Immigration is the international movement of people into a destination country of which they are not natives or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle or reside there as permanent residents or naturalized citizens, or to take up employment as a migrant worker or temporarily as a foreign worker. As for economic effects, research suggests that migration is beneficial both to the receiving and sending countries. Research, with few exceptions, finds that immigration on average has positive economic effects on the native population, but is mixed as to whether low-skilled immigration adversely affects low-skilled natives. Studies show that the elimination of barriers to migration would have profound effects on world GDP, with estimates of gains ranging between 67 and 147 percent. Development economists argue that reducing barriers to labor mobility between developing countries and developed countries would be one of the most efficient tools of poverty reduction; the academic literature provides mixed findings for the relationship between immigration and crime worldwide, but finds for the United States that immigration either has no impact on the crime rate or that it reduces the crime rate.
Research shows that country of origin matters for speed and depth of immigrant assimilation, but that there is considerable assimilation overall for both first- and second-generation immigrants. Research has found extensive evidence of discrimination against foreign born and minority populations in criminal justice, the economy, health care and politics in the United States and Europe; the term immigration was coined in the 17th century, referring to non-warlike population movements between the emerging nation states. When people cross national borders during their migration, they are called migrants or immigrants from the perspective of the country which they enter. From the perspective of the country which they leave, they are called outmigrant. Sociology designates immigration as migration; as of 2015, the number of international migrants has reached 244 million worldwide, which reflects a 41% increase since 2000. One third of the world's international migrants are living in just 20 countries.
The largest number of international migrants live in the United States, with 19% of the world's total. Germany and Russia host 12 million migrants each, taking the second and third place in countries with the most migrants worldwide. Saudi Arabia hosts 10 million migrants, followed by the United Arab Emirates. Between 2000 and 2015, Asia added more international migrants than any other major area in the world, gaining 26 million. Europe added the second largest with about 20 million. In most parts of the world, migration occurs between countries that are located within the same major area. In 2015, the number of international migrants below the age of 20 reached 37 million, while 177 million are between the ages of 20 and 64. International migrants living in Africa were the youngest, with a median age of 29, followed by Asia, Latin America/Caribbean, while migrants were older in Northern America and Oceania. Nearly half of all international migrants originate in Asia, Europe was the birthplace of the second largest number of migrants, followed by Latin America.
India has the largest diaspora in the world, followed by Russia. A 2012 survey by Gallup found that given the opportunity, 640 million adults would migrate to another country, with 23% of these would-be immigrant choosing the United States as their desired future residence, while 7% of respondents, representing 45 million people, would choose the United Kingdom; the other top desired destination countries were Canada, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Spain. One theory of immigration distinguishes between pull factors. Push factors refer to the motive for immigration from the country of origin. In the case of economic migration, differentials in wage rates are common. If the value of wages in the new country surpasses the value of wages in one's native country, he or she may choose to migrate, as long as the costs are not too high. In the 19th century, economic expansion of the US increased immigrant flow, nearly 15% of the population was foreign born, thus making up a significant amount of the labor force.
As transportation technology improved, travel time and costs decreased between the 18th and early 20th century. Travel across the Atlantic used to take up to 5 weeks in the 18th century, but around the time of the 20th century it took a mere 8 days; when the opportunity cost is lower, the immigration rates tend to be higher. Escape from poverty is a traditional push factor, the availability of jobs is the related pull factor. Natural disasters can amplify poverty-driven migration flows. Research shows that for middle-income countries, higher temperatures increase emigration rates to urban areas and to other countries. For low-income countries, higher temperatures reduce emigration. Emigration and immigration are sometimes mandatory in a contract of employment: religious missionaries and employees of transnational corporations, international non-governmental organizations, the diplomatic service expect, by definition, to work "overseas", they are referred to as "expatriates", their conditions of employment are equal to or better than those applying in the host country.
