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Demography

Intercontinental migration, Canadian population, Caribbean countries, Guadalajara, birth rate

In 2008 the United States had 303,824,650 inhabitants; Mexico 109,955,400; Canada 33,679,263; and Greenland 56,326. Most of the population was concentrated in the eastern half of the United States and adjacent parts of Ontario and Québec, the U.S. Pacific coast, and the central plateau of Mexico. In the late 1990s more than 76 percent of the inhabitants of Canada, the United States, and Greenland were defined as urban, as were 74 percent of all Mexicans. The principal urban areas were on the U.S. Atlantic coast from Boston to Washington, D.C., around the shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario, at the southern end of Lake Michigan, in northern and southern California, and greater Mexico City. The largest cities included Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey, in Mexico; New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and San Diego, in the United States; and Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Edmonton, in Canada. Away from the metropolitan areas, most of North America had only a sparse to moderate population density. In Mexico the overall population density was 57.2 persons per sq km (148.1 per sq mi); in the United States, 33.2 per sq km (86 per sq mi); and in Canada, 3.7 per sq km (9.6 per sq mi). The great majority of Canadians lived in a relatively narrow band along the southern boundary.

In both Canada and the United States the rate of population increase has declined since the 1950s. The Canadian population increased by about 1 percent per year from 1980 to 1990, when the annual growth rate for the United States was also 1 percent and for Greenland, 1.2 percent. Mexico, however, had one of the hemisphere's highest rates of population increase, 2.2 percent per year, and its birth rate (20 per 1,000 people in 2008) was about double that of the rest of the continent. The death rate was 5 per 1,000 people in Mexico, 8 in Canada, and 8 in the United States

Intercontinental migration to North America was significant in the 1980s and 1990s, with large numbers of Asians and Europeans going to the United States and Canada. In addition, many people moved from South American and Caribbean countries to the United States. The largest population movements, however, occurred within North America itself, from Mexico to the United States and from the northeastern United States to southern and western parts of the country.



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