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British Columbia: Quick Facts

Quick Facts

  • Capital: Victoria
  • Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Splendor without diminishment)
  • Flower: Pacific Dogwood
  • Entered Confederation: 20 July 1871
  • Members of the Legislative Assembly: 69
  • Members of Parliament: 34
  • Senators: 6
  • Population, 1998: 4,014,329
  • Average annual family income, 1996: $59,440
  • Employment rate, 1997: 59.3%
  • Per capita health expenditures, 1995: $2,643
  • Inflation as measured by the CPI, 1997: 0.7%
  • Average weekly earnings, 1997: $614.17
  • Housing starts, 1997: 29,351
  • Provincial sales tax, 1998: 7.0%
  • Urban population, 1996: 82.1%
  • GDP per capita, 1995: $27,465
  • Land area out of Canada's total area: 9.5%

Sources: Statistics Canada, 1999 Canadian Encyclopedia


Victoria, population 326,010, on Vancouver Island is the Capital of BC. It is known as a beautiful tourist city.

Vancouver, population 1, 831,665, is the nation's fourth largest city and a vibrant cultural and business centre.

Kelowna, population 100,334, in the southern interior is another popular tourist destination and burgeoning high tech centre.

Time Zone

Most of British Columbia is in the Coastal time zone, with the far south eastern corner in the Mountain time zone.


The mild coastal region receives from 130 to 380 cm of rain a year - while the interior has a continental climate. Some parts of the Interior are nearly deserts, with an annual rainfall of less than 10 inches (250 millimetres). The valleys of the Columbia-Kootenay region have a dry climate, with an annual rainfall of 18 to 20 inches (450 to 500 millimetres). Temperatures in the far northern section of the Interior System may range from below -70 F (-57 C) in the winter to above 100 F (38 C) in the summer. In the southern section and in the Peace River country, winter temperatures are less severe. Along the coast, at Victoria, temperatures are also milder, averaging about 60 F (16 C) in July and 39 F (4 C) in January.

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