Prince Edward Island (PEI or P.E.I.; French: Île-du-Prince-Édouard) is a province of Canada consisting of the island of the same name, and several much smaller islands. Prince Edward Island is one of the three Maritime Provinces and is the smallest province in both land area and population. It is part of the traditional lands of the Mi'kmaq, and became a British colony in the 1700s and was federated into Canada as a province in 1873. Its capital is Charlottetown. According to the 2016 census, the province of Prince Edward Island has 142,907 residents.
The backbone of the economy is farming; it produces 25% of Canada's potatoes. 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 Celtic, English and French surnames being dominant to this day.
The island has two urban areas. Harbor, situated centrally on the island's southern shore, and consists of the capital city Charlottetown, as well as suburban towns Cornwall and Stratford and a developing urban fringe. A smaller urban area surrounds Summerside Harbor, situated on the southern shore 40 kilometers west of Charlottetown Harbor, and consists primarily of the city of Summerside. As with all natural harbors on the island, Charlottetown and Summerside harbors are created by rias. (See also a list of communities in Prince Edward Island.)