Population of Canada 2016

population-of-canada-2014Population of Canada 2016

Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rate, and the population of 2015, the population of Canada for 2016 is estimated at 35,344,962, which makes up about 0.49% of the world’s total population. Canada’s population is ranked 37th largest, behind Uganda, but ahead of Iraq.

About 80% of the population lives within 150 kilometers or 93 miles of the United States border. The main areas of concentration are Quebec City-Windsor Corridor, British Columbia Lower Mainland, and Calgary-Edmonton Corridor in Alberta. The aboriginal population is growing at a rate almost double the rate that the national Canadian population is growing. The country also has one of the highest per-capita immigration rates in the world and accepts a large number of refugees from various countries throughout the world.

Government of Canada 2016

The Constitution Act of 1867 established the Canadian government as a federal constitutional monarchy. The government consists of a federal, legislative, and judicial branch and the Canadian Crown is the foundation of all three branches. Canada is part of the Commonwealth of Nations, which means that the Crown of Canada is also the Crown of England. Thus, the Crown of Canada is Queen Elizabeth II. Her role is mainly legal and practical instead of a political role. The Queen then appoints the Governor General of Canada, currently David Lloyd Johnston. The Governor General will then appoint the Prime Minister. Typically, the Governor General must pick the person that he or she knows can garner support and confidence from the House of Commons (thus, usually a member of the majority party). Currently, the Prime Minister of Canada is Stephen Harper, a member of the Conservative Party. The prime minister serves as the head of government and leads the Cabinet. The legislative branch consists of the Queen (under the representation of the governor general), the Senate, and the House of Commons. The Governor General will appoint all 105 members of the Senate, while the people elect the 305 members of the House of Commons. The legislative branch is responsible for passing laws and creating legislation. The governor general calls the parliament into session in the Queen’s name. The judicial branch is also performed under the Queen’s name and power. The Supreme Court of Canada is considered to be the court of last resort. The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice and eight other justices. The Governor General appoints the Chief Justice under the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The current Chief Justice is Beverley McLachlin. Under the Supreme Court is Federal Court, which works together with the Federal Court of Appeals and the Tax Court of Canada. Lastly, because of the presence of federalism, the legislative abilities are split between the federal and provincial governments.

population-of-canada-2014-economyEconomy of Canada 2016

Canada is considered to be one of the most developed countries in the world. Its economy is considered to be the world’s eleventh largest with a nominal Gross Domestic Product of $1.82 trillion. Toronto’s stock exchange is the seventh largest stock exchange in the world with about 1,577 companies involved in the exchange. As of February 2016, the unemployment rate is 7.0% of the working force population. The province/territory with the highest unemployment rate is Nunavut with an employment rate of 14.6% and the one with the lowest unemployment rate is Saskatchewan with a rate of 3.9%. Only five provinces/territories have unemployment rates lower than the national average. The Consumer Prince Index annual inflation in February was 1.1%. Lastly, as of December 2015, the monthly GDP growth was -0.5%.

Education in Canada 2016

The education system is controlled by each individual province and territory, instead of the national government. The literacy rate is 99% for both males and females. Overall, about 90% of Canadians have a high school degree and about 14% have a college degree. The nation as a whole spends around 5.2% of its Gross Domestic Product on education. Recently, the Canadian government has worked on an initiative that allows foreigners that studied and graduated in Canada to become permanent residents of Canada. Typically, students begin school in Kindergarten around age 5 or grade one around 6 and continue until grade twelve around age 17 or 18. However, Quebec includes one less year than the other provinces. Lastly, there are various religious and linguistic options for schools, including Protestant school systems and French school systems.

