Canada occupies a major northern portion of North America, sharing the land borders with the contiguous United States to the south and the U.S. state of Alaska to the northwest, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west; to the north lies the Arctic Ocean. By total area (including its waters), Canada is the second-largest country in the world—after Russia. By land area, Canada ranks fourth (land area is total area minus the area of lakes and rivers).
Since 1925, Canada has claimed the portion of the Arctic between 60°W and 141°W longitude, but this claim is not universally recognized. The northernmost settlement in Canada (and in the world) is Canadian Forces Station Alert on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island—latitude 82.5°N—817 kilometres (450 nautical miles, 508 miles) from the North Pole. Much of the Canadian Arctic is covered by ice and permafrost. Canada also has the longest coastline in the world: 202,080 kilometres (125,570 mi).
The population density, 3.3 inhabitants per square kilometre (8.5/sq mi), is among the lowest in the world. The most densely populated part of the country is the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor, (situated in Southern Quebec and Southern Ontario) along the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River in the southeast
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