Canada is the world's second largest country by area, behind only Russia. Nicknamed the Great White North, Canada is renowned for its vast untouched landscape, and its multicultural heritage. While much of Canada consists of forests, it also has more lakes than any other country, the Rocky Mountains, the Prairies, and a sparsely populated archipelago extending into the Arctic.
Canada is a land of vast distances and rich natural beauty. Canada's economic, cultural, linguistic and social characteristics closely resemble its neighbour to the south, the United States, but there are significant differences as well, particularly in Quebec and Atlantic Canada. For one thing, over 20% of Canadians speak French as a first language. There's also a significant and growing number of Spanish speakers in Toronto and Montreal, but it's a small percentage compared to the United States. Also, while Canada has somewhat more land than the US, it has only about a tenth the population, most of them living within 200 km of the US-Canada border. Large areas further north are quite sparsely populated and some is nearly uninhabited wilderness.
Though a medium sized country by its population (34 million), Canada has earned respect on the international stage and is consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest, least corrupt and most livable nations on earth.