proceeded from E towards W; between the S and the N of the country), where obviously environmental reasons prevail; and then between urban areas (over 80% of the residents) and countryside. The large urban agglomerations are essentially reduced to three: long established are the eastern ones of Toronto, with 5.3 million residents, and Montréal, with 3.6 million; on the west coast, that of Vancouver has seen a very rapid growth that has led it to host 2.2 million residents. But it is clearly still quite small in size. In the rest of the country only Calgary and Edmonton, in Alberta, exceed one million residents and are detached from the average size that characterizes almost all major Canadian cities: Québec, Hamilton and Winnipeg have, in their respective agglomerations, just over 700,000 residents; under half a million are London and Kitchener.
The detachment of Nunavut (“our land” in the Inuit language) from the Northwest Territories is the most recent territorial modification of the Canada: defined in 1991, delimited in 1993, with a capital (Iqaluit) in 1995, the a new territory came into operation in 1999, to respond to the requests of the Inuit population in terms of autonomy and the restoration of traditional living conditions, endangered by the invasion, in particular, of mining.