A Canadian American is someone who was born or someone who grew up in Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 then moved to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. 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 in, or were educated in, Canada, and then relocated to the United States. To others, especially for those living in New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 or the Mid-Western States
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

, a Canadian American is one whose ancestors came from Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...


The term Canadian refers to some as nationality
Nationality is membership of a nation or sovereign state, usually determined by their citizenship, but sometimes by ethnicity or place of residence, or based on their sense of national identity....

, 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.
French-speaking Canadians, because of language, culture, and religion, tend to take longer to assimilate. However, by the 3rd generation, the assimilation is complete, and the Canadian identity is more or less folklore. This took place, even though half of the population of the Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 province immigrated to the US between 1840 and 1930. Many New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 cities formed Little Canada
Little Canada
Little Canada is a name for any of the various communities where French Canadians congregated upon emigrating to the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries....

, but much of this has gradually disappeared. A revival of the Canadian identity has taken place in the mid-western states, where Canadian Americans are older than 7–8 generations. These states had been part of Canada up until 1763, and part of Quebec up until 1783. A return to their roots seems to be taking place, with a greater interest in all things that are Canadian.

This cultural "invisibility" within the larger U.S. population is seen as creating stronger affinity amongst Canadians living in the U.S. than might otherwise exist.
According to Canadian estimates the number of Americans of Canadian origin may be between 20 to 30 million, about 9% of the total US population.

The number of Americans migrating annually into Canada is 3.5 times smaller than vice versa, a sobering statistic considering the population of Canada is 10 times smaller than that of the U.S. Canadians who travel to the U.S. to escape their colder winter are known as "snowbirds
Snowbird (people)
The term snowbird is used to describe people from the U.S. Northeast, U.S. Midwest, or Canada who spend a large portion of winter in warmer locales such as California, Arizona, Florida, Texas, the Carolinas, or elsewhere along the Sun Belt region of the southern and southwest United States,...

". They sometimes have residences in the Southern half of the U.S. (e.g. Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, the Carolinas, Southern Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, Southern California
Southern California
Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...

, and Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...


Notable Americans of Canadian heritage

  • Pierre Chouteau, Jr.
    Pierre Chouteau, Jr.
    Pierre Chouteau, Jr. , also referred to as Pierre Cadet Chouteau, was an American merchant and a member of the wealthy Chouteau fur-trading family of St. Louis, Missouri.-Early life and education:...

     Fur trader
  • Walt Disney
    Walt Disney
    Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

     Animator, director, and film producer
  • Will Durant
    Will Durant
    William James Durant was a prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for The Story of Civilization, 11 volumes written in collaboration with his wife Ariel Durant and published between 1935 and 1975...

     Historian and philosopher
  • Rene Gagnon
    Rene Gagnon
    Rene Arthur Gagnon was one of the U.S. Marines immortalized by Joe Rosenthal's famous World War II photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.-Early life:...

     US marine heroe
  • Robert Goulet
    Robert Goulet
    Robert Gerard Goulet was a Canadian American entertainer as a singer and actor. He played the role of Lancelot in the Broadway musical Camelot of 1960.-Early life:...

     Singer and actor
  • Phil Hendrie
    Phil Hendrie
    Philip Stephen Hendrie is an American radio personality. He is best known as the host of The Phil Hendrie Show, a comedy talk radio program that is syndicated throughout North America on Talk Radio Network...

     Radio personality and comedian
  • Jack Kerouac
    Jack Kerouac
    Jean-Louis "Jack" Lebris de Kerouac was an American novelist and poet. He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Kerouac is recognized for his spontaneous method of writing, covering topics such as Catholic...

     Poet and writer
  • Grace Metalious Author
  • Paul LePage
    Paul LePage
    Paul Richard LePage is an American businessman and politician who is serving as the 74th and current Governor of Maine. A Republican, he was previously mayor of Waterville from 2003 to 2011, and was a city councilor before that...

     Governor of Maine
    Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

  • Rudy Vallée
    Rudy Vallée
    Rudy Vallée was an American singer, actor, bandleader, and entertainer.-Early life:Born Hubert Prior Vallée in Island Pond, Vermont, the son of Charles Alphonse and Catherine Lynch Vallée...

     Saxophone player
  • Mark Wahlberg
    Mark Wahlberg
    Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg is an American actor, film and television producer, and former rapper. He was known as Marky Mark in his earlier years, and became famous for his 1991 debut as a musician with the band Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. He was named No. 1 on VH1's 40 Hottest Hotties of...


Notable Canadians who obtained American citizenship

  • Paul Anka
    Paul Anka
    Paul Albert Anka, is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actor.Anka first became famous as a teen idol in the late 1950s and 1960s with hit songs like "Diana'", "Lonely Boy", and "Put Your Head on My Shoulder"...

     Singer-songwriter and actor
  • James Cameron
    James Cameron
    James Francis Cameron is a Canadian-American film director, film producer, screenwriter, editor, environmentalist and inventor...