Health and Health Care in Canada 2016

The Canada Health Act of 1984 established the publicly funded health care system in Canada. As a result, Canada has a single-payer system, meaning that the government is the main single-payer of health care. If someone enrolls in the public health care system, he or she receives a health care issued by the Provincial Ministry of Health and receives the same quality and level of care as everyone else in the system. While the public system is available, about 28% of Canadians take part in the private sector of health care. Most times, Canadians purchase private health care for the purposes of the parts of health care that the system does not cover, such as prescription drugs and dentistry. Some criticisms of the public health care is the length of wait times for health care, restrictions on private care, and the number of people that cross borders to receive health care.
Life expectancy in Canada is the second highest among the G8 countries at 81.3 years on average. However, Canada has the second highest infant mortality rates among the G8 countries at 4.5 infant deaths per 1,000 births. In 2008, about 24.6% of the male population and 23.9% of the female population over the age of 20 were considered obese. 24% of the male population and 17% of the female population over the age of 15 use tobacco. Canada has the second lowest ratio of physicians and nurses per 1,000 people. There are only 2.2 physicians for every 1,000 Canadians. Thus, there are an estimated 77,759 physicians throughout Canada. There are also only 9.0 nurses per 1,000 people and thus about 318,105 nurses throughout Canada. Behind the United States, Canada has the second highest per capita expenditure on health care, spending about $3,895 per capita on health. However, the per capita rate in Canada is almost half the per capita rate in the United States. Canada spends 10.1% of its Gross Domestic Product on health care, compared to the United States spending 16% of its Gross Domestic Product. They also spend 16.7% of tax revenue on health care, compared to the United States spending 18.5% of revenues on health care. But, Canada pays for 69.8% of health costs, while the United States only pays for 45.4% of health costs.

Canada’s Geographic Challenge

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Canada Population 2015

Population of the United States 2016

population-of-united-states-2014Population of the United States 2016

Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rate, and the population of 2015, according to the United States Census Bureau, the population of the United States of America for 2016 is estimated to reach 318,892,103, which makes up about 4.45% of the world’s total population. The United States is the 3rd most populous country in the world, behind India, but ahead of Indonesia. The population as of December 31, 2015 was estimated at 317,292,487. Thus, over the course of the year, the population is projected to grow by 1,599,616 people or by a growth rate of 0.5%. The last census was conducted in 2010 and it recorded the population at about 308,400,000 people. Thus, since the last census, the population has grown by 10,492,103 people or by an average annual growth rate of 0.85%. Based on the total population of the country and the total land area, the population density of the United States is about 34.8 people per square kilometer or 90.14 people per square mile.

Government of the United States 2016

The United States Constitution establishes the government as a constitutional republic and representative democracy, made up of the executive legislative, and judicial branches. The executive branch consists of the president, vice-president, and the cabinet, along with some other executive departments and agencies. The president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and has the power to veto bills passed by the legislation. He or she is considered both the head of state and the head of government. Presidents serve four-year terms and can only be reelected once. They are also voted into office by an indirect election through what is called the Electoral College. The current president is Barack Obama, a member of the Democratic Party, and is currently serving his second term. The current vice-president is Joe Biden, also a member of the Democratic Party.

The legislative branch is a bicameral legislation known as the United States Congress. Congress consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives consists of 435 members from the various states and each state is granted a certain number of representatives based on population. The states are divided into congressional districts, based on the number of representatives the state has. California has the largest number of representatives with 53 representatives. Members of the House are elected for two-year terms and have no limit to the number of terms that they can serve. The current speaker of the House of Representatives is John Boehner, a member of the Republican Party. The Senate consists of 100 members, two from each state. Senators are directly elected and serve six-year terms without a limit on reelection. The vice-president serves as the president of the Senate, so the current president of the Senate is Joe Biden. Congress has the ability to introduce and pass legislation and declare war. Lastly, the United States Supreme Court, made up of nine justices, heads the judicial branch. The current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is John Roberts. Once a justice is appointed to the Supreme Court, he or she can serve for the rest of his or her life without being elected. The president appoints the justices, subject to the approval of the Senate. Below the Supreme Court, there are many different levels of federal courts, including the United States Court of Appeals and the United States District Courts.

population-of-united-states-2014-prisonPrison Population in the United States 2016

