British Columbia is Canada’s most westernly province, and its third largest.
It has a population of more than 4 million people that lives mostly on the coast. Its capital is Victoria, but the largest city is Vancouver.
British Columbia can be divided into two parts: the coast (where most people live) and the interior. This makes the province a land of diversity and contrast, because it has coastal landscapes and snowy mountains as well as plains and forests.
Due to its distance from the eastern coast of Canada and the barrier created by the mountains, this land was very difficult for early Europeans to reach and was the last part of North America they explored.
The first permanent European settlement came in the early 19th century.
One of the main components of British Columbia economy during the 20th century was forestry, and it continues playing an important role in it as well as agriculture, specially berries, nuts, fruits and wine-grapes. Mining is also an important piece of its economy.