Canada and the USA: Demographically Different?
According to PRB.org's 2006 World Population Data Sheet Canada's population as of mid-2006 was 32.6 million while that of the USA was 299.1 million. The same document shows that the rate of natural increase in population for the two countries is 0.3 percent per year for Canada and 0.6 per year for the USA. So absent immigration the USA is expected to increase its population twice as fast as Canada on a percentage basis alone. When you take into account the base population number, we should expect to see Canada's population increase absent immigration by 97,800 persons whereas with the same criteria the US population should increase by 1,794,600 persons. A figure which is 18 times greater than the Canadian increase.
The Alberta advantage
Edward mentioned yesterday the consequences that different rates of population change in different regions within a country can have on internal politics. Within Spain, as he noted, the fact that two of the regions experiencing the quickest population growth are the Spanish capital of Madrid and the nationalist and potentially separatist region of Catalonia is going to have interesting consequences for the future of Spanish federalism. Certainly, in Canada similar concerns over different rates of population change--especially changing fertility and immigration rates and the speed of language acquisition and loss--played a critical role in driving the growth of Québécois nationalism.
Canadian exceptionalism revisited
Saturday the 1st of July was Canada Day, Canada's national holiday celebrating the formation of an autonomous Canadian state back on that date in 1867. In the 139 years since Canada's creation, the country's population has grown ninefold, this growth driven by a relatively strong rate natural increase and fairly heavy net migration.
In the past generation, the Canadian population has begun to evolve in ways that sets it apart from its peers. The province of Québec's historically high birth rate has famously collapsed after the Second World War.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
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