With its large land area, its vast natural resources and
its relatively scarce population, Canada, until the 1950s,
relied heavily on primary industries such as agriculture and
forestry as well as mining. Subsequently, there has been a
strong expansion in the industry, while mineral production
has increased significantly, particularly the extraction of
petroleum. Canada, after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, has one
of the world's largest known petroleum reserves.
to countryaah, GDP
per capita is US $ 48,400 (2017). The service sector has
become the dominant part of the economy with 2 /
3 of GDP and employs 2/3
of the employees. It includes, among other things, a huge
public sector. Otherwise, banking, insurance, educational
institutions, transport and consultancy services are built
up, all of which contribute to foreign exchange earnings.
Canada is one of the world's largest agricultural
countries, and is a major net exporter of agricultural
products. Agriculture and forestry as well as fishing and
catching account for about 1.5 per cent of GDP (2018).
Cultivation of agricultural products is partly carried out
in very large interconnected areas in monoculture and often
in an industrial way, with large efforts of machinery and a
strong dependence on artificial fertilizers and chemical
pesticides. Organic cultivation is still on the rise. The
ripple effects of agricultural processing make agriculture
very important for Canada's economy.
Two percent of the population is employed in the
agricultural industry. Particularly important is grain
production, which is concentrated in the three prairie
provinces. Wheat (durum wheat which is particularly suitable
for pasta production) is by far the most important product.
Other major plant products are high (mostly in Alberta and
Ontario), barley and oats (prairie provinces), vegetable
oils (prairie provinces), potatoes, corn (sweet corn),
vegetables, fruits and tobacco. The production of rapeseed
oil has become especially important. Apples are the main
fruit variety. Canada is the world's largest producer of
blueberries, while other fruits and berries grown are
cranberries,strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and
The livestock team focuses on cattle, pigs and poultry.
Large-scale business is widespread in all provinces outside
Newfoundland, but mostly in Alberta. The total stock of
cattle is 13.5 million (2003), of which close to 40 percent
in Alberta. However, milk production is concentrated in the
populous provinces of Quebec and Ontario (which together
account for over 70 per cent of the dairy cows). The total
population of pigs is 14.4 million (2003) concentrated to
the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta. The
stock of sheep is 975,600, half in Ontario and Quebec.
Export of live livestock is an important source of revenue
for Canada. About 24 million hens produce just under seven
billion eggs per year. Fur husbandry is also important.
Main agricultural products
- Wheat and barley
- Fruits and vegetables
- dairy products
About 40 percent of Canada's land is forests, and half of
this is considered productive. The largest viable forests
are located north of the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes,
as well as in British Columbia. Approximately 4 /
5 of the estimated timber volume in forests are
softwood. Although less than annual growth is cut, Canada is
among the world's largest producers and exporters of wood
products. Many forests are destroyed by insects and forest
fires. More than half of the forest is owned by the public,
mostly by the provinces. The maple tree is Canada's national
symbol and reproduced in the national flag. Among other
things, sugar is extracted from salaries.
Fishing and hunting
Canada is a leading exporter of fish and other marine
products. The Atlantic coast usually accounts for about 80
percent (mainly Newfoundland and Nova Scotia) and the
Pacific coast for about 20 percent of economic value.
Traditionally, cod has been the most important fish species.
In 1992, cod fishing was stopped around much of Newfoundland
due to overfishing, and 25,000 fishermen were landed. Parts
of the fishbanks extend beyond Canada's 200-mile zone, and
Canada has been involved in fisheries conflicts with the EU
whose trawlers fish right outside Canada's zone. Major
products on the Atlantic coast are lobster, shrimp, crab,
scallops, cod, herring and clams. On the Pacific coast, the
most important products are skate, clams, halibut and
salmon. The aquaculture industry is significant in the
provinces of British Columbia and New Brunswick.
Fur breeding and hunting for wild fur animals are also
important in Canada. A quarter of the fur farm (by economic
value) is located in Ontario.
Canada has enormous mineral resources, and much of the
country is yet to be explored geologically. Due to
relatively low domestic consumption, Canada is a leading
international exporter of minerals. Mining, mining, oil and
gas extraction account for 8.21 per cent of GDP (2017).
Canada is the world's largest pottery producer, and among
the world's largest producers of uranium, niobium, nickel,
gemstones, indium, aluminum and platinum metals. Cobalt,
cadmium, graphite, sulfur, diamonds, titanium, gold and mica
are also produced. For a long time Canada was also a major
producer of asbestos until the last mine was put out of
business in 2011.
Canada is also a major oil and gas producer and, together
with Venezuela, has the world's largest known deposits of
oil sands. The country is also the world's fifth largest
producer of natural gas (2015). In 2017, Canada's crude oil
production averaged 4.21 million barrels per day; most of
the production takes place in Alberta. The rest of the
production is distributed across several provinces, but
large oil reserves are found both in the Arctic part of
Canada and off the east coast. Most of Alberta's production
is exported to the United States, and most of the oil needs
of the industrialized provinces of the East are imported
Among other things, thanks to oil and gas resources,
Alberta is the most important mineral producing province
followed by Ontario. Nickel is produced at Sudbury, Ontario,
and the town of Elliot Lake is known for its uranium
deposits. Ontario is also a major producer of gold, copper,
cement and zinc. Other major mineral producers are British
Columbia (copper, coal, oil and gas, and gold and silver),
Saskatchewan (oil, potash, natural gas and uranium), Québec
(iron ore, copper, gold and zinc) and Manitoba (nickel, zinc
and copper). New Brunswick has Canada's largest production
of zinc and bismuth and the second largest production of
lead and silver. In Nova Scotia, coal and plaster are the
most important. Nova Scotia also has oil producing fields on
the continental shelf (offshore). Labrador produces about
half of Canada's iron ore. Uranium and gold are also
important in Labrador. Lead, zinc, silver and gold are the
major minerals in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and
Main mineral products
||Value (USD billion 2017)
Canada is a net energy exporter. In 2016, energy products
were exported equivalent to 8.2 EJ (exa joule), while
domestic consumption of primary energy was 11.7 EJ. Per
capita consumption was 323 GJ.
