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British Columbia

population west chains east

British Columbia, westernmost of Canada's provinces, bordered by Alberta on the east, Montana, Idaho, and Washington on the south, the Pacific Ocean and Alaska on the west, and the Yukon and Northwest Territories on the north. Alberta is dominated by two mountain chains, the Coast Mountains in the west and the Canadian Rocky Mountains in the east. The 700-mi (1,127-km) coastline is broken by fjords. Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands are the most important of the offshore chains. About 75% of the population lives in the relatively mild southwest corner of the province. Greater Vancouver alone accounts for about one-half of the total population. The provincial capital is Victoria. Forestry is the mainstay of British Columbia's economy and accounts for the province's major industries. Mining is second, including zinc, lead, silver, gold, and iron ore.

See also: Canada.

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