Why is Canada one of the wealthiest and freest countries in the world?


According The Human Freedom Index (HFI), published by the Fraser Institute in 2019, Canada ranks 4th globally, based on 76 indicators of personal, civil and economic freedoms. The HFI covers 162 countries for 2017, the most recent year for which sufficient data are available.
Canada, Human Freedom Index (HFI):

  • Global Rank # 4 out of 162 countries
  • Personal Freedom # 9.22 out of 10
  • Economic Freedom # 8.08 out of 10

The following countries rank:

  • # 1 New Zealand
  • # 2 Switzerland
  • # 3 Hong Kong
  • .
  • # 5 Australia
  • .
  • # 15 United States
  • .
  • # 25 Japan
  • .
  • # 29 Spain

With regard to foreign trade, Canada was the 12 largest exporting economy in 2018, with a total of 450.7 billion US dollars according International Trade Centre statistics (ITC).

Followed by Mexico (13) with 450.5 billion and behind Belgium (11) with 466.6 billion dollar. Countries like United States, United Kingdom and Brazil were placed in positions 2nd, 10th and 26th respectively.

Canada key market takeaways

The Canadian market at a glance

  • During the period 2016-2019, exports increased at an average annual rate of 4.8% from 390 billion in 2016 to 446.4 billion in 2019.
  • Imports reached 453 million in 2019. The trade balance deficit stood at 6.6 billion dollars.
  • In 2017, exports of technological products (medium high tech products), represented 57% out of the total of exported manufactured products.
  • GDP per capita in 2018 was 48,130 USD. The population reached 37.05 million inhabitants.
  • The urban population is 81%. The most populated urban areas are: Toronto (6.4 million), Montreal (4.3 million) and Vancouver (2.6 million).
  • 91% out of total population uses internet. The number of mobile phone subscriptions is 0.89 per inhabitant.
  • Exports of services rose by an average annual rate of 4.7% in the period 2014-2018, from 81 to 93 billion.
  • During the period 2014-2018, foreign direct investment (FDI) received by Canada reached the average annual figure of 46.3 billion.
  • Its main trading partners are United States of America, which represents 63% of exchanges, followed by China with 8% of exchanges and Mexico with 4% of exchanges.
  • Maritime container traffic reached 6,663,690 in 2018 (TEU: Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit). The major commercial ports are: Vancouver (3,252,225 TEUS), Montreal (1,537,669 TEUS).
  • Regarding bilateral agreements, Canada has 14 existing regional trade treaties. Its presence in international markets will be bolstered by 5 new treaties which will come into force soon (at the date of this publication).
  • The Canadian legal system is based on common law system except in Quebec, where civil law based on the French civil code prevails.
  • The type of government is federal parliamentary democracy (Parliament of Canada) under a constitutional monarchy. The current president of the government is Prime Minister Justin Pierre James Trudeau (Liberal Party).

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Photo by John Lee on Unsplash

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