Internet Usage Statistics:
22,000,000 Internet users as of March, 2007, 67.8% of the population, according to ITU - International Telecommunications Union.
Latest Population Estimate:
32,440,970 population estimate for 2007, according to world-gazetteer.
Broadband and Consumer E-Commerce in Canada
April 2007 Review
In Canada, broadband is defined as speeds in excess of 64Kbps, a lower threshold than in other countries. This partially accounts for Canada's high broadband penetration rate.
Researchers agree that an Internet broadband connection is an enabler of online buying. With a dial-up connection, pages load slower and transactions take more time to complete. For 2004, researchers estimate that 5.2 million Canadian households will have a broadband connection, accounting for 66% of online households. By 2007, 81% of online households will have a broadband connection.
Historical and projected estimates of Canadian broadband households vary among leading research firms. What is certain is that broadband uptake has been strong and will continue to grow in the future.
In 2000, only 12.1% of all Canadian households had a broadband connection. In 2004, it is expected that the penetration rate will increase to 42.6%. The US, in contrast, is not expected to achieve a comparable penetration until 2006. The current penetration rate in the US is only 29.1%. By 2006 it is expected to reach 41.0%.
For 2003 Canada ranked fourth worldwide in terms of broadband households as a percentage of total households. The US held the tenth position with a 22.5%.
Canadian retail e-commerce just tallied its fifth straight year of double-digit growth, yet online sales still account for less than 1% of the total retail market, according to Statistics Canada’s "2006 Survey of Electronic Commerce and Technology."
Online sales more than doubled in Canada from 2003-2006, and nearly half of Canadian retail firms now have a Web site, compared to the 42% that did in 2005. Among companies with 100 employees or more, of which 88% have a Web site, the percentage is even higher.
It is expected that the average amount that Canadians spend online will grow strongly over the next three years. Seasoned online buyers (rather than new ones) will drive overall market growth. Comparing Canadian and US online consumer behavior, Canadians are either on par or ahead of their US peers in purchasing electronics, travel and event tickets online. Canadians lag behind in the purchasing of clothing, music and videos, gifts and toys. Canada is a world leader in Internet adoption, time spent online and electronic banking and bill payment.
The Canadian telecoms market was one of the few to weather the storm after the telecoms bubble burst, with revenues increasing between 1999 and 2002 – however 2003 saw a slight plateau in total revenues as the local operators were hit hard by both increasing competition and the shift from fixed-lines to mobile phones.
That said, it is still an attractive market for both operators and users – in terms of broadband penetration, it is one of the leading countries in the world. Broadband services are being driven by a government regulator keen to establish Canada as a leading information economy and an attractive country for investment. Both cable modem and DSL services are achieving high levels of penetration.
The high penetration of broadband Internet access is also fueling the growth in other industries, such as interactive and digital TV services and ecommerce. The opportunities for IP-VPN services has also increased as the proliferation of broadband access has made teleworking more of an option for more employees of companies in Canada.
Cable TV subscriptions have been declining over the past few years as DTH satellite services have become more popular due to better pricing and a greater range of services on offer. Cable will, however, continue to dominate the pay TV market in Canada due to its existing presence and the fact that many customers also use the cable for data services.
The growth in mobile phone services is beginning to mimic what was witnessed in Europe a few years ago and the US in 2003. Consolidation in this segment is on the horizon, with Telus looking to acquire Microcell. This will create a healthier market, with three leading operators competing for customers and expanding their network coverage. In 2005 we expect the operators to make a move towards more advanced 3G services to complement their existing Wi-Fi offerings.
Bundling of services has been the catch-phrase in the Canadian market in 2003 and 2004 – many operators are partnering or acquiring in order to make a play across technologies and solutions. This is seen as a way to increase the revenue per customer, reduce churn, and compete with the incumbent (Bell Canada) on relatively even footing.
The market will continue to consolidate and align itself across regions and customers will be the big winners, with a greater range of services offered by a larger pool of operators. While the gold rush may be over for Canadian telecoms operators, there is still a pretty penny to be made in this market.
By the beginning of 2004, total revenues in the telecom market reached an estimated $32.6 billion (down 1.2% on 2002). Industry revenues had grown from $24.9 billion in 1998. Capex continues to decrease from the big spending years of 2000 and 2001 – down to $5.3 billion in 2003. Since 1997 Canadian telecoms operators have spent over $60.7 billion on capital expenditures.
