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Prince Edward Island is a province of Canada in the east-central part of the country. It ranks as Canada’s smallest provincial unit both by population and land. With a population of 144,979 as recorded by the 2016 census, it is also one of the least densely populated provinces in Canada; only Nunavut has fewer people per square kilometer. The island is home to just 1% of Canada’s total population but 9% of its farmland and 8% if its fishing and aquaculture production.
19 Great Facts About Prince Edward Island
- 1. The capital city of Prince Edward Island is Charlottetown.
- 2. The provincial legislature was established in the mid-19th Century, not long after the province was established in 1873.
- 3. Prince Edward Island has been a predominantly agricultural economy since it was first colonized by European settlers, namely French Acadians and Scottish settlers, who arrived from New England in 1758. They occupied lands on the north of the island that had been territories of indigenous Mi’kmaq people for thousands of years before colonization. The British government acquired for their use some 3,000 acres (12 km2) from them and gave it to these settlers as rewards for their service in its victory over France during the Seven Years War.
- 4. The province joined Canada in 1873, after the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in 1867. Since it joined the federation it has been governed by 72 different premiers.
- 5. The name of Prince Edward Island itself is pronounced without an a in interviews and news reports, with locals stressing the second syllable instead. The province’s motto is Parva sub ingenti.
- 6. One of the most enduring symbols of Prince Edward Island is Anne of Green Gables – a character from Anne of Green Gables: A Sequel to “Anne of Avonlea” by Lucy Maud Montgomery, a Canadian author who was born in the province.
- 7. This beautiful province is famous for potatoes, Anne of Green Gables, and red sand beaches.
- 8. The Confederation Bridge connects Prince Edward Island to its mainland neighbor New Brunswick for the first time in the history of the province. The only existing transportation link is a ferry service from Caribou, Nova Scotia to Wood Islands which is located on the northern end of the island.
- 9. The name of Prince Edward Island was not meant to be taken for granted – when it was named it was meant to honor Edward Augustus, son of King George III and younger brother of George IV who died at age 24 and was much hounded by critical press at that time.
- 10. National parks in Prince Edward Island are protected by the provincial government and are managed by the Prince Edward Island National Park Authority, a non-profit independent agency. It was established when Canada’s national parks were created in 1930.
- 11. As of 2016, the provincial population is 142,979 – a 2% growth since 2011. The population density was 30 people per square kilometer.
- 12. The median age is 47 years, with 17% of its residents under 15 years old and 14% over 65 years old.
- 13. The median household income is $55,764 per year with an average family size of 2.6 persons and an average life span of 80 years for men and 83 for women in 2016.
- 14. Canada day in Prince Edward Island is a big deal. In fact, it is the only province that has in its constitution a section that mandates the celebration of Canada Day every year.
- 15. Prince Edward Island is one of the most beautiful places in Canada and one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in North America.
- 16. On September 27, 2016, Sable Island became Canada’s 13th national park reserve after Ottawa announced it would be managed by Parks Canada instead of the Nature Conservancy of Canada which had been managing it since 1972 when it was declared by Parliament as a protected area (MPA).
- 17. The weather is also quite exceptional. It was officially recognized as the sunniest place in Canada based on data from Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada. It has the most hours of sunshine in all months of the year, except July when it is still among the top three provinces.
- 18. Prince Edward Island registers an average of 2,300 hours of sunshine per year.
- 19. The provincial government’s commitment to local organic food production is also remarkable. Some 3,000 square kilometers are set aside for agricultural purposes that are devoted to crops and livestock products, making it one of the biggest agricultural land in Canada given its size alone.