The largest and northernmost territory of Canada, and what are the best things to do in Nunavut
Nunavut was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, which provided this territory to the Inuit for independent government. The boundaries had been drawn in 1993. The creation of Nunavut resulted in the first major change to Canada's political map in half a century since the province of Newfoundland was admitted in 1949.
Nunavut comprises a major portion of Northern Canada and most of the Arctic Archipelago. Its vast territory makes it the fifth-largest country subdivision in the world, as well as North America's second-largest (after Greenland). The capital Iqaluit (formerly Frobisher Bay), on Baffin Island in the east, was chosen by a capital plebiscite in 1995. Other major communities include the regional centres of Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay.
Nunavut also includes Ellesmere Island to the far north, as well as the eastern and southern portions of Victoria Island in the west, and all islands in Hudson, James and Ungava bays, including Akimiski Island far to the southeast of the rest of the territory. It is Canada's only geo-political region that is not connected to the rest of North America by highway.
As of the 2021 Canadian census, Nunavut was the least populous of Canada's provinces and territories. One of the world's most remote, sparsely settled regions, Nunavut has a population of 39,589 (2021 figure, up from 35,944 in 2016), consisting mostly of Inuit. The population occupies a land area of just over 1,836,993.78 km2 (709,267.26 sq mi), or slightly smaller than Mexico (excluding water surface area). With a population density of 0.022/km2 (0.056/sq mi), Nunavut is the least densely populated country sub-division in the world, being even less densely populated than Denmark's Constituent Country of Greenland. Nunavut is also home to the world's northernmost permanently inhabited place, Alert. Eureka, a weather station on Ellesmere Island, has the lowest average annual temperature of any Canadian weather station.