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Chapter 4

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Western University
Geography 2010A/B
Suzanne Greaves

Chapter 4: Human Face Canada’s Population  Demography: scientific study of human populations including size, composition, distribution, density, growth, and related socio-economic characteristics  Trends: o Declining rate of natural increase (excess births above death) o Aging population o High Aboriginal birth rate (noticeable difference)  Immigration plays a major role in demographic and social changes  Other forces include the rapid increase in Canada’s Aboriginal population, place of French language within the nation, and Canada’s economic role within the North American community  Undercounting: population counts in the census enumeration process that have missed households, producing for that particular population a figure that is unrealistically low  Since Confederation, Canada’s population has increased by nearly 10 times  3 primary factors accounting for this growth: natural increase, population gained from territorial expansioth and immigration o In the latter part of the 20 century, birth rates drosted significantly, although these have recovered somewhat in the 21 century o Immigration became the dominant factor in population growth o Last territorial expansion took place in 1949 when Newfoundland joined Confederation  With current population, Canada can be considered a medium-sized country on the world stage  Canada’s population density is one of the lowest in the world  Population Density: total number of people in a geographic area divided by the land area, population per unit of land area  Total population of 33 million+ with a density of 3.5 / sq.km  Land varies greatly in its capacity to support human settlement  Most land in Canada lies beyond the northern limits of agriculture, and land in the Territorial North has an exceptionally low capacity to support human life  Population density figures are more meaningful if they are expressed as the amount of arable land per person (physiological density) Population Distribution  Population Distribution: dispersal of a population within a geographic area  Canada’s population is extremely unevenly distributed across the country  Ecumene: portion of the land that is settled o Follows the agriculture settlement areas  Demographic core continues to be Ontario and Quebec even though there has a been a population shift to the West  Ontario and Quebec have the highest density and thus, exert political force within the Canadian federation (source of regional alienation)  Dominant demographic position is enhanced by their geographic situation in the Great Lakes-St Lawrence Lowlands, proximity to the manufacturing heartland of the US and their financial strength  Overall spatial pattern reinforce the image of a highly concentrated population core surrounded by more thinly populated zones  Canada’s core population zone lies in the Great Lakes-St Lawrence Lowlands where bulk of Canada’s population is found  In terms of where the general population is, narrow band north of the US border (best conditions for agriculture)  Its economy is based on manufacturing and its agriculture land contain the most fertile farmlands in Canada  Secondary core zone extends in a narrow band across Southern Canada o Population is increasing slowly and unevenly (BC growing quicker where Newfoundland slower)  Third zone characterized by sparse population is associated with a narrow band of the boreal forest is associated with a narrow band of the boreal forest that stretches across mid-Canada  Resource Town: urban place where single economic activity focused on resource extraction dominates local economy  Regional Services Centres: urban places where economic functions are provided to residents living within the surrounding area  Most of Canada’s expansive territory is found in the last, almost uninhabited lands of the North  Native Settlements: small Aboriginal centres, often found on reserves or in remote, Northern locations  With small population and a large geographic area, this population zone has the lowest population density Urban Population  Urban country with 80% of its population living in cities and towns o Did not become an urban nation until the mid to late 1920s (relatively late) o Least urbanized area today is Atlantic Canada o Isolated settlements of the North are very “rural” but live in nucleated areas  Emergence of large cities across Canada is the latest outcome of urbanization, serve as the economic and cultural anchors of their hinterlands  Census Metropolitan Area (CMA): urban area with a population of at least 100,000 together with adjacent smaller urban centres and even rural areas that have a high degree of economic and social integration with the larger urban area o Canada has 33 CMAs, of those 14 are in Ontario o 14 in Ontario are not 100% in Southern Ontario but Southern Ontario has such a big proportion relatively to its land mass of the major cities in Canada  Common problem to the CMA is urban sprawl – uncontrolled growth of cities onto the surrounding areas o Key issue where the surrounding area is the good agricultural land o Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are built on in the center of good agricultural land  Toronto has the best surrounding agriculture hinderland o With the 1960s, the cities has started to spread – both commercial and residential activity spreading into the countryside (cheap land, cheap building costs o If it’s good for agriculture, it’ll be great for construction  Most business and employment opportunities are found in cities  Canadians prefer to live in an urban setting where amenities are readily available  Major urban centres are at the cutting edge of technological innovation and capital accumulation  Manufacturing does not determine a city’s prosperity rather the creativity of its business and university communities is the determining factor  Cities face daunting task of finding solutions to problems associated with growth of suburbia and shift of commercial activities from downtown to the outlying areas o Among the leading challenges are smog, traffic congestion, shortage of parking space, homeless, water contamination, and garbage disposal  Urbanization is associated with economic development  Shift from rural to urban communities, although most obvious in Western Canada, is a natural phenomenon and associated with two factors: declining numbers involved in agriculture due to mechanization and increase in job opportunities in urban places Population Change  Population change has 3 components: births, deaths, and migration  Population Increase: total population increase resulting from the interaction of births, deaths, and migration in a population in a given period of time  Population Growth: rate at which a population is increasing / decreasing in a given period due to natural increase and net migration  Rate of Natural Increase: surplus / deficit of births over deaths in a population per 1000 people in a given time period  Crude Birth Rate (CBR): number of births per 1000 people in a given year  Crude Death Rate (CDR): number of deaths per 1000 people in a given year  Net Migration: net effect of immigration and emigration on a country’s population in a given period  Push-Pull Model: certain negative factors in the migrant’s present location push them to migrate just as certain positive factors in the location of destination pull the migrant to relocate  Canada has a large influx of migrants but a number of Canadians also leave the country o Many Canadians move to the US because of job opportunities and temperate climate  Most population increase is now related to immigration rather than natural increase o Since most immigrants relocated to Ontario, Quebec, and BC much of the population increase is attributed to New Canadians o Bulk of increase in Western Canada results from Alberta drawing Canadians from other parts of the country to job opportunities  During the Great Depression and WWII, economic and social conditions did not favour large families  With the return of Canada’s servicemen and women, a stable political world, and improving economic conditions, couples’ attitude towards family formation took a positive turn  Baby Boom Effect lasted for 20 years with high fertility created a bugle in the age structure of Canadian society that continues to have both economic and social implications  Baby boom was distinct demographic period referring to the births that took place between 1945 and 1965 o School expansion – great demand for more space in schools (60s) and usually followed by a period of decline (school contraction) o Housing market Natural Increase  Determined by the number of births minus the number of deaths  As Canada became an industrial country, fertility rates declined  Mortality Rate: number of deaths per 1000 people in a given year  Fertility Rate: number of births per 1000 people in a given years  Shift of people from rural area to towns and cities, sharp increase in number of women in the labour force, and widespread acceptance of familystlanning account for parents to opt for smaller families  By 21 century, Canada’s crude birth and death rates were extremely low causing a low rate of natural increase Demographic Transition Theory  Demographic Transition Theory: historical shift of birth and death rates from high to low levels in a population. The decline in mortality precedes the decline in fertility, resulting in a rapid population growth during the transition period  Based on the assumption that changes in birth and death rates occur as a society moves from pre-industrial to an industrial economy  Pre-Industrial Phase: stage in the evolution of the capitalist economic system that predates capitalism, characterized by mercantile trade but without major manufacturing or industrialization based on the large-scale exploitation of energy  Industrial Phase: each major change in the evolution of the capitalist economic system, marks the shift from a predominantly agricultural economy to an industrial one  Post-Industrial Phase: stage in capitalism marked by shift from an industrial economy based on manufacturing to an economy in which service industries, particularly high-technology become dominant economic activities  Within Canada, the Aboriginal population continues to have significantly higher birth rates and higher rates of natural increase Age Structure  Canada’s demographic picture clearly indicates a greying population  Smaller portion of children and population in the workforce and larger percentage over 64 (Canadians are living longer)  Smaller percentage of workers means a growing tax burden on these people and ever-increasing medical costs and demands by Canada’s senior citizens  Age Dependency Ratio: ratio of the economically dependent sector of the population to the productive sector  Productive members
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