In economics, inflation is a sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys services; the measure of inflation is the inflation rate, the annualized percentage change in a general price index the consumer price index, over time. The opposite of inflation is deflation. Inflation affects economies in various negative ways; the negative effects of inflation include an increase in the opportunity cost of holding money, uncertainty over future inflation which may discourage investment and savings, if inflation were rapid enough, shortages of goods as consumers begin hoarding out of concern that prices will increase in the future. Positive effects include reducing unemployment due to nominal wage rigidity, allowing the central bank more leeway in carrying out monetary policy, encouraging loans and investment instead of money hoarding, avoiding the inefficiencies associated with deflation.
Economists believe that the high rates of inflation and hyperinflation are caused by an excessive growth of the money supply. Views on which factors determine low to moderate rates of inflation are more varied. Low or moderate inflation may be attributed to fluctuations in real demand for goods and services, or changes in available supplies such as during scarcities. However, the consensus view is that a long sustained period of inflation is caused by money supply growing faster than the rate of economic growth. Today, most economists favor a steady rate of inflation. Low inflation reduces the severity of economic recessions by enabling the labor market to adjust more in a downturn, reduces the risk that a liquidity trap prevents monetary policy from stabilizing the economy; the task of keeping the rate of inflation low and stable is given to monetary authorities. These monetary authorities are the central banks that control monetary policy through the setting of interest rates, through open market operations, through the setting of banking reserve requirements.
Rapid increases in the quantity of money or in the overall money supply have occurred in many different societies throughout history, changing with different forms of money used. For instance, when gold was used as currency, the government could collect gold coins, melt them down, mix them with other metals such as silver, copper, or lead, reissue them at the same nominal value. By diluting the gold with other metals, the government could issue more coins without increasing the amount of gold used to make them; when the cost of each coin is lowered in this way, the government profits from an increase in seigniorage. This practice would increase the money supply but at the same time the relative value of each coin would be lowered; as the relative value of the coins becomes lower, consumers would need to give more coins in exchange for the same goods and services as before. These goods and services would experience a price increase. Song Dynasty China introduced the practice of printing paper money to create fiat currency.
During the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, the government spent a great deal of money fighting costly wars, reacted by printing more money, leading to inflation. Fearing the inflation that plagued the Yuan dynasty, the Ming Dynasty rejected the use of paper money, reverted to using copper coins. Large infusions of gold or silver into an economy led to inflation. From the second half of the 15th century to the first half of the 17th, Western Europe experienced a major inflationary cycle referred to as the "price revolution", with prices on average rising sixfold over 150 years; this was caused by the sudden influx of gold and silver from the New World into Habsburg Spain. The silver spread throughout a cash-starved Europe and caused widespread inflation. Demographic factors contributed to upward pressure on prices, with European population growth after depopulation caused by the Black Death pandemic. By the nineteenth century, economists categorized three separate factors that cause a rise or fall in the price of goods: a change in the value or production costs of the good, a change in the price of money, a fluctuation in the commodity price of the metallic content in the currency, currency depreciation resulting from an increased supply of currency relative to the quantity of redeemable metal backing the currency.
Following the proliferation of private banknote currency printed during the American Civil War, the term "inflation" started to appear as a direct reference to the currency depreciation that occurred as the quantity of redeemable banknotes outstripped the quantity of metal available for their redemption. At that time, the term inflation referred to the devaluation of the currency, not to a rise in the price of goods; this relationship between the over-supply of banknotes and a resulting depreciation in their value was noted by earlier classical economists such as David Hume and David Ricardo, who would go on to examine and debate what effect a currency devaluation has on the price of goods. The adoption of fiat currency by many countries, from the 18th century onwards, made much larger variations in the supply of money possible. Rapid increases in the money supply have taken place a number of times in countries experiencing political crises, produ
Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city; the city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of, Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with cold, snowy winters. In 2016, the city had a population of 1,704,694, with a population of 1,942,044 in the urban agglomeration, including all of the other municipalities on the Island of Montreal; the broader metropolitan area had a population of 4,098,927. French is the city's official language and is the language spoken at home by 49.8% of the population of the city, followed by English at 22.8% and 18.3% other languages. In the larger Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 65.8% of the population speaks French at home, compared to 15.3% who speak English.
