It is one of the ten provinces that, together with the three territories, make up the thirteen federal entities of Canada. Its capital is Victoria and its most populous city, Vancouver. It is located in the west of the country, bounded on the north by the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, on the east by Alberta, on the south by the United States, on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the northwest by Alaska (USA). With 4,648,055 habs as of 2017, it is the third most populated entity, behind Ontario and Quebec.
In 1866, Vancouver Island became part of the colony of British Columbia, and Victoria became the capital of the United Colony. In 1871, British Columbia became the sixth province of Canada. The economy is diverse, and the industries producing services represent the largest portion of the province's GDP. It is the terminus of two transcontinental railways and the site of 27 major maritime cargo and passenger terminals.
The province is rich in agriculture (particularly in the Fraser and Okanagan valleys), due to a milder climate near the coast and in certainly protected valleys of the south. Its climate encourages outdoor recreation and tourism, although its main economic support has long been the extraction of resources, mainly logging, agriculture and mining. Vancouver, the largest city in the province, serves as the headquarters for many natural resource companies based in the west. It also benefits from a strong housing market and a per capita income well above the national average. While the coast of British Columbia and some valleys in the south-central part of the province have a temperate climate, most of its landmass experiences a cold-winter-temperate climate similar to the rest of Canada.
The Northern Interior region has a subarctic climate with very cold winters. Vancouver's climate is by far the mildest winter climate in major Canadian cities, with night temperatures in January averaging above freezing. British Columbia has an economy based largely on its natural resources, mainly timber and mining. Employment in the agricultural sector has been decreasing, and new jobs are created mostly by the construction and services sector. Its film industry is the largest in Canada and the third in the continent, surpassed only by Los Angles and New York Even its most important city, Vancouver is known internationally as the Hollywood of the North. Economic activity related to mining, in particular, has fluctuated widely with changes in the prices of basic products over time, with documented costs for the health of the community. The most important mining products produced by the province are copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc, coal, oil and natural gas.