What Is the Capital of Nunavut?

Iqaluit is the capital of Nunavut, Canada's newest and northernmost territory.
Iqaluit is the capital of Nunavut, Canada's newest and northernmost territory.

Iqaluit is the capital of Nunavut, which is a a territory in northern Canada. Formed in 1999, Nunavut is the newest province or territory in Canada, and therefore Iqaluit is the nation's newest capital.

Prior to Nunavut's establishment as a territory, no road, rail or water infrastructure existed in the region, and Iqaluit had little development or economic activity, and was highly dependent on imported goods. However, since being named capital, the city has experienced massive development and a gradual rise in the population growth.

History and Evolution

The city began as a fishing hub for the locals, which explains the city's name, as Iqaluit means "place of many fish." The first significant development occurred in 1942, when Americans established an air base to provide a stop-over for aircraft during the war. The addition of this airfield triggered further development, such as operations by the Hudson’s Bay Company. The name of the municipality was initially Frobisher Bay, but was changed to Iqaluit in 1987. The city hosted the G7 meeting for finance ministers in 2010.


2016 census data suggests Iqaluit has a total population of 7,740. The population density of the city is 147.4 persons per square kilometer. The majority of Iqaluit's population are Inuit, and make up 59.1%. Caucasians are the second largest demographic, with a percentage of 34.3. The average per capita income in the city is estimated to be $60,688.


Iqaluit is in the early stage development, and accordingly it has limited resources in terms of infrastructure. However, development is increasing, and amenities such as modern hospitals, banking institutions, judicial courts, learning institutions, entertainment avenues and modern roads now exist. Tourism related amenities are also present in the city, which includes an artistic center for visitors, a museum, and art galleries. A very notable religious building in Iqaluit is St. Jude's Anglican Cathedral, which is an Igloo-shaped church.


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