The agglomeration Montreal is one of the most bilingual cities in Quebec and Canada, with over 59% of the population able to speak both English and French. Montreal is the second-largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris, it is situated 258 kilometres south-west of Quebec City. The commercial capital of Canada, Montreal was surpassed in population and in economic strength by Toronto in the 1970s, it remains an important centre of commerce, transport, pharmaceuticals, design, art, tourism, fashion, gaming and world affairs. Montreal has the second-highest number of consulates in North America, serves as the location of the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization, was named a UNESCO City of Design in 2006. In 2017, Montreal was ranked the 12th most liveable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit in its annual Global Liveability Ranking, the best city in the world to be a university student in the QS World University Rankings. Montreal has hosted multiple international conferences and events, including the 1967 International and Universal Exposition and the 1976 Summer Olympics.
It is the only Canadian city to have held the Summer Olympics. In 2018, Montreal was ranked as an Alpha− world city; as of 2016 the city hosts the Canadian Grand Prix of Formula One, the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Just for Laughs festival. In the Mohawk language, the island is called Tiohtià:ke Tsi, it is a name referring to the Lachine Rapids to the island's Ka-wé-no-te. It means "a place where nations and rivers unite and divide". In the Ojibwe language, the land is called Mooniyaang which means "the first stopping place" and is part of the seven fires prophecy; the city was first named Ville Marie by European settlers from La Flèche, or "City of Mary", named for the Virgin Mary. Its current name comes from the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. According to one theory, the name derives from mont Réal,. A possibility by the Government of Canada on its web site concerning Canadian place names, is that the name was adopted as it is written nowadays because an early map of 1556 used the Italian name of the mountain, Monte Real.
Archaeological evidence demonstrates that First Nations native people occupied the island of Montreal as early as 4,000 years ago. By the year AD 1000, they had started to cultivate maize. Within a few hundred years, they had built fortified villages; the Saint Lawrence Iroquoians, an ethnically and culturally distinct group from the Iroquois nations of the Haudenosaunee based in present-day New York, established the village of Hochelaga at the foot of Mount Royal two centuries before the French arrived. Archeologists have found evidence of their habitation there and at other locations in the valley since at least the 14th century; the French explorer Jacques Cartier visited Hochelaga on October 2, 1535, estimated the population of the native people at Hochelaga to be "over a thousand people". Evidence of earlier occupation of the island, such as those uncovered in 1642 during the construction of Fort Ville-Marie, have been removed. Seventy years the French explorer Samuel de Champlain reported that the St Lawrence Iroquoians and their settlements had disappeared altogether from the St Lawrence valley.
This is believed to be due to epidemics of European diseases, or intertribal wars. In 1611 Champlain established a fur trading post on the Island of Montreal, on a site named La Place Royale. At the confluence of Petite Riviere and St. Lawrence River, it is where present-day Pointe-à-Callière stands. On his 1616 map, Samuel de Champlain named the island Lille de Villemenon, in honour of the sieur de Villemenon, a French dignitary, seeking the viceroyship of New France. In 1639 Jérôme Le Royer de La Dauversière obtained the Seigneurial title to the Island of Montreal in the name of the Notre Dame Society of Montreal to establish a Roman Catholic mission to evangelize natives. Dauversiere hired Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve 30, to lead a group of colonists to build a mission on his new seigneury; the colonists left France in 1641 for Quebec, arrived on the island the following year. On May 17, 1642, Ville-Marie was founded on the southern shore of Montreal is
A pine is any conifer in the genus Pinus of the family Pinaceae. Pinus is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae; the Plant List compiled by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Missouri Botanical Garden accepts 126 species names of pines as current, together with 35 unresolved species and many more synonyms. The modern English name "pine" derives from Latin pinus, which some have traced to the Indo-European base *pīt- ‘resin’. Before the 19th century, pines were referred to as firs. In some European languages, Germanic cognates of the Old Norse name are still in use for pines—in Danish fyr, in Norwegian fura/fure/furu, Swedish fura/furu, Dutch vuren, German Föhre—but in modern English, fir is now restricted to fir and Douglas fir. Pine trees are evergreen, coniferous resinous trees growing 3–80 m tall, with the majority of species reaching 15–45 m tall; the smallest are Siberian dwarf pine and Potosi pinyon, the tallest is an 81.79 m tall ponderosa pine located in southern Oregon's Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
Pines are long lived and reach ages of 100–1,000 years, some more. The longest-lived is Pinus longaeva. One individual of this species, dubbed "Methuselah", is one of the world's oldest living organisms at around 4,600 years old; this tree can be found in the White Mountains of California. An older tree, now cut down, was dated at 4,900 years old, it was discovered in a grove beneath Wheeler Peak and it is now known as "Prometheus" after the Greek immortal. The bark of most pines is thick and scaly; the branches are produced in regular "pseudo whorls" a tight spiral but appearing like a ring of branches arising from the same point. Many pines are uninodal, producing just one such whorl of branches each year, from buds at the tip of the year's new shoot, but others are multinodal, producing two or more whorls of branches per year; the spiral growth of branches and cone scales may be arranged in Fibonacci number ratios. The new spring shoots are sometimes called "candles"; these "candles" offer foresters a means to evaluate fertility of the vigour of the trees.
