Tag Archives: population

How Much Did You Know About Canada?

320px-Flag_of_Canada.svgI asked some questions about Canada earlier today, and now it’s time to give the answers.  How did you do?

1. What’s the capital of Canada?

This is a pretty simple one. It’s Ottawa. It seems Montreal was a common answer, but the correct answer is Ottawa.

2. What are the three largest cities in Canada by metropolitan area population?

The common answers were Toronto and Montreal, but I also saw Quebec, Ontario (which is a province, not a city), Vancouver, and Calgary. Well, here are the answers, as of the 2011 census:

First is Toronto with 5,583,064. Second is Montreal with 3,824,221. Third is Vancouver with 2,313,328.

3. What’s the population of Canada?

We got some widely varying answers from as low as 5 million to as high as 80 million. Well, the official estimated population as of 2015 is 35,749,600. Were you close?

4. How many provinces are there?

There are 10 provinces and 3 territories. The provinces from west to east are: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The territories are: Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

5. What’s the most widely spoken language in Canada?

It looks like most people got this one. English, of course. 56.9% of Canadians speak English as a first language, while 21.3% speak French as a first language.  16.1% speak both languages (bilingual).

How did you do? I hope you learned a bit about Canada. In the future, I’ll be covering all of the countries in the world, including Canada, with the Geography Quick Facts series. You’ll be able to learn about countries in a quick and easy way. Thanks for answering the questions.

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Colonising a World: Sex

Simply put, sex is one of the most important things to ensure that a colony is successful.  No, I’m not going to describe sex.  This post is safe for work.  What I’m talking about is maintaining a healthy population and sustainable population growth.

Let’s assume that the initial population of a colony is 15,000 people.  That’s not a lot of people to populate a planet.  But over time, it can result in millions.  In the beginning, everyone will be busy with setting up the colony, construction, establishing farms, and getting everything up to a comfortable standard of living.  But what about sex?  Of course, they’ll do it.  They need children.  But how many children per family?

My answer is however many they want.  Two children are required to maintain a population.  However, if they want the population to grow, and for people to spread around the planet, they need to have more than that.  It wasn’t so long ago that industrialised countries had a high birth rate, especially in the baby boom after World War II.  This contributed to a big boost in population.  A colony world needs a baby boom.  The population could easily double in a very short amount of time if every couple had two children.  But the death rate would be extremely low, as it’s unlikely that there would be many elderly people in the early stages of the colony.  As new communities are established, more children are needed to ensure future generations are able to maintain their towns and cities.

But what if people have ten children?  Is that too much?  They’d be spending so much time raising the children that it may be difficult for people to work.  Would this mean a return to more traditional stay-at-home parental roles?  I don’t mean women staying home.  Either the mother or father could stay home.  This would decrease the productivity of the population.  This would need to be resolved.  However, it’s unlikely that many families will have ten children.  In any case, it’s quite possible to have childcare specialists to take care of the young children until they’re old enough for school.

In today’s society, many parents are afraid of their children getting hurt or abducted by a stranger.  This is highly unlikely in the case of the colony.  It’s a close-knit community that is working together to take care of everyone.  Children are likely to have more freedoms, and so develop a healthy independence.  Older children can help taking care of the younger children, whether their own siblings or their neighbours’.

In the centuries after colonisation, this kind of population growth is unlikely to be maintained.  Societies should understand the impact of overpopulation, and try to maintain healthy population levels.  It’s essential in keeping the world’s environment healthy.

My question for you is this: How many children do you think each family should have?

Colonising a World: Initial Population

When sending people to another planet, it’s probably more economically feasible to send a small number in today’s economics.  But if you’re going to colonise a world around another star, you need enough people to establish the colony and provide a good, broad genetic base.  So, just how many people is that?

There’s a variety of possible answers that I’ve been able to find, but looking at our own history, the number isn’t that high.  There’s evidence that the supervolcano at Lake Toba in Indonesia erupted between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago and created a bottleneck in the Earth’s human population.  That population is estimated to be anywhere between 2,000 and 20,000.  This caused lower genetic diversity in the world’s people, even though we now have such a large variety of people.  But consider this: the people outside of Africa are likely more closely related to each other than two random people in Africa.  That’s because only a small number of people migrated out of Africa and populated the world.  Europeans, Asians, Indians, Pacific islanders, and so on, are all more closely related than one person in Nigeria and one person in Namibia.

So, assuming that these numbers could provide a viable genetic base to ensure incest doesn’t happen, the initial population doesn’t need to be incredible high, but also shouldn’t be very low.

However, if this world is expecting more colonists to arrive, this argument is unneeded.  But if this is a one time colonisation, we need a minimum number of people.  If it’s several thousand, we need a pretty big ship.

On Ariadne, I don’t have the initial population, but there will be at least 5,000, and as many as 15,000.  And this is on just one ship.  Just to let you in on a secret, there will be two ships.

So, if you were to create a colony, how many people would you send?