Canada is one of the largest countries in the world, second only to Russia in territorial size. It has a total area of 3.8 million square miles. This includes 3.8 million square miles of water. The country touches 3 oceans—the Atlantic, the Arctic, and the Pacific—and its coastline is 151,473 miles long. Canada's border with the United States is 5,526 miles in length and includes a 1,539-mile border with Alaska. For its size, Canada has a small population. Although physically it is the second-largest country in the world, its population was only 31,281,092. That is just under one-tenth the population of the United States. The nation has a low birth rate of 1.64 children born to each woman, or 11.41 births per 1,000 people. Average life expectancy for males is 76.02 years and 83 for females.
The education system in Canada encompasses both publicly-funded and private schools, including: community colleges/ technical institutes, career colleges, language schools, secondary schools, summer camps, universities and university. Education is important to Canadians, and standards across the country are uniformly high.
In general, Canadian children attend kindergarten for one or two years at the age of four or five on a voluntary basis. All children begin Grade One at about six years of age. The school year normally runs from September through the following June. Secondary schools go up to Grades 11 or 12, depending on the province. From there, students may attend university or college. U.S. goods and private services trade with Canada totaled $707 billion in 2012 (latest data available). Exports totaled $354 billion; Imports totaled $354 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $40 million in 2012.
Canada is currently our largest goods trading partner with $632 billion in total (two ways) goods trade during 2013. Goods exports totaled $300 billion; Goods imports totaled $332 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Canada was $32 billion in 2013. Almost 25 percent of Canada's exports are energy products while metals and minerals comprise more than 15 percent of Canada exports.
Canada also exports a fair amount of motor vehicles and consumer goods. In this instance, motor vehicles also includes vehicular