New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only constitutionally bilingual province (English and French) in the federation. The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Statistics Canada estimates the provincial population in 2009 to have been 750,457; a majority are English-speaking, but there is also a large Francophone minority (33%), chiefly of Acadian origin.
The province's name comes from the English and French partial transcription of the city of Brunswick (Braunschweig in German) located in modern day Lower Saxony, northern Germany (and former duchy of the same name), the ancestral home of the Hanoverian King George III of Great Britain. New Brunswick is bounded by: on the north by Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula and Chaleur Bay; along the east coast by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and Northumberland Strait; in the southeast corner the narrow Isthmus of Chignecto connects New Brunswick to the Nova Scotia peninsula; in the south by the Bay of Fundy coast, (which with a rise of 16 m (52 ft), has amongst the highest tides in the world); and in the west by the U.S. state of Maine.
New Brunswick differs from the other Maritime provinces physiographically, climatologically, and ethnoculturally. Both Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are either surrounded by, or are almost surrounded by water. Oceanic effects therefore tend to define their climate, economy, and culture. On the other hand, New Brunswick, although having a significant seacoast, is sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean proper and has a large interior that is removed from oceanic influences. As a result, the climate tends to be more continental in character rather than maritime.