     Film director
  • Jim Carrey
    Jim Carrey
    James Eugene "Jim" Carrey is a Canadian-American actor and comedian. He has received two Golden Globe Awards and has also been nominated on four occasions. Carrey began comedy in 1979, performing at Yuk Yuk's in Toronto, Ontario...

     Comedian and actor
  • Marie Dressler
    Marie Dressler
    Marie Dressler was a Canadian-American actress and Depression-era film star. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1930-31 in Min and Bill.-Early life and stage career:...

  • Michael J. Fox
    Michael J. Fox
    Michael J. Fox, OC is a Canadian American actor, author, producer, activist and voice-over artist. With a film and television career spanning from the late 1970s, Fox's roles have included Marty McFly from the Back to the Future trilogy ; Alex P...

     Actor, producer, activist
  • Frank Gehry
    Frank Gehry
    Frank Owen Gehry, is a Canadian American Pritzker Prize-winning architect based in Los Angeles, California.His buildings, including his private residence, have become tourist attractions...

  • Phil Hartman
    Phil Hartman
    Philip Edward "Phil" Hartman was a Canadian-American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and graphic artist. Born in Brantford, Ontario, Hartman and his family moved to the United States when he was 10...

     actor, comedian, screenwriter, and graphic artist
  • Louis B. Mayer
    Louis B. Mayer
    Louis Burt Mayer born Lazar Meir was an American film producer. He is generally cited as the creator of the "star system" within Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in its golden years. Known always as Louis B...

     Film producer
  • Alanis Morissette
    Alanis Morissette
    Alanis Nadine Morissette is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and actress. She has won 16 Juno Awards and seven Grammy Awards, was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and also shortlisted for an Academy Award nomination...

  • Chris Irvine Professional Wrestler Known as Chris Jericho and Lead-Singer of Fozzy
    Fozzy is an American heavy metal/hard rock band, formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1999. Lead singer Chris Jericho , who is also a professional wrestler, resides in Florida, while the rest of the band lives in Georgia. The band is currently signed to Riot! Entertainment...

  • Mary Pickford
    Mary Pickford
    Mary Pickford was a Canadian-born motion picture actress, co-founder of the film studio United Artists and one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences...

     Actress and film executive
  • Charles Revson
    Charles Revson
    Charles Haskell Revson was a pioneering cosmetics industry executive who created and managed Revlon through five decades.-Early age:...

     Cosmetics pioneer, founder of Revlon
    Revlon is an American cosmetics, skin care, fragrance, and personal care company founded in 1932.-History:Revlon was founded in the midst of the Great Depression, 1932, by Charles Revson and his brother Joseph, along with a chemist, Charles Lachman, who contributed the "L" in the Revlon name...

  • Mack Sennett
    Mack Sennett
    Mack Sennett was a Canadian-born American director and was known as the innovator of slapstick comedy in film. During his lifetime he was known at times as the "King of Comedy"...

     Film director
  • Joe Shuster
    Joe Shuster
    Joseph "Joe" Shuster was a Canadian-born American comic book artist. He was best known for co-creating the DC Comics character Superman, with writer Jerry Siegel, first published in Action Comics #1...

     Comic book artist, co-creator of Superman
    Superman is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in publications by DC Comics, widely considered to be an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1932 while both were living in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold to Detective...

  • Jack Warner
    Jack Warner
    Jack Leonard "J. L." Warner , born Jacob Warner in London, Ontario, was a Canadian American film executive who was the president and driving force behind the Warner Bros. Studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California...

     Film executive
  • Mario Lemieux
    Mario Lemieux
    Mario Lemieux, OC, CQ is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. He is acknowledged to be one of the best players of all time. He played 17 seasons as a forward for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League between 1984 and 2006...

     Retired National Hockey League(NHL)player
  • Brett Hull
    Brett Hull
    Brett Andrew Hull is a former Canadian-American NHL player and the former Executive Vice President of the Dallas Stars. He is the son of Bobby Hull and nephew of Dennis Hull, both former NHL players. Hull is also known as "The Golden Brett," which is a play off of his father's nickname, "The...

     Retired National Hockey League(NHL) player

American cities founded or named after Canadians

  • Biloxi
    Biloxi, Mississippi
    Biloxi is a city in Harrison County, Mississippi, in the United States. The 2010 census recorded the population as 44,054. Along with Gulfport, Biloxi is a county seat of Harrison County....

    , founded by Pierre LeMoyne d'Iberville
  • Bourbonnais
    Bourbonnais, Illinois
    Bourbonnais is a village in Kankakee County, Illinois, United States. The population was 15,256 at the 2000 census, but it was estimated to have grown to 19,119 in 2009...

     named after François Bourbonnais
  • Dubuque
    Dubuque, Iowa
    Dubuque is a city in and the county seat of Dubuque County, Iowa, United States, located along the Mississippi River. In 2010 its population was 57,637, making it the ninth-largest city in the state and the county's population was 93,653....

