Quebec is located in east-central Canada, covering an area of 1,542,046 square kilometers with a population of close to 8 million people. The capital city is Montreal and the province is bordered to the west by Ontario, James Bay, and Hudson Bay, to the north by Hudson and Ungava Bays, to the east by the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Labrador, Newfoundland and New Brunswick, and to the south by New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and New York, in the United States.
The geography of Quebec ranges from lowland forests in the south to gentle hills and some mountains in the north. The climate in the southern regions is Continental, with mild winters and summers in the south, and a little colder in winter farther north. Quebec contains 3% of the world’s entire fresh water supply, with over 500,000 lakes, streams, and rivers. Almost 80% of the population is of French descent and over half of the population is bi-lingual, speaking both French and English, 50% of the population live in and around Montreal.
Quebec’s official language is French with 81% of the population adopting the language, while English-speakers are uncommon and seen as a minority group. Due to the language in the province, it is no wonder that a large majority of the population 28% is of French decent, with a little less than half of the population being bilingual. The majority of the population almost 50% lives in Montreal, with the rest sparsely distributed around the province.
Until the 20th century, Quebec’s economy was based mainly on natural resources, especially fishing, trapping, agriculture, and timber. With the advent of new technologies, Quebec has experienced phenomenal growth in the aerospace industry and information technology. Principal exports include pulp and paper, agricultural and forestry products.
Montreal has 4 universities and most colleges and universities in Québec offer education in both English and French, however, there are some institutes of higher learning that only teach in French.
McGill University is one of the better-known institutions in Canada, ranking as the top university in the country and 24th on an international scale. As an English-language research university, McGill has an international students community that accounts for 24% of the total university body of nearly 39 500 students.
Québec has a rich culture with tourism playing an important part in their economy. There are numerous orchestras, playhouses, theatres, arenas, museums and galleries, as well as historical sites, mostly located near Montreal. With huge areas of lightly to non-developed land, Québec could qualify as a sportsman’s paradise, with almost unlimited opportunities for fishing, sailing, hiking, hunting, camping, skiing, and many more outdoor activities.
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