Across the United States, there are 1.719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 2,259 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,283 local jails, and 79 Indian Country jails. Throughout these correctional facilities throughout the United States, there are over 2,400,000 million people in one of these facilities, which is about 0.75% of the entire country’s population. It is estimated that about 688,000 people are released from prisons every year. Also, about 12 million people are brought in and out of local jails every year. About 337,000 people are in one of these types of facilities for some sort of drug charge. There are also about 12,000 children in a correctional facility for simply violating their parole or probation by some technicality of the rules. There are even more than 3,000 children in facilities for committing crimes such as truancy or running away from home. Lastly, the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, even higher than Russia who is notorious for its harsh prison system. As of 2008, Louisiana had the highest incarceration rate in the country and Maine had the lowest.

Poverty and Inequality in the United States 2016

While income grew by 36.9% between 1979 and 2007, for the top 1% in America’s economy, income grew by 200.5%, while income grew only by 18.9% for the bottom 99%. In fact, the top 1% controls 53.9% of the total growth. The average income for a person in the top 1% is about $1,040,506, while the average income for someone in the bottom 99% is $42,694. A study conducted by the Brookings Institute indicates that the more economically vibrant a city is, the more unequal it is at the same time. In cities like Atlanta, Miami, Boston, and San Francisco, households in the 95th percentile of income make over 15 times the average income than those households in the 20th percentile. The cities with the lower levels of inequality were found to be throughout the South and the Midwest. Much of the reasoning behind the increasing levels of poverty and inequality is the heavy effect that the recession had on the working poor. While the rich were still getting richer, the poor were experiencing higher levels of unemployment and were subject to minimum-wage jobs, causing their incomes to decrease as a result of the recession. Lastly, studies have shown that the more unequal a society, the more problems that arise from growing poverty, such as lower levels of trust, higher levels of depression, higher levels of obesity, etc., affect society as a whole, not simply the ones suffering from poverty.

Health Statistics in the United States 2016

As of 2012, the under-five mortality rate is 7 deaths per 1,000 children. The infant mortality rate is 6 deaths per 1,000 infants, while the neonatal morality rate is 4 deaths per 1,000 babies. Overall life expectancy in the United States is about 78.8 years, with an average of 76 for men and 81 for women. As a result, the United States is ranked 26th out of 36 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The average for the OECD is 80.1 years. The leading cause of death is heart disease, which accounts for about 615,000 deaths every year. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2016, there will be about 1,665,540 new cancer diagnoses and 585,720 cancer deaths. Lastly, it is projected that cancer will be the number one cause of death by 2030.

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Population of Texas 2016

population-of-texas-2014Population of Texas 2016

Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rate in the state, and the population of 2015, the current population of Texas is estimated to be about 26,623,655, which makes up about 8.28% of the country’s total population. As a result, Texas is the second-most populous state in the country, behind California, but ahead of New York. At the end of 2015, the population of Texas was estimated to be about 26,448,193. Thus, since the start of 2016, the population has grown by 175,462 or by a growth rate of 0.66%. The 2010 Census indicated that the population was 25,145,561. So, since the census, the population has grown by 1,478,094 or 5.88% of the 2010 population count. On average, over the course of the last four years, the population has grown by 369,524 people every year. Based on the total population and the total land area, the population density of Texas is estimated to be about 38.24 people per square kilometer or 99.13 people per square mile.

Government of Texas 2016

The Constitution of Texas was implemented and adopted in 1876 and is considered to be a unitary democratic government. The Constitution establishes the separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The executive branch is a plural executive system, which means that, other than the Secretary of State, the officers are elected by the public and thus answer to the public, not the Governor. The main positions in the executive branch are the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller of Public Accounts, Land Commissioner, Attorney General, Agriculture Commissioner, the Texas Railroad Commission, the State Board of Education, and the Secretary of State. The current Governor is Rick Perry and he has the power to veto bills and call the legislature into special sessions.

