POPULATION34,300,083 (July 2012 est.)
GDP PER CAPITA$41,100 (2011 est.)
RELIGIONSRoman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3% (United Church 9.5%, Anglican 6.8%, Baptist 2.4%, Lutheran 2%), other Christian 4.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other and unspecified 11.8%, none 16% (2001 census)
ALSO IN U.S. AND CANADAUnited States
AT THE CENTER
Canada is an overwhelmingly Christian country, though the role of religion in public life has waned in recent decades. French settlement beginning in the 17th century established a Roman Catholic francophone population in Lower Canada, now Quebec, followed by English settlement that brought Anglicans and other Protestants to Upper Canada, now Ontario. The religious, cultural, and political antagonism between Canadian Protestants and Catholics remained a central theme of Canadian history. The most recent vote for Quebec’s secession from Canada, held in 1995, was defeated by only 1%. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of religion and prohibits religiously based discrimination. Provinces are permitted to fund religious education in public schools, leading to funding of Catholic education in Catholic-majority areas like Quebec, and funding of Protestant education in much of the rest of the country.