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Prince Edward Island (PEI) is a province of Canada and one of the three Maritime provinces. It is the smallest province of Canada in both land area and population, but the most densely populated. Part of the traditional lands of the Mi'kmaq, it was colonized by the British in the 1700s. It was federated into Canada as a province in 1873. Its capital is Charlottetown.
According to Statistics Canada, the province of PEI has 158,717 residents. The backbone of the island economy is farming; it produces 25% of Canada's potatoes. Other important industries include the fisheries, tourism, aerospace, bio-science, IT, and renewable energy.The island has several informal names: "Garden of the Gulf", referring to the pastoral scenery and lush agricultural lands throughout the province; and "Birthplace of Confederation" or "Cradle of Confederation". This refers to the Charlottetown Conference in 1864 about confederation. But PEI did not join the Confederation until 1873, when it became the seventh Canadian province. Historically, PEI is one of Canada's older European-Canadian settlements. Its population still reflects some of the earliest immigration to the country, with French, Scottish, Irish, and English surnames being dominant.
PEI is located about 200 kilometres (120 miles) north of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and 600 kilometres (370 miles) east of Quebec City and has a land area of 5,686.03 km2 (2,195.39 sq mi). The main island is 5,620 km2 (2,170 sq mi) in size. It is the 104th-largest island in the world and Canada's 23rd-largest island.
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