Canadian Americans

Canadian Americans are American citizens whose ancestry is wholly or partly Canadian. The term is particularly apt when applied or self-applied to people with strong ties to Canada, such as those who have lived a significant portion of their lives or were educated in Canada, and then relocated to the United States. To others, especially for those living in New England or the Midwest, a Canadian American is one whose ancestors came from Canada.[1]

Canadian American
Américain-canadien (French)
Total population
0.33% of the American population
Regions with significant populations
Portland, MaineBostonConcordHartfordNew EnglandNew York CityCaliforniaWashington, D.C.PhiladelphiaOrlandoAtlantaTexasCharlotteRaleighDetroitColumbusChicagoMilwaukeePhoenixLas Vegas • most urban areas
English (AmericanCanadian)
French (AcadianCanadianNew England)
Roman CatholicismProtestantism • Other
Related ethnic groups
Americans, American Canadians, Canadians

The term Canadian refers to some as nationality, and to others as ethnicity. English-speaking Canadian immigrants easily integrate and assimilate into American culture and society as a result of the cultural similarities and in the vocabulary and accent in spoken English.[2] French-speaking Canadians, because of language, culture, and religion, tend to take longer to assimilate.[3] However, by the 3rd generation, the assimilation is complete, and the Canadian identity is more or less folklore.[4] This took place, even though half of the population of the province of Quebec emigrated to the US between 1840 and 1930.[5] Many New England cities formed Little Canadas, but many of these have gradually disappeared.

This cultural "invisibility" within the larger US population is seen as creating stronger affinity amongst Canadians living in the US than might otherwise exist.[6] According to US Census estimates the number of Canadian residents was around 640,000 in 2000.[7] Some sources have cited the number to possibly be over 1,000,000.[8] This number though is far smaller than the number of Americans who can trace part or the whole of their ancestry to Canada. The percentage of these in the New England States is almost 25% of the total population.

Canadians who travel to the US to escape their colder winter are known as "snowbirds". They sometimes have residences south of the 37th parallel (e.g. Florida, the Carolinas, Georgia, South Texas, Southern California, and Arizona).[9]

American cities founded by or named after Canadians

Canadian American Day

The Connecticut State Senate unanimously passed a bill in 2009, making June 24 Canadian American Day in the state of Connecticut. The bill allows state officials to hold ceremonies at the capitol and other places each year to honor Americans of Canadian ancestry.[11]

Aboriginal Canadian Americans

As a consequence of Article 3 of the Jay Treaty of 1794, official First Nations status, or in the United States, Native American status, also confers the right to live and work on either side of the border. Unlike the U.S., Canada has not codified the Jay Treaty. Canadian courts readily reject the Jay Treaty free passage of goods right.[12]


Some institutions in the United States focus on Canadian-American studies, including the Canadian-American Center at the University of Maine,[13] the Center for Canadian American studies at Western Washington University,[14] and the SUNY University at Buffalo Canadian-American Studies Committee.[15]

Notable people

See also


  1. Mark Paul Richard, "From 'Canadien' to American: The Acculturation of French-Canadian Descendants in Lewiston, Maine, 1860 to the Present", PhD dissertation Duke U. 2002; Dissertation Abstracts International, 2002 62(10): 3540-A. DA3031009, 583p.
  2. "Veta: Good vocabulary - Accent training online - American Accent".
  3. l'Actualité économique, Vol. 59, No 3, (september 1983): 423-453 and Yolande LAVOIE, L'Émigration des Québécois aux États-Unis de 1840 à 1930, Québec, Conseil de la langue française, 1979.
  4. Harvard encyclopedia of American ethnic groups, Stephan Thernstorm, Harvard College, 1980, p 392
  5. l'Actualité économique, Vol. 59, No 3, (september 1983): 423–453 and Yolande LAVOIE, L'Émigration des Québécois aux États-Unis de 1840 à 1930, Québec, Conseil de la langue française, 1979.
  6. "Program No. 65 "Who's Canadian"". This American Life. Chicago Public Radio. May 30, 1997.
  7. "c2kbr01-2.qxd" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 20, 2004. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  8. Stewart, Alice R. (1987), "The Franco-Americans of Maine: A Historiographical Essay", Maine Historical Society Quarterly, 26 (3): 160–179
  9. "Snowbird RV Parks". Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  10. "Chandler, Alexander J. (A.J.)". ChandlerpediA. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  11. Edmonton Sun, April 21, 2009
  13. "Canadian-American Center". March 31, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  14. Canadian American Studies at WWU Archived 2007-07-01 at the Wayback Machine
  15. "Canadian American Studies Committee, University at Buffalo". Archived from the original on 2011-09-17.

Further reading

  • Hamilton, Janice (2006). Canadians in America. Lerner. ISBN 0-8225-2681-6.
  • Jeffrey Simpson (2000) Star-Spangled Canadians: Canadians Living the American Dream. HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-255767-3
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