The North’s share of national GDP has declined steadily over the past decade, from 7.6 per cent in 1999 to 6.6 per cent in 2009—slightly less than its share of Canada’s population.
The main economic drivers are the mining, forestry, oil, and natural gas industries, as well as the public sector (government, health, education, and social services).
The Northern economies of Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba have struggled over the past decade. Economic growth has been the fastest in the three territories and in Northern Newfoundland and Labrador, ranging from 3 to 3.6 per cent on average between 1999 and 2009.
The North’s GDP per capita stood at $33,500 in 2009, ranging from $17,900 in Northern Manitoba to $71,200 in the Northwest Territories, due to NWT’s relatively low population and large diamond mining industry.