Canada and United States are two of the largest countries in the world. They are friendly neighbor states and share a large border. The worlds largest waterfall, Niagara Falls, is also on the border of the two countries.

While both countries are democracies, their style of government is different. French and English are the official languages in Canada while in the U.S., English is the official language. Many government services in the U.S. are also provided in Spanish because of its large Hispanic population.

Comparison chart

Canada versus United States comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartCanadaUnited States
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CanadaUnited States
Demonym Canadian American
Currency Canadian Dollar ($) (CAD) United States Dollar ($) (USD)
Government Parliamentary democracy (federal constitutional monarchy) Federal presidential constitutional republic
Calling code +1 +1
Official languages Canadian English, Canadian French English (De Facto)
Internet TLD .ca .gov .us .gov .mil .edu
Introduction (from Wikipedia) Canada (IPA: /ˈkænədə/) is a country occupying most of northern North America, extending from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States, America, and sometimes the States, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states and a federal district. The 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.
Government : Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, M.P None
Time zone (UTC-3.5 to -8) (UTC−5 to −10)
GDP (nominal) : Total $1.089 trillion (2006 estimate) 16.80 trillion
Capital Ottawa, Ontario Washington, D.C.
Drives on the Right Right
Largest city Toronto (2.615 M) New York City (23,500,000)
Independence July 1st, 1867; From British Empire from Great Britain (July 4, 1776)
National Anthem God Save the Queen (Royal Anthem), O Canada (National Anthem) Star-Spangled Banner
Date formats DD/MM/YY MM/DD/YYYY
Official Name Canada The United States of America (USA)
Government : President None Barack Obama (D)
Monarch Queen Elizabeth II None
Regional Divisions 10 Provinces and 3 Territories 56 political divisions (50 States, 1 Federal District, and 5 major overseas territories)
Capital (and largest city) Ottawa 45.4215° N, 75.6972° W Washington D.C. 38.9072° N, 77.0369° W
Population : 2007 estimate 32.89 million 311.7 million
Legislature Parliament of Canada Congress of the United States of America
Literacy rate 99% 99%
Population 35,141,542 (36th) 2013 estimate 321 million (3rd)
Description of Flag Red and White. Red Maple Leaf in the centre Red and white stripes, and 50 white stars on a blue background on the upper left corner.
Official language(s) English, French None at federal level
Written Language Canadian English English
Life expectancy 82 82
Current Leader Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister) Barack Obama (president)
Flag Colors Red and white Red, blue and white
Speaker of the House The Hon. Andrew Scheer, M.P. John Boehner (R)
Total length of land border 8,893 km 12, 034 kms
Nominal GDP Per Capita (2013) $50,343 $52,852
Lowest point Great Slave Lake, NWT (-458m) Badwater Basin (−85.5 m)
Tallest Building CN Tower (553 m) One World Trade Center (546.2 m)
Government : Monarch Queen Elizabeth II None
Measurement system Metric Customary
Flag Nickname The Maple Leaf Star-Spangled Banner
National Animal Beaver Bald EAGLE
Motto A Mari Usque Ad Mare (Latin for "From Sea to Sea") In God We Trust
Recognised regional languages Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, Dëne Sųłiné, Cree, Gwich’in, Hän, Inuvialuktun, Slavey, Tłįchǫ Yatiì Navajo, Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Dakota, Western Apache, Keres, Cherokee, Zuni, Ojibwe, O'odham
Governor General David Johnston None
National language English, French English
Independence : Recognized July 1, 1867 September 3, 1789
Independence : Declared N/A (Independence was gained through diplomacy rather than force) July 4, 1776
Population : 2005 census 32.31 million 295.5 million
Political Leader Justin Trudeau Barack Obama
Upper House Senate Senate
Lower House House of Commons House Of Representatives
Current constitution Adopted and made active on 1867 Adopted on 17 September 1787 and made active on 4 March 1789
Head of State Elizabeth II Barack Obama
Largest city (pop) Toronto New York City
International abbreviation CA USA
Preceded by British Canada 13 British Colonies
Formation 1 July 1867 4 March 1789 (Official start date as an autonomous sovereign)
Largest city (in population) Toronto New York City
Official script Latin/Roman Latin/Roman
Most used language English English
Muslim population (%) 3.2 2.1
Army yes , Canadian Army yes , U.S. Department of the Army
Navy yes , Royal Canadian Navy yes, U. S. Department of the Navy, U. S. Department of the Marine Corps, U. S. Department of the Coast Guard
Air Force yes , Royal Canadian Air Force yes , U.S. Department of the Air Force
Special Forces CANSOFCOM US Special Operations Command , (not naming groups, tasks, or training)
Intelligence Agencies Canadian Security Intelligence Service or CSIS Central Intelligence Agencies or CIA
Language(s) English, French English (De Facto), Spanish
Formation : Declared N/A (Never declared independence) 1776
Head of Country Justin Trudeau President Barack Obama
Vice President None (Prime Minister not President) Joe Biden (D)
Nobel laureates 25 331
Recognized regional languages Various Native Languages (Too many to list) Spanish, German, Italian, Others
General political conditions It is a democratic independent nation that is part of the Commonwealth of Nations thus has close ties to the United Kingdom. It is an independent nation, a republic.
Hindu population (%) 1.6% 0.4%
Christian population (%) 67.3% 72%
Buddhist population 1% 0.7%
No. of States None (Provinces) 50
Size of police forces 69,438 780,000
Religions Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism Christianity, Islam, Judaism
Government : President/Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Barack Obama
Formation : Finalised 1876 1789
Department of defense yes , Department of National Defence yes , U.S. Department of Defense and Homeland Security
Languages English, French English (de facto)
Flag Maple Leaf Star Spangled Banner, Old Glory
Buddhist population (%) 1 0.38
Population (2013) 35.16 million 318,104,000 (3rd)
Proclaimed N/A (Never proclaimed independence) July 4, 1776
Cellphone Users 28,217,707 327,577,529 (April 2014)
Urban population (%) 80% 82%
Total internet users 85.8%% 254,295,536 (81%)
Highest Point Mount Logan Mt. McKinley -6,914m
Space Organisation Canadian Space Agency NASA


Both Canada and USA are in the continent of North America. But the epithet "American" usually applies to people and products from the U.S. Likewise "America" usually refers to the US.

Portrayal of Canadians in the U.S.

American sitcoms usually poke fun at their neighbor (e.g. "Oh honey, Canadians don't matter" in That 70s Show) and often portray a stereotype of Canadians as polite people who are passionate about hockey.

Portrayal of Americans in Canada

Canadian television often portrays Americans as loud, opinionated people with a limited knowledge of things outside the U.S. Rick Mercer's Talking to Americans included Governor Mike Huckabee believing that Canada was building a dome over its "National Igloo" to protect it from global warming.

American film can also portray Americans this way. Canadian Bacon, an American film, had John Candy's character say "There is a time for thinking and a time for action and this, gentlemen, is no time to think," when debating whether to initiate an attack.


Football, baseball and basketball are the most popular sports in the U.S. while ice hockey is the most popular Canadian sport.

Video Explaining the Differences

Below is a comical look at the differences between Canadians and Americans.

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