Canada is a big country, the second largest in the world behind only Russia. But most of its 35 million people live in a very small area.
To see how small, follow the series of maps below.
Where do Canada’s people live? (size = population)
This is a cartogram, a map in which the area of each region is substituted with some mapping variable, population in this case. Said another way, the size of each region corresponds to the number of people who live there.
Canada gets deformed to the point it’s completely unrecognizable (for comparison, see these cartograms of the U.S. and the U.K.).
The bulk of the cartogram’s area, and therefore Canada’s population, is in the bulge on the right. And that bulge is predominantly made up of just three light-colored regions and their immediate surroundings: Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa, Canada’s 1st, 2nd, and 4th most populous metro areas respectively.
A full half of Canada’s population lives here.
This region covers an area of roughly 50,000 square miles (about the same size as Pennsylvania), and all of it is located south of the Washington-Oregon border.
This next cartogram is the same as the one at the top, except this one has only two colored regions. Half of Canada lives in the red, half lives in the grey.
Most Canadians not only live in a very small area, but as the map shows, they also live further south than you may expect. The entire red area is located below the Washington-Oregon border.
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