Nova Scotia is one of Canada
's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland
," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax
. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest province in Canada with an area of 55,284 square kilometres (21,300 sq mi). As of 2009, the population is 946,397, which makes Nova Scotia the second-most-densely populated province. Nova Scotia was already home to the Mi'kmaq people when French colonists established the first permanent European settlement in Canada and the first north of Florida in 1604. In 1867 Nova Scotia was one of the four founding provinces of the Canadian Confederation.