Formerly called Frobisher Bay prior to January 1, 1987, Iqaluit was designated as a city on April 19, 2001 and is now Canada’s tiniest capital city. Iqaluit is also the only Canadian capital not connected to other settlements via highway and is generally only accessible by aircraft or by water when ice conditions allow.
Nunavut is Canada’s newest, geographically largest and northern-most territory. Nunavut places slightly ahead of Yukon thus narrowly missing out on being Canada’s least populated territory.
A popular nicknames for Nunavut is Land of the Midnight Sun, appropriate given that the territory receives 20.5 hours of sunshine on some days in June. Yet in December, the sun sets as early as 1:40 PM in the afternoon.
Research website numbeo lacks sufficient data to rank Nunavut’s capital city on its comprehensive global quality of life rating which benchmarks 250 cities worldwide. Numbeo does evaluate Iqaluit on several individual factors. Iqaluit rates poorly for climate (worst), health care (lowest 34%), safety (most dangerous 36%) and pollution (bottom 37%). On the positive side, Iqaluit posted the top score for fastest traffic commute time.
Average monthly temperatures in Iqaluit fall below freezing for 8 months during the year.
The average income in Iqaluit is $60,688 per person. However, the city is heavily dependent on expensive imported supplies that arrive periodically. Housing prices averaged $376,640 in 2016, with 2.6 people per household.
Nunavut is recognized by the Guinness World Records for several geographic records. For instance, Devon Island in Nunavut is the world’s biggest uninhabited island. Devon Island covers a land area approximating 21,331 square miles (55,247 square kilometers) and forms part of the Canadian archipelago in the Arctic Circle, about a third of which is ice. The Haughton Crater is a 12.5 mile (20 kilometer) wide impact crater created 23 million years ago. Scientists are using Devon Island’s stark environment to learn about surviving on Mars via the Haughton-Mars Project.
From an international trade perspective, Nunavut exported an estimated C$1.191 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. Its most valuable exports include iron ores and concentrates (56.7% of Nunavut’s global total), gold (43.2%), musical instruments (0.02%), machinery and electrical appliances (0.011%), live animals and animal products (0.007%), and aircraft including parts (0.006%) according to the Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database.
The unemployment rate for Nunavut was 13.7% at July 1, 2019.
Capital Facts for Iqaluit, Canada: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Legislative Assembly of Nunavut, Rannva’s shop and St. Jude’s Cathedral
Below, you will find 3 of the most famous people born in Iqaluit, Canada.
- Annabella Piugattuk, actress (born Dec. 9, 1982)
- Malaija Pootoogook, artist & bird drawer (born January 1971)
- Severin France, Film Production Designer (born Apr. 12, 1986)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches of published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for an Iqaluit resident: Iqalummiut
Population: 7,740 (Iqaluit) per 2016 Census
Density: 382 people per square mile (147 per square kilometer)
Population: 38,870 (Nunavut) at July 1, 2019
Density: 54 people per square mile (21 per square kilometer)
Average age: 30.1 years (Iqaluit)
Life expectancy for all Nunavut: age 68 (male); age 74 (female)
GDP: C$2.04 billion in 2016 (Nunavut)
GDP per person: $54,445
Note: The above GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars.
Official currency used in Iqaluit: Canadian dollars
Far & Wide, 9 Things You Didn’t Know About Nunavut.
Guinness World Records, Largest uninhabited island.
Numbeo, Quality of Life Index by City.
Nunavut Bureau of Statistics, Gross Domestic Product.
br>Nunavut Bureau of Statistics, Nunavut Quick Facts.
Nunavut Department of Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs, Statistics Home.
Official Government Website, City of Iqaluit official website.
Statistics Canada, Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database.
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags.
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Iqalummiuts celebrate Canada Day as a national holiday each July 1.
Iqaluit’s land area occupies 20.27 square miles (52.5 square kilometers). The capital city’s population was 7,740 people as of the 2016 Census.
At the territory level, Nunavut covers a land area equal to 725,018 square miles (1,877,787 square kilometers) and is home to 38,870 inhabitants at July 1, 2019.
Iqaluit’s population density is more concentrated averaging 382 residents per square mile (147 per square kilometer).
Zooming out to Nunavut’s land boundaries, population density drops to 0.05 per square mile (0.02 per square kilometer).
Iqaluit has three gas stations to service the entire city, although it does have an international airport.