Local competition now exists throughout most of Canada – although the incumbent operators still hold the lion’s share of the market. A number of major acquisitions took place: MTS acquired Allstream and Telus is in the process of acquiring Microcell – the competitive environment is shifting. Telecom infrastructure continues to undergo modernisation projects driven by increased competition, liberalisation of telecom policy and government initiatives aimed at extending broadband reach.
Canada has one of the highest rates of Internet usage in the world. Furthermore, Canadians are heavy users, with around 90% of users using e-mail at least weekly. The Canadian Internet access market continues to grow strongly with over 64% of Canadians having Internet access by 2004.
Residential broadband access enjoyed continued growth in 2004 as the increase in dial-up accounts slowed. High-speed household cable Internet access continues to maintain its lead over household Digital Subscriber Line (DSL). There were around 5 million residential broadband subscribers in early 2004.
Canada is also seen as a world leader in e-commerce. The government has actively encouraged initiatives, including the development of digital and broadband networks, to develop high-speed access throughout the country suitable for wireless and Internet applications.
The country’s mobile industry has experienced rapid growth since its inception and demand is expected to remain strong for the foreseeable future. With the number of subscribers to wireless products and service totalling close to 13.9 million by mid-2004, almost 43% of Canadians now have access to a wireless device.
Canadian broadcasting has seen major changes during the last three years with the growth of specialty television services stimulating structural changes within the industry. The deployment of digital technology will eliminate bandwidth scarcity, enabling the offering of numerous new services, including interactive TV. The number of cable TV subscribers declined slightly in 2003 to 7.8 million. The number of DTH satellite TV subscribers increased from 2002 to 2.2 million at the beginning of 2004.
Canada Population - 2006 Census Report
Canada's population rose 5.4 percent to 31.6 million between 2001 and 2006, the fastest rate of growth among Group of Eight nations, as immigration soared, according to census data compiled by Statistics Canada.
The census found Canada's population was 31,612,897 on May 16, 2006, compared with 30,007,094 on May 15, 2001. The oil- rich province of Alberta's population grew the fastest, rising 10.6 percent to 3.3 million. Alberta and Ontario, which gained about 750,000 residents and remains the most populous province with 12.2 million, made up two-thirds of the national growth.
In the French-speaking province of Quebec, whose share of Canada's population has been declining since 1966, immigration fueled a 4.3 percent rise, three times the province's growth rate in the previous census, to 7.55 million.
Census results affect how much money the federal government transfers to each province. Canada divided C$58.8 billion among the provinces in the fiscal year that ended March 31. Provincial premiers have complained they don't get adequate federal funding, and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has vowed to correct that so-called imbalance in his March 19 budget.
The data also confirm the rising political clout of western provinces such as Alberta at the expense of eastern ones such as Newfoundland and Labrador. Provinces' representation in the House of Commons is adjusted every decade so each lawmaker represents about 100,000 constituents. In 2002, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario gained a combined seven seats; other provinces' representation was unchanged.
Businesses also use the census data, to decide where to locate and advertise.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador's population fell for the third- straight census, dropping 1.5 percent to 505,000. The province has the country's highest jobless rate, with 14.3 percent in February compared with 6.1 percent nationally, and has been hurt by the collapse of the cod fishery. The province's population had fallen 7 percent between 1996 and 2001.
Canadian cities with 10,000 people or more saw their share of the population rise to 80 percent from 78 percent in 1996. Toronto kept its ranking as Canada's largest city with 5.11 million residents, adding some 9.2 percent in the census period. Five other cities had more than 1 million people: Montreal with 3.64 million, Vancouver with 2.12 million, Ottawa with 1.13 million and, for the first time, Calgary and Edmonton with 1.08 million and 1.03 million, respectively.
About 1.2 million immigrants came to Canada during the census period, accounting for about two-thirds of the nation's population growth.
The combined populations of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon Territory exceeded 100,000 for the first time. Nunavut's population grew 10.2 percent to 29,474, boosted by a fertility rate that was twice the Canadian average.
The Canadian census is taken every five years, with the first conducted by Jean Talon, an administrator of New France, in 1666. He found the colony had 3,215 residents, 635 of whom lived in Montreal.
Seven other new census reports on subjects including immigration, the workforce, education and income will be released between now and May 2008, as results are tallied. Here is a list of categories and Statistics Canada's scheduled release dates:
-Age and sex July 17, 2007
-Marital status, families, dwellings Sept. 12, 2007
-Language, migration, citizenship, immigration Dec. 4, 2007
-Aboriginal peoples Jan. 15, 2008
-Labor, occupation, workplace, mode of transportation, language of work, education March 4, 2008
-Ethnic origin, visible minorities April 2, 2008
-Incomes, shelter costs May 1, 2008
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