Pines have four types of leaf: Seed leaves on seedlings are borne in a whorl of 4–24. Juvenile leaves, which follow on seedlings and young plants, are 2–6 cm long, green or blue-green, arranged spirally on the shoot; these are produced for six months to five years longer. Scale leaves, similar to bud scales, are small and not photosynthetic, arranged spirally like the juvenile leaves. Needles, the adult leaves, are green and bundled in clusters called fascicles; the needles can number from one to seven per fascicle, but number from two to five. Each fascicle is produced from a small bud on a dwarf shoot in the axil of a scale leaf; these bud scales remain on the fascicle as a basal sheath. The needles persist depending on species. If a shoot is damaged, the needle fascicles just below the damage will generate a bud which can replace the lost leaves. Pines are monoecious, having the male and female cones on the same tree, though a few species are sub-dioecious, with individuals predominantly, but not wholly, single-sex.
The male cones are small 1–5 cm long, only present for a short period, falling as soon as they have shed their pollen. The female cones take 1.5–3 years to mature after pollination, with actual fertilization delayed one year. At maturity the female cones are 3–60 cm long; each cone has numerous spirally. The seeds are small and winged, are anemophilous, but some are larger and have only a vestigial wing, are bird-dispersed. At maturity, the cones open to release the seeds, but in some of the bird-dispersed species, the seeds are only released by the bird breaking the cones open. In others, the seeds are stored in closed cones for many years until an environmental cue triggers the cones to open, releasing the seeds; the most common form of serotiny is pyriscence, in which a resin binds the cones shut until melted by a forest fire. Pines are gymnosperms; the genus is divided into two subgenera, which can be distinguished by cone and leaf characters: Pinus subg. Pinus, the yellow, or hard pine group with harder wood and two or three needles per fascicle Pinus subg.
Strobus, the white, or soft pine group with softer wood and five needles per fascicle Pines are native to the Northern Hemisphere, in a few parts of the tropics in the Southern Hemisphere. Most regions of the Northern Hemisphere host some native species of pines. One species crosses the equator in Sumatra to 2°S. In North America, various species occur in regions at latitudes from as far north as 66°N to as far south as 12°N. Pines may be found in a large variety of environments, ranging from semi-arid desert to rainforests, from sea level up to 5,200 metres, from the coldest to the hottest environments on Earth, they occur in mountainous areas with favorable soils and at least some water. Various species have been introduced to temperate and subtropical regions of both hemisp
Småland is a historical province in southern Sweden. Småland borders Blekinge, Halland, Västergötland, Östergötland and the island Öland in the Baltic Sea; the name Småland means Small Lands. The Latinized form Smolandia has been used in other languages; the highest point in Småland is at 377 metres. The traditional provinces of Sweden no longer serve any governmental purpose, but they do remain important and culturally; the province of Småland today is divided entirely into the three administrative counties of Jönköping and Kronoberg. Some few small portions of historic Småland are situated in Östergötland Counties; the current coat of arms, granted in 1569, displays a rampant red lion carrying a crossbow, all on a golden background. The arms may be surmounted by a ducal coronet; the blazon in English would be, "Or, a lion rampant gules and armed azure, holding in its front paws a crossbow of the second and stringed Sable with a bolt argent." The population of Småland was 754,535 as of 31 December 2016, distributed over five counties as follows: The land is dominated by a forested high plain in which the soil is mixed with sand and small boulders, making it barren in all but the coastal areas and unsuited for agriculture except in certain locations, most notably the Kalmar plains.