The Texas legislature is bicameral, made up of the 150-member House of Representatives and the 31-member Senate. The Speaker of the House presides over the House of Representatives, while the Lieutenant Governor presides over the Senate. The legislature has the ability to create and pass laws, subject to veto power of the Governor. The Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals head the judicial branch, which is considered to be one of the most complex systems in the country. The voters of Texas elect the justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals. Lastly, the voters have consistently voted for the Republican presidential candidate over the course of the last thirty years.

Language in Texas 2016

The most commonly used or spoken dialect in Texas is Texan English, which is a dialect in Southern American English. In 2010, 65.8% of Texans, of ages five years or older, speak only English. 29.2% of Texans speak Spanish and 0.75% of Texans speak Vietnamese. Some of the languages spoken other than English are Chinese, German, and Tagalog. Also, about 34.2% of the population speaks a language other than English.

Education in Texas 2016

The Texas Education Agency is the supervising body over the public school system and the charter school system. There are over 1,000 public school districts throughout the state, and all but one are independent of their respective municipal governments. StudentsFirst is an organization that evaluates the performance and productivity of education systems throughout the country. On a 4.0 scale, Texas received a 1.23 Grade Point Average and is ranked 31st out of the 50 states. They note that, while there have been attempts to create a much more student-centered environment in the schools, there is still much more room to improve. One major criticism of the education system is the lack of annual evaluations of the teachers to ensure that he or she is doing their jobs correctly and efficiently. However, this is one of the parts of the system that the state has been improving. They also indicate that the schools should expand the high-performing charter schools and empower the students much more. They gave a failing grade to the ability of the school system to empower the parents. They also stated that there should be a greater effort to restore and recover low-performing schools and districts. Lastly, about 69% of the population has a basic or below basic reading level and 62% of the population has basic or below basic mathematical abilities.

Health Care in Texas 2016

According to the Commonwealth Fund, Texas has the third worst health care system in the country. As of 2012, 28.8% of the population did not have health insurance, and out of the total 28.8% uninsured, 17% are uninsured children. One of the main reasons for the high level of uninsured people is due to the high level of immigration that exists in the state due to its proximity to the Mexican border. The major reason that people do not purchase health insurance is due to the rising high costs to obtain health insurance. In 2007, the average family premium for health care was just over $12,000 per year. The vicious cycle continues because the cost of health care plans increase due to the high level of uninsured residents that use the emergency rooms for any medical reasoning, which in turn causes the prices of premiums to rise. Another issue with the health care system is that there is a high shortage of nurses in the state. It is predicted that by 2020, the state will be short by about 71,000 nurses what it would efficiently need to run its medical system. There seem to be a shortage of nursing programs to properly educate nursing students in the state. Lastly, out of the total supply of hospitals, about 44.8% are for-profit institutions, 29.6% are non-profit institutions, and 25.6% are public institutions.

Texas Population Growth Compared to California

population-of-texas-2014-economyEconomy of Texas 2016

In 2010, the Gross State Product of Texas was recorded to be about $1.207 trillion, which made it the second-highest GSP in the nation. However, it is also proves to be of the same size as India and Canada, which rank 12th and 11th in national economic rankings. Due to the discovery of oil in the state at Spindletop, the petroleum industry has been one of the largest industries in the state. It is recorded to have about 5 billion barrels in its deposits throughout the state, which totals about 25% of the total deposits in the country. Texas prefers to abide by a system with low taxes and low services. It is one of the few states in the country without a state income tax. However, they do charge property and sales taxes of 6.25%. Texas has consistently been ranked the most business-friendly state in the nation according to Site Selection Magazine. In 2010, the state had the second-largest population of millionaires in the state. Lastly, as of 2015, the unemployment rate of Texas was 6.4% of the total workforce.

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Texas Population 2015

Population of Australia 2016

population-of-australia-2014Population of Australia 2016

The estimated population for 2016 of the Australian continent is about 36.25 million people. It is considered to have one of the lowest population densities in the entire world, approximately 2.8 people per square kilometer. The Australian continent is made up of Commonwealth of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Timor, West Papua, and Papua. Though some typically may think so, New Zealand is actually not a part of the continent. The largest portion of the population of the continent comes from the Commonwealth of Australia. Some other names that the continent is known by are Sahul, Australinea, and Meganesia. The five most populous cities of the continent are in the Commonwealth of Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. Each of these cities has a population of at least over 1 million inhabitants.