The consumption of electrical energy is very high, and
the per capita figure is the final consumption of around
15,000 kWh, which is the third largest electricity
consumption in the world after Norway and Iceland.
In 2017, power generation was 655 TWh. The country
usually has a large power surplus and in 2017 net exports
were 62 TWh. The dominant energy source for power generation
is hydropower, with a share of 59.6 per cent, followed by
nuclear power 14.3 per cent, gas power 8.9 per cent and coal
power 8.7 per cent. Solar and wind power account for around
5 per cent.
Hydropower is mainly produced in Québec, British
Columbia, Ontario and Labrador, while the vast majority of
nuclear power plants are located in Ontario. Conventional
thermal power is produced in the oil and gas extraction
areas (Alberta) and the large industrial areas (Ontario).
Property, rental and leasing account for the largest
single sector in the country, with 13.01 per cent of GDP
(2017). In addition, the industry is large and multifaceted.
The largest industry is the service industry, which accounts
for over 70 per cent of GDP.
The main industrial products are the production of means
of transport, food, chemical products, the paper and
cellulose industry, metal production, the production of wood
products, telecommunications equipment and computer
equipment. The high-tech industrial sector is small but
The University of Toronto is considered the "birthplace"
of insulin and stem cell research, and one of the first
electron microscopes was developed here. The movable lift
arm of the US spacecraft was also developed in Canada, and
the country has been a leader in the development of
The industry as a whole shows a strong concentration to
the most populous provinces of the East, Ontario and Quebec.
There are major regional differences not only in total
industrial production but also in the composition of the
industry. The industrial provinces of the East (Ontario and
Quebec) have a much larger proportion of finished goods
production than the rest of the country, where production of
raw materials and semi-finished products means more. In the
provinces of the Atlantic coast, the food industry
(especially the fishery industry) and wood processing
dominate. In the prairie provinces, the food industry also
dominates, but here the processing of agricultural products
(meat, grain) is most important. In the Alberta, the
petroleum industry is of great importance. In British
Columbia, the forest industry is the most important. Quebec
and Ontario have a very varied industry, but the workshop
industry is most important, especially the means of
transport in Ontario. This has close links with similar
industry on the US side of the border (in Detroit). Yukon,
Northwest Territories and Nunavut have little industry.
Industry is not dominated by large corporations to the
same extent as in the US. There is a high degree of foreign
ownership in Canada's business. About. 40 percent of the
industry has foreign ownership interests, mainly US.
Foreign trade in Canada is highly regarded per capita due
to the country's wealth of resources and low population
numbers. Exports account for over 30 per cent of GDP,
compared with around 5 per cent in the United States.
Canada's foreign trade is strongly influenced by trade with
the United States.
In the post-war period, trade with the United Kingdom was
significantly weakened, despite traditional customs
preferences vis-à-vis the Commonwealth countries. In 1994,
Canada joined the North American Free Trade Organization
(NAFTA) with the United States and Mexico, strengthening
bilateral trade with the United States.
Canada traditionally has a foreign trade surplus. Exports
have traditionally been characterized by raw materials and
unprocessed industrial goods, but machines and vehicles have
gradually gained a greater share of exports.
Transport and Communications
The most important ports (ship cargo by weight) are
Vancouver in British Columbia (coal, wheat, sulfur), Port
Cartier in Québec (iron ore, wheat), Thunder Bay at Lake
Superior in Ontario (wheat) and Sept Îles in Québec (iron
ore). A special feature of Canadian shipping is the St.
Lawrence Seaway which, with canals and locks, provides
access to the Great Lakes for seagoing vessels. Here mainly
grain and iron ore are transported. Several of the ports at
the mouth of the St. Lawrence River have experienced strong
traffic growth as a result of the transfers from "lakers" to
larger seagoing vessels, in particular Port Cartier.
Canada has a large and well-developed rail network, which
today is primarily used for the transport of goods. Railway
development has played an important role in the country's
history, and it is an important prerequisite for the
formation of today's Canada. The first major period in the
railroad development was in the 1850s. In 1866, the first
transcontinental railroad was completed from Montreal to
Vancouver. This helped connect British Columbia with the
rest of Canada. The transcontinental route now runs from
Toronto to Vancouver. The total runway length in 1995 was
approximately 71,600 km, of which the main lines covered
The railway has in recent years been hit by cuts from the
public, several lines have been closed and other lines have
been reduced in frequency. There are two major
transcontinental systems: the Canadian National Railway (CN),
privatized in 1995, operates approximately 32,500 km of
tracks, and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), which is a
corporation and which disposes of approximately 30,000 km.
Common rail networks from 2000. There are subways in
Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, and trams in Calgary,
Edmonton and Toronto.
The road network is by far the densest in the southern
parts of the country, and the car density is high. The road
network is a total of 1,021,000 km. 35 percent of the total
road network is paved. Trans Canada Highway runs through all
the provinces from St. John's on Newfoundland to Vancouver
Island in British Columbia. A number of car ferries link the
islands on both the east and west coasts with the mainland.
The huge distances in the country have resulted in the
aircraft taking over large parts of the transport over
longer distances. Air Canada (privatized 1989) is the most
important company. The main airports are Toronto, Montreal
Main trading partners
Figures in millions of CAD, 2016:
Main export goods
||Billions of USD
The Economic Complexity Observatory, 2017
Main import goods
||Billions of USD