Vancouver is Canada's third largest metropolitan region (after Toronto and Montréal) and is a leading Pacific Coast seaport and the main commercial, manufacturing, financial, tourist, and cultural center of British Columbia (BC).
The city is located about 42 km (26 mi) northwest of the United States border.
Vancouver is Canada's leading port and one of the busiest in North America, with such cargo as coal, potash, metals, and other materials from western Canada.
Vancouver is predominantly a service center.
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The population of the city of Vancouver increased from 384,500 in 1961 to 471,800 at the 1991 census, with growth in every five-year period except from 1971 to 1976. In the same 30-year period, the population of the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area almost doubled, from 827,000 to 1,602,500. Between 1986 and 1991, the city's population grew 9.4 percent and metropolitan growth rates exceeded 16 percent. Since 1981, the population of Greater Vancouver has grown faster than that of British Columbia as a whole, with immigration from East Asian countries contributing a large segment of this growth.
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