The province is rich in bogs. The coast is marked by cultivated flatlands in the south. In total, cultivated land covers 14%, meadows cover 7%, forests cover 50% of the surface of the province. Other than lacking deep valleys, the landscape is similar to the Norrland terrain found further north in Sweden; the largest towns are Jönköping in the north-west, Växjö in the south, Kalmar on the east coast near Öland Island. Småland comprises the central and southern parts of the South Swedish highlands. In detail, the topography of Småland is a series of flat surfaces built upon or deformed by a geological dome; the elevated terrain thought to be a buckle formed as result of far-away forces transmitted to Sweden. The main surfaces are the Sub-Cambrian peneplain, the South Småland peneplain and the "200 m peneplain"; these surfaces and others are arranged in a stepped sequence called a piedmonttreppen. In eastern Småland, the Sub-Cambrian peneplain dips to the sea. To the West, this part of the Sub-Cambrian peneplain terminates along a North-South escarpment that separates it from other flat surfaces.
Central and northwestern Småland contains strings of isolated hills. The lakes and rivers of Småland are associated to zones of weak rock, either fractured, weathered, or both; the many lakes in Småland owe their existence to the creation of basins through the stripping of an irregular mantle of weathered rock by glacial erosion. The Lagan and the Nissan drain western Småland, following for most of their courses zones of weak rock associated with the Protogine Zone. Rusken, Möckeln lakes are aligned with a more eastern branch of the Protogine Zone. Canyons cut into the bedrock are common in central and northern Småland, with the area near Mörlunda containing various narrow canyons; the climate of Småland is divided between the oceanic climate of coastal areas such as Kalmar and the humid continental climate of the interior higher areas such as Jönköping. Southern interior areas such as Växjö have similar oceanic climates such as the coastline. However, temperature average differences between areas are small, since Småland lies in the continental/oceanic transition zone.
Summer daytime averages are similar throughout the province, since according to Weatherbase all three major urban areas are on average around 21 °C with daytime winter temperatures hovering around the freezing point. The colder nights averaging −5 °C in Jönköping are rendering its continental classification; the locality of Målilla has the Swedish and Scandinavian all-time highest-measured temperature with 38 °C on June 1, 1947. The area was populated in the Stone Age from the south, by people moving along the coast up to Kalmar. Småland was populated by Stone Age peoples by at least 6000 BC, since the Alby People are known to have crossed the ice bridge across the Kalmar Strait at that time, it is named Småland because it was an aggrupation of a dozen little territories: Kinda, Vista, Tjust, Aspeland, Handbörd, Möre, Värend and Njudung. Each "small land" had its own law in the Viking age and early Middle Ages and could declare itself neutral in wars that Sweden was involved in -- at least if the King had no army present at the parliamentary debate.
Around 1350, during the reign of Magnus Eriksson, the first national law code was introduced in Sweden and the historic provinces lost much of their old autonomy. The city of Kalmar is one of the oldest cities of Sweden. In the medieval period it was the southernmost and the third largest city in Sweden, when it was a center for export of iron, which, in many cases, was handled by German merchants. At that time and Blekinge were not part of Sweden. Småland was the center of several peasant rebellions; the most nearly successful was the Dackefejden led by Nils Dacke in 1542 and 1543. When officials of king Gustav Vasa were assaulted and murdered, the king sent small expeditions to pacify the area. Dacke was the virtual ruler of large parts of Småland during that Winter, though much troubled by a blockade of supplies, before being defeated by larger forces attacking
Microforms are scaled-down reproductions of documents either films or paper, made for the purposes of transmission, storage and printing. Microform images are reduced to about one twenty-fifth of the original document size. For special purposes, greater optical reductions may be used. All microform images may be provided as positives or negatives, more the latter. Three formats are common: microfilm and aperture cards. Microcards known as "microopaques" a format no longer produced, were similar to microfiche, but printed on cardboard rather than photographic film. Using the daguerreotype process, John Benjamin Dancer was one of the first to produce microphotographs, in 1839, he achieved a reduction ratio of 160:1. Dancer perfected his reduction procedures with Frederick Scott Archer's wet collodion process, developed in 1850–51, but he dismissed his decades-long work on microphotographs as a personal hobby, did not document his procedures; the idea that microphotography could be no more than a novelty was an opinion shared by the 1858 Dictionary of Photography, which called the process "somewhat trifling and childish".
