Canada is one of the most developed countries in the world and has the second largest GDP in North America with its total GDP being $1.6 trillion in 2016. The country is divided into 13 territories and provinces, each having a growing economy based on different sectors. The richest of all the territories and provinces is Ontario while Nunavut has the lowest GDP.
The Richest Provinces and Territories of Canada
Ontario is the second-largest province in Canada with a total area of 415,598 square miles. The province is home to the nation’s capital, Ottawa as well as the largest city in the country, Toronto. Ontario is also the most populous province in the country with a population of about 14 million people. With a GDP of CAD 763.276 billion in 2015, Ontario has the largest economy of all 13 provinces and territories. Ontario’s leading GDP is attributed to its growing manufacturing and service industries. About 52% of Canadian manufacturing shipments come from Ontario. The service industry takes up 76.9% of Ontario’s economy. The city of Toronto is a major technology hub and is the second largest of its kind in the world after the American Silicon Valley. It accounts for 60% of the total Canadian technology industry.
Quebec is the only majority Francophone province in Canada with French being the official language in the province. The province is also the second-most populous in the country with a population of 8.3 million. The majority of residents live in urban areas including Montreal and the province’s capital, Quebec City. Quebec is the second richest province in the country with a GDP of CAD 380.972 billion translating to 20.36% of the national GDP. Quebec’s economy is driven by its manufacturing and service industries. The province is also rich in natural resources and is the second largest producer of niobium in the world and the second largest producer of gold in Canada. Tourism is another important sector of the economy contributing up to 2.5% of Quebec’s economy. Over 26 million tourists visit the province every year.
Yukon is the smallest territory in Canada covering an area 186,272 square miles. The territory has the least population of any province or territory in Canada with a total population of 35,874 people with the majority residing in the territory’s only city, Whitehorse, which is also its capital. Yukon has the second-lowest GDP in all provinces and territories in Canada with a GDP of CAD 2.660 billion. Yukon’s remoteness limits the types of investments located in the territory. Some of the major sectors of the economy include a growing manufacturing industry as well as the mining industry. However, Yukon’s government is the territory’s biggest employer with over 5,000 direct employees.
Nunavut is the largest territory in Canada covering an area of 787,155 square miles. The majority of the territory’s population resides in the few urban areas including its capital, Iqaluit. Nunavut is one of the most remote regions in the world with most of the territory experiencing a polar climate. Due to its remoteness, Nunavut has the lowest GDP in the country with a total GDP of CAD 1.964 billion translating to 0.12% of the national GDP. The key sectors of the economy include mining, tourism, education, and fishing.
The richest provinces like Ontario have extensive links to the Midwestern and northeastern part of the US. They have enormous natural resources that translate to highest per capita GDP. All provinces and territories in Canada have been looking into new sectors to diversify their respective economies. In Ontario, the province has traditionally relied on its manufacturing and service industries. However, in recent years, the province has heavily invested in the tech industry.