Canadian Americans are American citizens who's 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.
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. 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 province of Quebec emigrated to the US between 1840 and 1930. 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 U.S. than might otherwise exist. According to U.S. Census estimates the number of Canadians resident was around 640,000 in 2000. Some sources have cited the number to possibly be over 1,000,000. This number though is far smaller than the number of Americans who can traced 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 U.S. to escape their colder winter are known as "snowbirds". They sometimes have residences in the Southern half of the U.S. (e.g. Florida, the Carolinas, Georgia, Southern Texas, Southern California, and Arizona).
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.
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.
Some institutions in the United States focus on Canadian-American studies, including 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.