Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Canada and the USA

Canada and the USA share many similarities. They both have the same official language, English. American TV and movies are very popular in Canada and the two countries were both British colonies. However, they are also different in many ways.

In addition to English, Canada also has French. It is a country with two official languages. Britain defeated France at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759, a significant battle because it made English the primary language of Canada. Quebec, Canada's French-speaking province, has a beautiful capital, Quebec City, which preserves much of the city's historic past.

In population, the USA is much larger than Canada. According to the CIA World Factbook, the USA has 307 million people and Canada only 33 million. The USA is far more densely populated than Canada because it has a smaller area and a larger population.

The ethnic composition of the two countries is also different. According to Statistics Canada 2006, Canada's population is approximately 83% white, 10% Asian, 4%native and 2% black. The USA's is approximately 81% white, 13% black, 5% Asian and 1% native. Canada has a larger percentage of Asians and natives; the USA has a larger percentage of blacks. Canada has a slightly higher percentage of whites.

After English, French is the most widely-spoken language in Canada. According to Statistics Canada 2006, it is spoken at home by approximately 22% of the population. In the USA, Spanish is the second most widely-spoken language and is spoken at home by approximately 12% of the population.

According to the CIA World Factbook 2001, of those who profess a religion, Canada is approximately 52% Catholic and 28% Protestant. The USA is approximately 53% Protestant and 25% Catholic. The largest Protestant denomination in Canada is the United Church, a denomination unique to Canada, and the largest Protestant denomination in the USA is the Baptist.

Military expenditure is also different. According to the CIA World Factbook 2004, Canadian military expenditure is approximately 1% of GDP and American is approximately 4%. Thus military expenditure is considerably more in the USA than in Canada.

Differences also occur in the area of sport. The big three sports in the USA are football, baseball and basketball. Baseball has traditionally been considered the national sport of the USA, but football is undoubtedly the most popular. In Canada, hockey is unquestionably the most popular. Football and basketball are also popular, but not to the same extent as in the USA. Baseball is considerably less popular than in the USA. Canadian football, a form of football similar to that played in the United States, is only played in Canada.

Canada and the USA are neighbouring countries which may appear to be very similar. However, a deeper analysis of the two reveals that they also have a number of differences. These include population, ethnic composition, language, religion, military expenditure and sport.

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