Geography of Australia 2016

Australia is considered to be the smallest continent, occupied by people, in geographic size. The continent is made up of only 3,310,000 square miles. People sometimes refer to it as an island continent, since the majority of its land is made up of the island of the Commonwealth of Australia. In fact, out of the 3.31 million square miles of the whole continent, the Commonwealth of Australia makes up 2.941 million square miles, a large majority of the total land mass. The large size of the island allows for various geographic features. The northeast is characterized by subtropical rainforests. Also, off the northeast coast of the island is the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef. In the southeast, southwest, and eastern portions of the island, there are quite a few mountains and mountain ranges. One of these mountains is Mount Kosciuzko, the highest mountain of the Australian mainland, reaching 7,310 feet. This mountain is a part of the Great Dividing Range that runs along the eastern coast of the island. The land is typically dry and is considered to be the flattest continent in the world.

The Commonwealth of Australia is broken up into six states: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia. Also, there are two larger territories, known as the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. Tasmania is the only state without one of the top five most populous cities. The major city of New South Wales is Sydney, of Victoria is Melbourne, of Queensland is Brisbane, of Western Australia is Perth, and of Southern Australia is Adelaide.

Australian Education 2016

Education is a very important part of the human development of every Australian citizen. It is required to attend school or attend home school in all parts of Australia. However, the individual states actually regulate and manages the schools in the states. Even though the overall areas are similar, the states also decide what curriculum to be taught in the schools. Required schooling lasts until an individual is 16 years old. However, when a student reaches 16, they have the option of attending a Vocational Education and Training (VET) program or a Technical and Further Education System (TAFE). VET is intended to help educate people in certain skills and techniques for careers and jobs that do not need a degree. Even though each state regulates and manages these programs, if a student has been VET certified for a certain career in one state, he or she is allowed to use such certification in another state as well. Most of the universities in Australia are government-funded. The oldest university, founded in 1850, is the University of Sydney. Despite the fact that Australia is deemed to be one of the most expensive places to attend a university, it also ranks having one of the highest graduation rates amongst countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Overall, the country tends to score in the top five of thirty developed countries.

Australian Health Care 2016

Since 1975, Australia has achieved universal health care coverage, which is known as Medicare, which has helped them have the fourth highest life expectancy in the world. Any citizen, permanent resident, visitor, people with temporary visas from countries with arrangements with Australia, and even students studying abroad in the country all receive health care coverage in Australia. Many people that are not eligible for Medicare can still receive some form of assistance and help through non-governmental organizations, like the Australian Red Cross. Also, organizations like the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care exist in order to ensure that health-care standards are high. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is the agency that makes the regulations and standards for general practice.

Most of the coverage for health care comes from tax revenue, mainly by a levy tax of about 1.5%. If a person prefers to attend a private practice, he or she may have to pay out of pocket for the difference between the subsidized health care cost (cost at a public health care facility) and what the provider charges. However, both the federal and the state government provide most of the funding for the health care system. About 71% of the funding comes from the governments. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is the agency that takes care of reimbursing pharmacists for the cost of the medications that they prescribed. There is a certain list and type of medications that the PBS will cover. The sponsor of the drug/medication is who sets the price of the specific medication. If a certain drug will cost over $10 million annually, the government must approve of the coverage of the drug.

 population-of-australia-2014-cuisineAustralian Cuisine 2016

Indigenous Australians, the oldest indigenous civilization known to man, has been a large influence on the modern cuisine of Australia. The general term for any sort of food, native to Australia, which was used in culinary dishes or medicines is bush tucker. Bush tucker can be anything from plants to meats. For example, one type of bush tucker is the wattleseed. Wattleseed is an Acacia plant that is typically ground and roasted. Some people report that it has a taste of cocoa, coffee, and hazelnut. Other types of bush tucker are kangaroo and emu. Both meats are served throughout the country and continent. Kangaroo tends to be a much more lean meat than meats like beef and pork, and emu is a protein-packed, low-in-fat, and flavorful meat, eaten fairly often in Australia. The interesting thing is that Australians eat both kangaroo and emu, which are both found on the Coat of Arms of the country. Lastly, another modern dish is the salt and pepper squid. The main difference between this and calamari is that the salt and pepper squid is only lightly floured before frying.

