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British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. With an estimated population of 5.071 million as of 2019, it is Canada's third-most populous province.
The capital of British Columbia remains Victoria, the fifteenth-largest metropolitan region in Canada, named for Queen Victoria, who ruled during the creation of the original colonies. The largest city is Vancouver, the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada, the largest in Western Canada, and the second-largest in the Pacific Northwest.
British Columbia is bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean and the American state of Alaska, to the north by Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories, to the east by the province of Alberta, and to the south by the American states of Washington, Idaho, and Montana. The southern border of British Columbia was established by the 1846 Oregon Treaty, although its history is tied with lands as far south as California. British Columbia's land area is 944,735 square kilometres (364,800 sq mi). British Columbia's rugged coastline stretches for more than 27,000 kilometres (17,000 mi), and includes deep, mountainous fjords and about 6,000 islands, most of which are uninhabited. It is the only province in Canada that borders the Pacific Ocean.
Coastal southern British Columbia has a mild, rainy oceanic climate, some far southern parts of which are warm-summer Mediterranean, influenced by the North Pacific Current, which has its origins in the Kuroshio Current. Due to the blocking presence of successive mountain ranges, the climate of some of the interior valleys of the province is semi-arid with certain locations receiving less than 250 millimetres (9.8 in) in annual precipitation. The annual mean temperature in the most populated areas of the province is up to 12 °C (54 °F), the mildest anywhere in Canada.