    , named after Julien Dubuque
    Julien Dubuque
    Julien Dubuque was a French Canadian from the area of Champlain, Quebec who arrived near what now is known as Dubuque, Iowa - which was named after him. He was one of the first men to settle in the area. He initially received permission from the Meskwaki Native American tribe to mine the lead in...

  • Juneau
    Juneau, Alaska
    The City and Borough of Juneau is a unified municipality located on the Gastineau Channel in the panhandle of the U.S. state of Alaska. It has been the capital of Alaska since 1906, when the government of the then-District of Alaska was moved from Sitka as dictated by the U.S. Congress in 1900...

    , named after Joe Juneau
    Joe Juneau (prospector)
    Joseph Juneau was a miner and prospector from Canada who was born in the Quebec town of Saint-Paul-l'Ermite to François Xavier Juneau dit Latulippe and Marguerite Thiffault Juneau. He is best known for co-founding, with Richard Harris, the city of Juneau, Alaska, United States...

  • Milwaukee, founded by Solomon Juneau
  • Mobile
    Mobile, Alabama
    Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

    , founded by Pierre LeMoyne d'Iberville
  • New Orleans, founded by Lemoyne de Bienville
  • Ontario
    Ontario, California
    Ontario is a city located in San Bernardino County, California, United States, 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Located in the western part of the Inland Empire region, it lies just east of the Los Angeles county line and is part of the Greater Los Angeles Area...

    , founded by George Chaffey
    George Chaffey
    George Chaffey was a Canadian–born engineer who with his brother William developed large parts of Southern California, including what became the community of Etiwanda and cities of Ontario, and Upland...

  • Saint Louis
    St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

    , founded by René Auguste Chouteau
    René Auguste Chouteau
    Rene Auguste Chouteau , also known as Auguste Chouteau, was founder of St. Louis, Missouri, a successful fur trader and a politician. He and his partner had a monopoly for many years of fur trade with the large Osage tribe on the Missouri River...

  • Saint Paul
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Saint Paul is the capital and second-most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. The city lies mostly on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city...

    , first settled by Pierre Parrant
    Pierre Parrant
    Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrant is recognized as being the first person of European descent to live within the borders of what would eventually become the city of Saint Paul, Minnesota...

  • Vincennes
    Vincennes, Indiana
    Vincennes is a city in and the county seat of Knox County, Indiana, United States. It is located on the Wabash River in the southwestern part of the state. The population was 18,701 at the 2000 census...

     founded by François-Marie Bissot
    François-Marie Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes
    François Marie Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes was a French Canadian explorer and soldier who established several forts in what is now the U.S. state of Indiana, including Fort Vincennes....

Aboriginal Canadian Americans

As a consequence of Article 3 of Jay Treaty
Jay Treaty
Jay's Treaty, , also known as Jay's Treaty, The British Treaty, and the Treaty of London of 1794, was a treaty between the United States and Great Britain that is credited with averting war,, resolving issues remaining since the Treaty of Paris of 1783, which ended the American Revolution,, and...

 of 1794, official First Nations status, or in the US Native American status, also confers the right to live and work on either side of the border. But many of Canada's First Nations
Aboriginal peoples in Canada
Aboriginal peoples in Canada comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The descriptors "Indian" and "Eskimo" have fallen into disuse in Canada and are commonly considered pejorative....

 people identify with Canadians more so than Americans.


There are some institutions in the United States that focus on Canadian-American studies such as the Canadian-American Center at the University of Maine , the Center for Canadian American studies at Western Washington University, and the SUNY University at Buffalo Canadian-American Studies Committee

See also

  • Canadians of American origin
    Canadians of American origin
    American-Canadians are people of Canadian citizenship who were born in the United States of America. They account for a significant portion of Canada's population. Canada and the United States share much culturally but are separate geopolitical entities in North America.According to the Canada 2006...

  • Canada – United States relations
  • Franco-Americans
  • French Canadian
    French Canadian
    French Canadian or Francophone Canadian, , generally refers to the descendents of French colonists who arrived in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries...

  • Hyphenated American
    Hyphenated American
    In the United States, the term hyphenated American is an epithet commonly used from 1890 to 1920 to disparage Americans who were of foreign birth or origin, and who displayed an allegiance to a foreign country. It was most commonly used to disparage German Americans or Irish Americans who called...

  • Little Canadas
  • Quebec diaspora
    Quebec diaspora
    The Quebec diaspora consists of Quebec emigrants and their descendants dispersed over the North American continent and historically concentrated in the New England region of the United States, Ontario, and the Canadian Prairies...

Further reading

  • Jeffrey Simpson (2000) Star-Spangled Canadians: Canadians Living the American Dream. HarperCollins ISBN 0002557673

External links

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