Language in Australia 2016

Although no official language, the closest thing is English. Around 81% of people speak English in the home. Accompanied with English, the language in Australia has a strong Australian dialect and accent that make the language slightly unique to the area. In Papua New Guinea, there are three official languages: English, Tok Pisin, and Hiri Motu. Small portions of the country speak Greek, Mandarin, Chinese, and a few other Asian languages. While English is the language spoken in government and education, Tok Pisin is spoken in the workplace. Hiri Motu is mainly spoken in the southern region, where Tok Pisin is not spoken. Nonetheless, many indigenous and local languages are spoken amongst tribes throughout the respective regions of the continent.

The Australian Contient

Population of Antarctica 2016

population-of-antarctica-2014Population of Antarctica 2016

The continent of Antarctica is the only continent in the world with a permanent residence of zero. However, despite this fact, the continent is inhabited with temporary residents, mainly there to conduct research. On December 1, 1959, twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty, an agreement surrounding international relations with Antarctica. Today, fifty countries have signed the treaty, agreeing that Antarctica should be used for research purposes. As a result, around twenty-nine of the countries have National Antarctica Programs that send researchers to research facilities in Antarctica throughout the year to conduct certain research. The total number of researchers present on the continent is estimated to range from about 1,000 to about 4,500 at any given time. The estimated population density of the continent ranges from about 0.00018 people per square mile to about 0.00091 people per square mile.

The nine countries that have the most researchers present on the continent during the most popular time are Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. United States has the most researchers present and has about 1,293 researchers. Italy has the least amount of researchers with about 102 researchers. Argentina has 667; Russia has 429; Chile has 359; the United Kingdom has 217; Australia has 200; and, France and Japan each have 125. Despite the treaty and the joint agreement that no one country can really hold claim to the continent, seven countries claim the continent and maintain a base there. The seven countries are Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Norway, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Argentine Antarctica

Argentine Antarctica is considered to be the portion of the continent containing the Antarctic Peninsula and a small triangular section that extends towards the South Pole. Despite the overlap with Great Britain and Chile’s sectors of the continent, Argentina has six permanent bases in the sector. The six bases are Belgrano II, Esperanza, Carlini, Marambio Base Station, Orcadas Base, and San Martin Base. Belgrano II was started in 1979 and is in fact the southern most Argentine laboratory. Esperanza consists of the national radio of Argentine Antarctica and also the school Julio A. Roca, which has been around since 1978. Carlini is simply just a laboratory on King George Island. Marambio Base Station, around since 1969, is one of the biggest laboratories in the Argentine sector. Orcadas Base, around since 1903, was the world’s first base in Antarctica. Lastly, San Martin Base dedicates its time to meteorological measurements. The sector also contains seven seasonal bases and four miscellaneous camps.

Australian Antarctica

The largest sector claimed by any country is the Australian sector of Antarctica. It consists of 2,276,651 square miles. The sector is split up into nine districts, the largest of which is Wilkes Land, consisting of about 2.6 million square kilometers. Originally, the United Kingdom had claimed the territory for itself. However, in 1933, the United Kingdom placed the sector under the authority and power of Australia. There are three year-round stations throughout this area: Mawson, Davis, and Casey. Mawson Station became the first Australian station on the continent on February 13, 1954. One of the main concerns with this area is Japan’s controversial whaling in the waters surrounding this territory. Australia claims that the area is an Exclusive Economic Zone and that Japan is violating their sovereignty. However, Japan does not recognize the Australian claim on the territory, which is why they do not abide by their request.

