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Vancouver Island is a large island in British Columbia, Canada. It is one of several North American locations named after George Vancouver, the British Royal Navy officer who explored the Pacific Northwest coast of North America between 1791 and 1794. While the city of Vancouver is located on the North American mainland, Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is located on the island.
The island is 460 kilometres (290 mi) in length and 80 kilometres (50 mi) in width at its widest point. At 32,134 km2 (12,407.0 sq mi), Vancouver Island is the largest Pacific island east of New Zealand,[nb 1] the largest island on the western side of North America, the world's 43rd largest island, Canada's 11th largest island, and Canada's second most populous island after the Island of Montreal. The 2001 census population was 656,312. British Columbia statistics in 2008 estimated the population at 740,876. Nearly half of these (331,491) live in Greater Victoria. Other major cities on Vancouver Island include Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Parksville, Courtenay, and Campbell River.
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