Most Canadians have heard the following fact about living in Canada. 90 % of Canada’s Population lies within 200 miles of the American border. When your country stretches for thousands of miles further north, this is a significant statistic.
I wish to go further than that today. I would like to say the larger the southern border with the US of each region, the more population is in that region.
There is one obvious disagreement with this rule and it is in the prairie provinces. Alberta has the smallest southern border with the US of all the prairie provinces. This despite the fact that is about 3 times more populous than both Saskatchewan and Manitoba. I think that the difference is largely due to oil wealth in Alberta that allows this province not to have a sales tax. (They may claim it’s because they have no rats but they’re forgetting the right honourable kind.) I’ve avoided this problem by considering the prairie provinces to be 1 region.
I have also made the Atlantic provinces into 1 region. You see it is true that only New Brunswick of these provinces shares a border with the US. So I’ve united these four provinces into one as well.
Then we get, from most populous area to least populous area, the population usually agrees with the southern border with the US. So I’ll list the province first, the population second, the length of border in miles third, and then the population over the length of border (our new ratio). We get:
Ontario, 13 472 400, 1 715, 7856
Quebec, 8 028 400, 505, 15 898
Prairies, 6 180 700, 887, 6968
British Columbia, 4 606 500, 561, 8211
Atlantic Canada, 2 355 800, 318, 7408
Shown like this, Quebec is the only outlier in the statistics. We get about 7500 Canadians per mile of southern US border in all the other Canadian areas.
So why is Quebec such an outlier? Well it may just be that they were settled before any other part of Canada and kept that head start. It might also be that the 1st colony in Quebec began in 1608. The first Thirteen Colonies (which became the US) settlement occurred in 1609. So Quebec or New France was there before there was even an American border to huddle up against.