Demographic Transitions: Canada

Subject: Science
Type: Process Analysis Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 507
Topics: Ecology, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics

Stage 1

  1. Navigator John Cabot reaches Newfoundland and Cape Breton in 1497 and by 1583 becomes England’s first colony (BBC News, 2012). 
  2. In 1763, Britain gains control of French colonies, including Quebec (BBC News, 2012). 
  3. 1800s immigration picks up with thousands coming from Britain, Scotland, and Ireland (BBC News, 2012). 
  4. From 1851 to 1900, Canadian population increased gradually to a few million.  A high fertility rate was also noted during this time which was equally offset by their very high mortality rates (StatCan, 2008).  

Environmental impact: This translated to more forest and frontier lands developed to accommodate the growing population (Beanlands & Duinker, 1983).  Many forest lands were converted to residential and farm lands to accommodate the population and its needs (Beanlands & Duinker, 1983). 

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Stage 2

  1. From 1901 to 1945, their population growth rate still accelerated, mostly due to the new settlement established in Western Canada (StatCan, 2008).  This was credited to the high immigration rates in the area and the baby boom
  2. From 1946 to 2006, their population jumped from 12.3 million to 32.6 million, representing a population increase of atleast 20 million (StatCan, 2008).

Environmental impact: A more industrialized society was soon established with more roads built to accommodate the needs of the population (Beanlands & Duinker, 1983).  Cities with concrete buildings were built and more farm lands were cleared to accommodate cities and roads.  

Stage 3 

  1. A decrease in birth rates was noted in 1972, the lowest since 1946 when Canada’s population was at 13 million (Grindstaff, 1975). This 1972 steady decline started in 1956 and their decreasing fertility rates have continued to decline (Grindstaff, 1975).  However, their immigration numbers are still consistently high.  Pressures to further increase immigration numbers have also been noted.  

Environmental impact: More forest lands were encroached upon, transformed to rural and residential areas (Beanlands & Duinker, 1983).  Calls for preservation of protected forest areas were made.  Several laws throughout the years were passed in order to support climate change provisions of international laws.  

Stage 4

  1. From 2015 to 2016, Canada’s birth rate per woman was at 1.6%, with infant and maternal mortality rates at very low marks and life expectancy age rising to 82 years (Valiante, 2015; Statistics Canada, 2017).  This translates to a low birth, low death rate and a high population size.  The low death rates can be attributed to modern advances in medicine which have allowed for the treatment of childhood and other diseases (Valiante, 2015).  Its high population size is also very much supported by the high immigration rates of the country.  

Environmental impact: Food needs increased which translated to more lands tilled to produce food (Beanlands & Duinker, 1983).  Transport of goods increased with the rising demands of the people.  More homes were built to accommodate growing population. 

Stage 5

  1. Canada has yet to reach stage 5 because its population size is not decreasing alongside its low birth and low death rates.  It has nevertheless been able to gain a low birth rate as well as a low death rate for its population.  

Did you like this sample?
  1. BBC News (2012). Timeline: Canada. Retrieved from
  2. Beanlands, G. E., & Duinker, P. N. (1983). An ecological framework for environmental impact assessment in Canada.
  3. Grindstaff, C. F. (1975). The baby bust: Changes in fertility patterns in Canada. Canadian Studies in Population2, 15-22.
  4. StatCan (2008). Population growth in Canada
  5. Statistics Canada (2017). Life expectancy
  6. Valiante, G. (2016). Low Quebec birth rate spurs some calls for increased immigration. CBC News Canada. 
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