To answer the
above question we firstly have to look at the definition of Under
population: "Under population usually occurs where despite the
resource potential to support a higher density, a region is unattractive
compared to more settled areas" Michael Carr, Patterns.
In terms of natural resources, Canada is richly endowed with valuable
natural resources that are commercially indispensable to the economy.
The country has enormous areas of fertile, low-lying land in the Prairie
provinces (Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan) and bordering the Great
Lakes and St Lawrence River in southern Quebec and southern Ontario.
Forests cover about 49 per cent of the country's land area and abound
in commercially valuable stands of timber. Commercial fishing in Canada
dates from nearly 500 years ago, and ocean waters, inland lakes, and
rivers continue to support this industry. The mining industry of Canada
has a long history of exploration and development that pre-dates confederation
The Canadian Shield contains a wealth of minerals; the nation is also
rich in reserves of crude petroleum and natural gas. The river and
lake systems of the country combine with the mountainous topography
to make hydroelectric energy one of the permanent natural assets of
Take this along with the extremely high GDP per capita (Fig.3), and
it is evident that indeed Canada could support a larger population.
But how would a larger population benefit Canada? If you look at the
Transition theory of how population relates to development (P357,
Geography An Integrated Approach, David Waugh), this would suggest
by increasing the population that Canada would develop, but as Canada
is already highly developed, a population increase would probably
just exacerbate existing problems (Orthodoxy theory).
It already has modern technology, which means for example, that only
3%of the population are employed in agriculture because extensive
farming methods are used, yet it makes up a large part of the GDP.
If you take the
Standard of living
= Natural Resources x Technology DIVIDED BY Population
Canada has an
abundance of resources and technology, divided by a relatively small
population gives an extremely high standard of living. Why would it
want to change?
Canada is under populated statistically, but this benefits Canada
in that it allows there to be a higher standard of living for its
inhabitants. This would not be true in an LEDC, as it wouldn't have
the technology to allow it to maximise the resource potential of the
· Microsoft Encarta 2000
· Geography, an integrated approach. David Waugh
· Patterns, processes and change in human geography. Michael