Prince Edward Island is a province of Canada and one of the three Maritime Provinces. It is the smallest province of Canada in both land area and population, but it is the most densely populated. Part of the traditional lands of the Mi'kmaq, it became a British colony in the 1700s and was federated into Canada as a province in 1873. Its capital is Charlottetown. According to Statistics Canada, the province of PEI has 155,318 residents.
The backbone of the Island economy is farming; it produces 25% of Canada's potatoes. Other important industries include the fisheries, tourism, aerospace, bio-science, IT and renewable energy.
The island has several informal names: "Garden of the Gulf", referring to the pastoral scenery and lush agricultural lands throughout the province; and "Birthplace of Confederation" or "Cradle of Confederation", referring to the Charlottetown Conference in 1864, although PEI did not join Confederation until 1873, when it became the seventh Canadian province. Historically, PEI is one of Canada's older settlements and demographically still reflects older immigration to the country, with Scottish, Irish, English and French surnames being dominant to this day.
PEI is located about 200 kilometres (120 miles) north of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and 600 kilometres (370 miles) east of Quebec City and has a land area of 5,686.03 km2 (2,195.39 sq mi). The main island is 5,620 km2 (2,170 sq mi) in size. It is the 104th-largest island in the world and Canada's 23rd-largest island.