GDP figures indicate a strong and improving economy. For 2002, Northwest Territories’ GDP was C$3bn; for 2003 this had risen to C$3.6bn. GDP per capita for 2003 was C$60,000.
In 2004, $800m in private investment inflows, the majority from foreign sources, was made in diamond mining and related industries, oil and natural gas and infrastructure.
The province offers a selection of airports. There are a number highways, including the Mackenzie Highway, Dempster Highway, Liard/Fort Simpson Highway, and Fort Resolution/Fort Smith Highway.
Among the most distinctive features of the province’s economy is its reputation as the “Diamond Capital of North America”.
CITY OF THE FUTURE: YELLOWKNIFE
At the edge of the Arctic, in the heart of the wilderness and the Northwest Territories, lies a city of youth, energy, adventure and prosperity. Yellowknife, capital of the Northwest Territories, is a culturally rich capital thriving with diversity and home to more than 18,000 people. Located on the shores of the beautiful Great Slave Lake, only 512km south of the Arctic Circle, Yellowknife is known for its outdoor recreation, midnight sun, aurora borealis and an unusual blend of northern culture. But it is also a modern and bustling metropolis.
The city is the centre for transportation, communication, recreation, commerce, tourism, healthcare, mining and government for the Northwest Territories. It offers first-rate healthcare facilities and schools, and a wide variety of housing options. The average house price is C$206,200 and average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is C$1200 to C$1600 per month.
Yellowknife is literally built on gold, with gold-mine tunnels burrowing deep beneath the streets, a city where “the gold is paved with streets”. With the recent discovery of diamonds north of the city, Yellowknife faces a brilliant future as a home to diamond manufacturing and retail activity. Ekati, North America’s first diamond mine which officially opened on October 14, 1998, has reached a milestone and produced its first million carats.