Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Western Canada is really far North

A quick update today. I am taking a bit of a 'summer break' from politics in general, as usual, and will return to more regular posting later on in the summer.

I've done some math that I've always wanted to do based around the 49th parallel. It's something that isn't mentioned much, but "Western Canada" is really far north. Take a look at the map:

The 49th parallel, or "the line" mentioned, can be seen to cut off nearly all the population centres in Canada outside the West. Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, are all far south of this line.

Nipigon is just north of this line. Larger centres in Ontario north of the line include Cochrane and Kapukasing. Timmins is south of the line.

Also south of the line is Val-D'or. Chibougamu is north of the line, as is Baie-Comeau. Murdochville is just south of the line, but all of Ile d'Anticosti is north.

Corner Brook, Grand-Falls Windsor, and Gander are all just slightly south of the line, so slightly that it would not surprise me if a few houses from each manage to find themselves north of the line; while the main population centres are not.

To quickly estimate populations I like using election maps. Each riding is (supposed to be) roughly the same size.
In NL, 5 Island ridings are totally north of this line, while 5 cross this line. Of those that cross, all 5 have their main population centres south of the line, most significantly so, so I will consider this "6 ridings north of the line on the Island".

Labrador has about 27,000 people (I'm rounding up) meaning about 500K people on the Island of Newfoundland. 6 of the 36 ridings on the Island are north of the line, meaning about 16.7% of the population is north of the line, or, 84K people (rounding up again) for a total of 111,000 people in NL north of this line.

Quebec only has about 3 provincial ridings that have any real chunk of population north of the line. 3 out of 125 is 2.4%, and multiplying that by the provincial population, you get around 200K people, more than I expected.

Ontario has three provincial ridings that each have about 40% of their populations above the line, so I'm going to round that to 1, and do the same math above to get, again, under but near 200K people.

As such, as a upper bound, we have 500K people from outside Western Canada who live north of the 49th parallel. This isn't even half the population of Saskatchewan.

So. Of the 10.9 million that live north of this line, 10.3 million live in Western Canada, 500K in the rest of the provinces (north of the line) and 100K in the Territories. This, of course, means 24.3M Canadians, at least, live south of this line.

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