Proud to show provincial pride!
The name Saskatchewan is derived from the Cree word kisiskâciwanisîpiy meaning "swift-flowing river." Saskatchewan became a province of Canada on September 1, 1905. Located between Alberta to the west and Manitoba to the east, its boundaries extend from the US border along the 49th parallel to the border with the Northwest Territories along the 60th parallel.
Saskatchewan covers 6.5% of Canada, an area of 651,036 square kilometres. Of this, 591,670 square kilometres are land and 59,366 square kilometres are covered by water. The land is divided between the mostly crystalline rocks of the Precambrian shield in the northern third of the province and the sedimentary rocks of the western Canadian sedimentary basin in the south. Mineral resources include world-class deposits of uranium and potash.
Four ecozones span the province: prairie, boreal plains, boreal shield, and taiga shield. The climate is continental, characterized by large seasonal temperature ranges and low precipitation. Humans began to occupy the land as ice retreated at the end of the last glaciation. Distinctive cultures evolved, dependent on the natural resources available in the different ecozones.
European contact with Aboriginal peoples occurred during the fur trade era, and increased when agricultural settlement began in the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, that settlement history produced an ethnically mixed, largely agrarian population concentrated on farms and in communities across the prairie ecozone. A century later, agriculture has declined in relative importance and more people live in urban areas (64.3%) than in the countryside.
The 2006 Canadian census recorded Saskatchewan's population at 968,157, while quarterly estimates from October 2011 were 1,063,535 showing a population growth rate of 6.7%. The 2006 median age (38.7 years) was slightly below the Canadian average. Saskatchewan had the highest proportion (15.4%) of inhabitants over 65 in Canada, but relatively more people under 25 years of age (34.4% versus 31% for Canada). 14.88% of people identified themselves as Aboriginal, an increase of 9% since 2001. Although only 3.6% of the population was self-identified as visible minorities, a total of 186 different ethnic groups were recognized, ranging from 286,045 people claiming German ethnicity to just 10 people identified as Moroccan.
Saskatchewan's economy, as measured by the rate of increase in Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), expanded at an annual rate of 3.9 per cent in 2008 to $41,646 million of which approximately 25% derived from primary industries such as Agriculture, Mining and Petroleum. A further 15% came from the Finance, Insurance and Retail sectors and almost 13% from the Wholesale and Retail trades. The remainder attributes to an ever-increasing range of service industries.
Saskatchewan's real GDP per capita increased by 3.7% (ranked 1st among the provinces) in 2008. Saskatchewan's productivity (real GDP per employed person) increased by 2.2% and was the highest among the provinces. Saskatchewan also led the nation in personal income (at 12.4%) and disposable income(at 13.7%) growth in 2008.
For more information on Saskatchewan's economic outlook visit the ThinkSask.ca website.
For the most current and detailed statistical data please visit the Saskatchewan Bureau of Statistics website.
For additional historical information visit the Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan website.