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Canada (158,187)
Geography (259)
Chapter 4

Geo 2010 Ch4.docx

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Western University
Geography 2010A/B
Suzanne Greaves

Chapter 4: Canada’s Human Face Introduction Canada’s Population Most growth has taken place in 3 geographic regions—western Canada, Ontario and BC Demography: scientific study of human population including size, composition, distribution, density, growth and related socio-economic characteristics Ethnic composition and cultural diversity now reflect fresh elements in our society Immigration plays a major role as well as rapid increase in aboriginal population  Population size o 3 primary factors accounting for growth over last 143 years are natural increase, population gained from territorial expansion and immigration  Population density o Canada’s population density is one of the lowest o Population density is determined by dividing the number of people in a land area— total number of people in a geographic area divided by the land area o Land varies greatly in its capacity to support human settlement  Population distribution o Population distribution: dispersal of people within a geographic area o The population core is sometimes described as Canada’s national ecumene (inhabited area) portion of land that is settled o Ontario and Quebec has highest density—they exert political force within the Canadian federation o Their dominant position is enhanced by their geographic situation in the great lakes St. Lawrence, proximity to the manufacturing heartland of the US, and their economic/financial strength o Great lakes St. Lawrence lowlands is where bulk of Canada’s population is o Fort mcmurray, Alberta is an example of a booming resource town (an urban place where a single economic activity focused on resource extraction dominates the local economy; also a company town built near an isolated mine site to house the mine workers and their families o Largest city in tertiary zone is Whitehorse and Yellowknife—they are administrative centers and regional service centers: urban places where economic functions are provided to residents living within the surrounding area o Most of Canada’s expansive theory is found in almost uninhabited lands of the north o Most reside in small isolated native settlements: small aboriginal centers, often found on reserves or in remote northern locations o Aboriginal people are the majority of this zone Urban Population  Canada is an urban country  Urban area: having a population of at least 1000 and no fewer than 400 persons per square km  Census Metropolitan Areas o CMA is an urban area (known as the urban core) together with adjacent urban and rural areas that have a high degree of social and economic integration with the urban core o Toronto surpassed Montreal as Canada’s largest metropolitan center o What’s the attraction to these cities?  Most businesses and employment opportunities are found in large cities  Canadians prefer to live in urban setting where amenities are available  Urban centers are good for technological innovation  However, downtown cores that lost their focus on commercial and social activities because people no longer need cars, etc  Variation in Urban population by geographic region o Urbanization is associated with economic development o Shift from rural to urban communities is associated with two factors  Declining numbers involved in agriculture due to mechanization  Increase in job opportunities in urban places Population Change  Population change has 3 components: births, deaths, and migration  Population increase is the sum of natural increase and net migration over a given period  Population growth is used when this increase is expressed as a rate, that is as a percentage change over time  Rate of natural increase is the difference between crude birth rate and crude death rate  Crude birth rate: number of live births per 1000 people in given year  Crude death rate: number of deaths per 1000 in given year  Net migration is the difference between in and out migration  One explanation of this migration is push-pull model: lack of employment in the migrants current location push them to migrate toward a more positive location  Most population increase is now related to immigration  The bulk of increase in western Canada results from Alberta drawing Canadians from other parts of the country to job opportunities  Natural Increase o Natural increase is determined by the number of births minus the number of deaths o Mortality rate have inched upward, signaling the impact of Canada’s aging population o The decline in fertility rate is due to social and economic changes causing parents to have smaller families  Shift of people from rural areas to towns and cities  Sharp increase in number of women in labor force  Widespread acceptance of family planning (birth control)  The demographic transition theory o Describes population change in industrial societies, based on the assumption that changes in birth and death rates occur as a society moves from pre-industrial to an industrial economy Age Structure  Canadians are living longer  Age dependency o Age dependency ratio: ratio of persons in the “dependent” age groups (under 15 and over 64) to those in the economically productive age group (15-64 years) o The assumption is that productive members of society are those between 15 and 64 o The purpose of the age dependency ratio is to compare the number of dependents with the number of economically productive members of society, thus giving a rough measure of the economic burden on those in the economically productive age group Immigration  Ottawa encourages immigration because o Newcomers keep Canada’s population increase o Newcomers add valuable members to Canada’s workforce o Canada takes in refugees who are felling oppressive socio-political conditions in their homelands  Why immigration? o To populate unsettled lands o To do dirty, dangerous and low paying jobs that the native born would not do o To supplement trade and professional workforce o Maintain population and economic growth o Demographic implications for immigration  Immigration ensures that population keeps increasing  Increases cultural diversity  Increase in diversity will call into question the validity of the vision of two founding people  Concentration of new Canadians in large cities has change demographics making them different from rest of Canada  Ethnicity o An ethnic group is made up of members of a population who share a culture that is distinct from that of other groups o Culture is a learned collective behavior of a group of people o Ethnic origin—ethnic or cultural
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