Analyzing Demographics in the U.S., Canada & Mexico

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  • 0:00 North America
  • 0:46 Population by Country
  • 1:43 Population by City
  • 2:28 Language
  • 2:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jessica Whittemore

Jessica has taught junior high history and college seminar courses. She has a master's degree in education.

This lesson discusses the population distribution of North America and its cities. It defines the terms urban and demographics, while also discussing the languages of North America.

North America

Which of these do you think is the best approximation of North America's population?

  1. Over 2 billion
  2. Under 100 million
  3. Over 500 million

If you said number three, you're right! The population of North America, which is made up of Canada, the United States, Mexico, the countries of Central America, the island nations of the Caribbean, and several smaller bordering islands, is 533 million. In other words, we're talking about a lot of space and a lot of people. Since a majority of these people live in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, we're going to spend today looking at the demographics of these three countries.

Population by Country

To kick things off, the term demographics can be defined as studies of population. When it comes to population and North America, Uncle Sam comes in first! In fact, with its population of about 319 million, the U.S. accounts for close to 60% of the continent's population!

Coming in second, Mexico has a population of about 122 million. That's less than half of the U.S., but way more than Canada, who comes in third with about 35 million. Of course, since populations change from day to day, we can't really nail down exact numbers. Instead, let's just remember that the U.S. gets gold, Mexico takes silver, and Canada wins the bronze in North America's population race!

Of course, we need to keep in mind that population is ever changing. Even as I speak, the numbers are definitely in flux!

Population by City

Continuing with our population study, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. also have the four most populated cities in North America. However, this time Mexico City gives Mexico first place, while the U.S comes in second with New York City. Next comes another American city, Los Angeles, and then Canada gets in on the action with Toronto.

Speaking of cities, most of the continent's people live in rather heavily populated areas. In fact, some studies report that over half of North Americans live in urban areas, or areas with the characteristics of cities or towns. When speaking of Canada and the U.S., this number is closer to 80%! Of course, like we said before, these numbers are constantly changing!

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