Population and the history of colonisation
The Vikings discovered Canada more than a thousand years ago, but it was rediscovered by the Europeans in the 15th century. The French occupied a large part of the territory in the 16th century. They were followed by the English who captured most of Canada from the French in the wars in the 17th, 18th and 19th century.
Now, the population of Canada is about 28 million people. 45% of Canadians are of British origin, 29% of French origin and 23% have their origins in other European countries. There are also native Canadians – Indians and Eskimos – in Canada, but there are only 319 000 of them (300 000 Indians and 19 000 Eskimos). The name Canada probably came from Indians: one of the tribes used the word “kanata” for settlement.
Most of the inhabitants live near the border with the USA by the St Lawrence River, where the first French colonists settled.
Canada is a bilingual country, but a majority of people speaks English (70%), less French (20%) and the rest are bilingual. Most of the French-speaking population lives in the province of Quebec.
Canada’s population in 1994 was 28,8 million people.