Chilean Antarctica

The main organization that administers the territory is known as Antarctica. It was established on July 11, 1961 and became independent from the Magallanes Province in 1975. This sector overlaps with the Argentinean and British sectors of the continent, but it consists of about 492,628 square miles. There are two districts in this sector: Poloto Pardo and Tierra O’Higgins. The most populated area in this sector is on King George Island. Frei Montalva Station is also in this sector, which is a large research center. However, the main Chilean research facility in Antarctica is the Professor Julio Escudero Base. The sector only has one permanent research facility: O’Higgins Station. Lastly, the oldest Chilean Antarctic station is called the Captain Arturo Prat Base, which was created on February 6, 1947.

French Antarctica

The Adelie Land is the territory in Antarctica claimed by the French government. It makes up about 166,796 square miles and is covered mainly by glaciers. The area was first discovered in 1840 by a French explorer, who named the area after his wife, Adele. The Dumont d’Urville Station is the only permanent French research station in the continent. It has been around since January 12, 1956. The population of the research center hits approximately 80 people during the summer. Also, the movie March of the Penguins was filmed at the research facility. Lastly, the original research center was Port Martin, established on April 9, 1950, and, in fact, burned down on January 22-23, 1952.

Norwegian Antarctica

Despite Germany’s attempts at claiming the territory, Norway annexed Queen Maud Land, the name given to the land by early explorers, on January 14, 1939. The territory is about 1,042,476 square miles. Norway hoped to help the whaling industry and their explorers by annexing the territory. The Polar Affairs Department of the Ministry of Justice and the Police administers Queen Maud Land. The first summer station established in the territory is known as Troll and was established in 1989. In 2005, Troll was upgraded to a year-round station. The only other Norwegian research facility is Tor, which is a summer facility founded in 1985. Lastly, the three main birds in this area are the Antarctic petrel, the snow petrel, and raptor.

Antarctica New Zealand

The original involvement by New Zealand in Antarctica began in 1923, mainly due to their close relations with the United Kingdom. Then, in 1959, Scott Base became the first permanent base of New Zealand in Antarctica. On July 1, 1996, New Zealand created the New Zealand Antarctic Institute, also known as Antarctica New Zealand, which functions to manage all Antarctica affairs.

British Antarctic Territory

Great Britain officially claimed their territory in Antarctica in 1908, when it extended its influence further into the South Atlantic. During World War II, the British Antarctic Survey was created, but was forced to disband due to the Antarctic Treaty of 1961. There are two permanent research facilities in this territory: Halley and Rothera. Signy was a permanent research facility from 1947 until 1996, but is now solely a summer research facility. The United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust runs the base at Port Lockroy. There is a museum that receives around 10,000 visitors every year. Lastly, the southern part of the territory was named Queen Elizabeth Land after Queen Elizabeth II on December 18, 2012, despite the criticism received from Argentina.

Climate of Antarctica

Antarctica is considered to be the coldest continent on the planet. It is the location of the coldest recorded temperature ever on planet earth. On July 21, 1983, the temperature was recorded as -89° C or -129° F at the Russian Vostok Station. The mean temperature throughout the year at the South Pole is -48° C and the mean temperature at the Russian Vostok Station is about -55° C. The relative density of the continent is about 0.03%, which is why it is considered to be a polar desert. In fact, the whole continent averages less than 50 millimeters of rain per year. Antarctica is so much colder than anywhere else due to its high latitude. The sunlight hits the surface of the continent at a lower angle of incidence, resulting in lower energy distributed per unit area. Also, because the snow and ice are highly reflective, there is little radiation that is actually absorbed by the surface. Also, there is a portion of the year where the continent is in complete darkness, resulting in even colder temperatures. The dry air comes as a result of the difficulty of cold air retaining water, especially air as cold as Antarctica’s air. The high-pressure system also is a contributing factor to the dry air.

