Photostory #407A: 1965 - Year End High Note for a Busy Nation: Canada Hits the Top
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
As the world completes its fifth orbit around the sun to mark the midway point in the decade of the sixties, Canadians from coast to coast might well pause to consider their abundant material affluence. No nation ever had it so good. In a recent international survey by one of Britain's leading daily newspapers, Canada came top of the list every time among eight [. . .] major nations in the possession and enjoyment of such aids to luxury living as cars and refrigerators. Confirmed by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, the actual world-beating percentage figures for Canadian households containing these facilities are: refrigerators, 96 per cent, TV sets, 93, telephones, 89, washing machines, 86, automobiles, 75, and central heating, 75 per cent. Behind this rising standard of living in Canada is the story of the nation's growing industrial might and economic well being. In the 10 years since 1955, Canada's gross national product has nearly doubled (up 90 per cent), boosting gross personal income a similar amount (92 per cent). In the same period, per-capita incomes rose over 50 per cent - two and a half times the rise in the cost of living (consumer price index) which climbed only 20 per cent and, despite the rapid increase in population (20 per cent), the percentage of unemployment has dropped. In these 10 years Canada has climbed high in the field of international trade. Across the nation massive widespread wealth in natural resources is being matched by manufacturing facilities producing a flood of valuable export goods ranging from space-ship components and heavy engineering products to frozen fruit pies and fancy knitwear. Since 1955 Canadian exports have increased 93 per cent (to $8,200,000,000), with imports climbing 80 per cent to reach an equal amount. With a 4,000,000-square-mile country still awaiting major programs of exploration and development by its population of but 20 million people, the broad sweep of Canada holds a promise more tempting than ever before. As 1966 begins, the vigor and vitality of the nation continues. In the big, bustling cities, in the industrial areas of the south, across the fertile regions of thriving agriculture, in sweet-smelling forest wilderness and where the winds blow cool and clean between the mountain peaks, Canadians of all walks of life and ambitions can bless their land, give thanks for the diversified rewards of individual effort and collective endeavor.