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New Brunswick (French: Nouveau-Brunswick; Canadian French pronunciation: [nuvobʁɔnzwɪk] ( listen)) is one of four Atlantic provinces on the east coast of Canada.
The indigenous inhabitants of the land at the time of European colonization were the Mi'kmaq, the Maliseet, and the Passamaquoddy peoples, aligned politically within the Wabanaki Confederacy, many of whom still reside in the area.
Being relatively close to Europe, New Brunswick was among the first places in North America to be explored and settled, starting with the French in the early 1600s, who eventually colonized most of the Maritimes and some of Maine as the colony of Acadia. The area was caught up in the global conflict between the British and French empires, including the 1722–25 Dummer's War against New England. In 1755 what is now New Brunswick was claimed by the British as part of Nova Scotia, to be partitioned off in 1784 following an influx of refugees from the American Revolutionary War. Large groups of English, Scottish, and French people had settled and become the majority population by this time. However, as the Catholic French and indigenous peoples had intermarried heavily, they were essentially a Métis.
In 1785, Saint John became the first incorporated city in what is now Canada. The same year, the University of New Brunswick became one of the first universities in North America. The province prospered in the early 1800s due to logging, shipbuilding, and related activities. The population grew rapidly in part due to waves of Irish immigration to Saint John and Miramichi regions, reaching about a quarter of a million by mid-century. In 1867 New Brunswick was one of four founding provinces of the Canadian Confederation, along with Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario.
After Confederation, wooden shipbuilding and lumbering declined, while protectionist policy disrupted traditional economic patterns with New England. The mid-1900s found New Brunswick to be one of the poorest regions of Canada, but that has been mitigated somewhat by federal transfer payments and improved support for rural areas.
As of 2002, provincial gross domestic product was derived as follows: services (about half being government services and public administration) 43%; construction, manufacturing, and utilities 24%; real estate rental 12%; wholesale and retail 11%; agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, mining, oil and gas extraction 5%; transportation and warehousing 5%.According to the Constitution of Canada New Brunswick is the only bilingual province. About two thirds of the population declare themselves anglophones and a third francophones. One third of the overall population describe themselves as bilingual. Atypically for Canada, only about half of the population lives in urban areas, mostly in Greater Moncton, Greater Saint John and the capital Fredericton.
Unlike the other Maritime provinces, New Brunswick's terrain is mostly forested uplands, with much of the land further from the coast, giving it a harsher climate. New Brunswick is 83% forested, and less densely-populated than the rest of the Maritimes.
Tourism accounts for about 9% of the labour force directly or indirectly. Popular destinations include Fundy National Park and the Hopewell Rocks, Kouchibouguac National Park, and Roosevelt Campobello International Park. In 2013, 64 cruise ships called at Port of Saint John carrying on average 2600 passengers each.