British Columbia

Colombie-Britannique  (French)
Motto(s): 
Latin: Splendor sine occasu
(English: Splendour without diminishment)
CountryCanada
ConfederationJuly 20, 1871 (7th)
CapitalVictoria
Largest cityVancouver
Largest metroMetro Vancouver
Government
 • TypeConstitutional monarchy
 • Lieutenant GovernorJanet Austin
 • PremierJohn Horgan (NDP)
LegislatureLegislative Assembly of British Columbia
Federal representation(in Canadian Parliament)
House seats42 of 338 (12.4%)
Senate seats6 of 105 (5.7%)
Area
 • Total944,735 km2 (364,764 sq mi)
 • Land925,186 km2 (357,216 sq mi)
 • Water19,548.9 km2 (7,547.9 sq mi)  2.1%
Area rankRanked 5th
 9.5% of Canada
Population
 (2016)
 • Total4,648,055 [1]
 • Estimate 
(2019 Q2)
5,034,482 [2]
 • RankRanked 3rd
 • Density5.02/km2 (13.0/sq mi)
Demonym(s)British Columbian[3]
Official languagesNone
GDP
 • Rank4th
 • Total (2015)C$249.981 billion[4]
 • Per capitaC$53,267 (8th)
Time zonePacific (most of province) UTC −8/−7
Mountain (far eastern) UTC −7/−6
Postal abbr.
BC
Postal code prefixV
ISO 3166 codeCA-BC
FlowerPacific dogwood
TreeWestern red cedar
BirdSteller's jay
Websitewww2.gov.bc.ca
Rankings include all provinces and territories

British Columbia (BC; French: Colombie-Britannique) is the westernmost province of Canada, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. With an estimated population of 5.034 million as of 2019, it is Canada's third-most populous province.

The first British settlement in the area was Fort Victoria, established in 1843, which gave rise to the City of Victoria, at first the capital of the separate Colony of Vancouver Island. Subsequently, on the mainland, the Colony of British Columbia (1858–1866) was founded by Richard Clement Moody[5] and the Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment, in response to the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. Moody was Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works for the Colony and the first Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia: he was hand-picked by the Colonial Office in London to transform British Columbia into the British Empire's "bulwark in the farthest west",[6] and "to found a second England on the shores of the Pacific".[7] Moody selected the site for and founded the original capital of British Columbia, New Westminster, established the Cariboo Road and Stanley Park,[8] and designed the first version of the Coat of arms of British Columbia.[9]