Animals of Antarctica

There are four major groups of animals on the continent of Antarctica: birds, penguins, seals, and whales. Their larger bodies with a waterproof plumage characterize the Antarctic birds. Overall, there are nineteen species of birds that breed on the continent. The largest species is the Albatross. There are about 750,000 pairs of Albatross. These birds are able to fly 550 miles per day with speeds up to 50 miles per hour. They breed from the months of December to July and give birth from February to October. Another large species is the Antarctic Fulmar. In defense of their nests that they may feel are threatened, they are able to spit an oil with a foul smell up to five feet. They breed from October to December and give birth in January. Lastly, the Sheathbill is also a large species, as there exist around 100,000 pairs of the bird. They are the only bird in Antarctica without webbed feet. They breed from September to November and also give birth in November.

There are only four species of penguins that breed on the continent of Antarctica: Adelie, Emperor, Chinstrap, and Gentoo. The largest species is the Chinstrap, which has around 7 million pairs on the continent. These penguins can only dive up to a maximum of 230 feet and can only stay underneath for about up to a half a minute. They breed from October to November and give birth from January to February. The next largest species is the Adelie, which consists of about 2.5 million pairs of the penguin. During the winter seasons, this penguin will stay out at sea, resting on icebergs and pack ice. Lastly, the only penguin that breeds during the winter months is the Emperor species. There are only about 200,000 pairs of this penguin.

population-of-antarctica-2014-sealsThere are six species of seals on the Antarctic continent: Crabeater, Fur, Leopard, Ross, Southern Elephant, and Weddell. The largest species is the Crabeater, which consists of about 30 million seals on the continent. They are considered to also be the largest consumer of krill, eating around 20 times their body weight every year. They breed during the Austral spring and give birth during the months of December and January. The next largest species is the Fur seal, which consists of about 4 million seals. These seals are the reason that many people began to explore and hunt for seals in the 18th and 19th centuries, due to their valuable fur. The Fur seals breed during the months of November and December and give birth from November to January. Lastly, the next largest species of seals is the Weddell seal, named after the commander of British sealing explorations, Sir James Weddell. There exist about 800,000 seals of this species. They live in the most southern habitation of all the mammals. They live only about 800 miles from the South Pole. These seals breed in December and give birth from September to October.

There are seven species of whales in the waters surrounding the continent. The whales can be grouped into two categories: toothed and baleen. The toothed whales are the Orca and Sperm whales. The baleen whales are the Blue, Fin, Humpback, Minke, and Southern Right. The largest species of whales of the continent is the Sperm whale, consisting of about 750,000 whales. Growing up to 50 feet long, they eat giant squids, fish, octopus, and skate. Diving up to a mile, they are the deepest diving mammals of Antarctica. The next largest species is the Minke whale, which consists of about 500,000 whales. They can grow up to 30 feet long and they eat krill, fish, and squid. This species of whale is the only whale that remains hunted by the Japanese and Norwegians. The next largest species of whales is the Orca whale, which consists of over 100,000 whales. They can grow up to 30 feet long and they need fish, birds, and marine mammals. They are known to hunt in packs and not migrate during the winter. Lastly, the fastest of the baleen whales is the Fin whale. There are about 100,000 Fin whales, which can grow up to about 90 feet long, eating squid, krill, and fish.

Antarctic Treaty

In 1959, thirteen countries drafted the Antarctic Treaty in order to create an international agreement on the purpose and handling of the continent. The treaty consists of fourteen articles, outlining all the provisions and measures in regards to Antarctica. The first provision that they outlined was that any business on the continent must be for peaceful purposes only. All military personnel, equipment, and/or bases are prohibited from the continent. The second article states that all countries have the freedom of scientific investigation on the continent. Along with this, Article III states that all international powers involved in scientific research on the continent must make sure the other countries know of the plans to research, share the results from the research, and share the research personnel between the research stations. Some of the other major provisions include a ban on all nuclear activity and material and to put aside any territorial sovereignty disputes. The treaty took effect on June 23, 1961. Since the original signing of the treaty, the number of parties engaged in the treaty has come to fifty. The most recent addition to the treaty was Pakistan, who joined on March 1, 2012.

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