Microphotography was first suggested as a document preservation method in 1851 by James Glaisher, an astronomer, in 1853 by John Herschel. Both men attended the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, where the exhibit on photography influenced Glaisher, he called it "the most remarkable discovery of modern times", argued in his official report for using microphotography to preserve documents. The pigeon post was in operation while Paris was besieged during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. Charles Barreswil, proposed the application of photographic methods with prints of a reduced size; the prints were on photographic paper and did not exceed 40mm to permit insertion in the pigeon's quill. The developments in microphotography continued through the next decades, but it was not until the turn of the century that its potential for practical usage was seized by a wider audience. In 1896, Canadian engineer Reginald A. Fessenden suggested microforms were a compact solution to engineers' unwieldy but consulted materials.
He proposed that up to 150,000,000 words could be made to fit in a square inch, that a one-foot cube could contain 1.5 million volumes. In 1906, Paul Otlet and Robert Goldschmidt proposed the livre microphotographique as a way to alleviate the cost and space limitations imposed by the codex format. Otlet’s overarching goal was to create a World Center Library of Juridical and Cultural Documentation, he saw microfiche as a way to offer a stable and durable format, inexpensive, easy to use, easy to reproduce, compact. In 1925, the team spoke of a massive library where each volume existed as master negatives and positives, where items were printed on demand for interested patrons. In the 1920s microfilm began to be used in a commercial setting. New York City banker George McCarthy was issued a patent in 1925 for his "Checkograph" machine, designed to make micrographic copies of cancelled checks for permanent storage by financial institutions. In 1928, the Eastman Kodak Company bought McCarthy's invention and began marketing check microfilming devices under its "Recordak" division.
Between 1927 and 1935, the Library of Congress microfilmed more than three million pages of books and manuscripts in the British Library. Binkley, which looked at microform’s potential to serve small print runs of academic or technical materials. In 1933, Charles C. Peters developed a method to microformat dissertations, in 1934 the United States National Agriculture Library implemented the first microform print-on-demand service, followed by a similar commercial concern, Science Service. In 1935, Kodak's Recordak division began filming and publishing The New York Times on reels of 35 millimeter microfilm, ushering in the era of newspaper preservation on film; this method of information storage received the sanction of the American Library Association at its annual meeting in 1936, when it endorsed microforms. Harvard University Library was the first major institution to realize the potential of microfilm to preserve broadsheets printed on high-acid newsprint and it launched its "Foreign Newspaper Project" to preserve such ephemeral publications in 1938.
Roll microfilm proved far more satisfactory as a storage medium than earlier methods of film information storage, such as the Photoscope, the Film-O-Graph, the Fiske-O-Scope, filmslides. The year 1938 saw another major event in the history of microfilm when University Microfilms International was established by Eugene Power. For the next half century, UMI would dominate the field and distributing microfilm editions of current and past publications and academic dissertations. After another short-lived name change, UMI was made a part of ProQuest Information and Learning in 2001. Systems that mount microfilm images in punched cards have been used for archival storage of engineering information. For example, when airlines demand archival engineering drawings to support purchased equipment, they specify punch-card-mounted microfilm with an industry-standard indexing system punched into the card; this permits automated reproduction, as well as permitting mechanical card-sorting equipment to sort and select microfilm drawings.
Aperture card mounted microfilm is 3% of the size and space of conventional paper or vellum engineering drawings. Some military contracts aroun
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000