Economic Sectors

In 2007, 3.4 million watched the premiere of Ice Road Truckers, the first reality TV series filmed in the NWT, making it the most-watched original telecast in History Channel’s 12 year history.

Highways, ice roads and airlines cover the vast expanse of the Northwest Territories, from the north edge of Alberta to the Beaufort Sea.

In 2009, the NWT had the highest retail sales per capita in Canada, at $15,968, some 30 percent higher than the Canadian average of $12,312.

Tourism is the largest single renewable resource based industry in the NWT, and a major economic motivator with $111m in expenditures in 2010/2011.

Products include wood and metal fabrication for the mining and exploration industries, boats, and concrete and home products. Can mineral processing be next?

Agriculture, fisheries, trapping and commercial game harvesting generate income and employment for many NWT residents.

Most NWT construction firms start small with little more than a tool box and a pickup truck. Some have grown considerably, expanding into southern Canada and abroad.

In the Northwest Territories electricity is generated in three ways: hydropower, diesel fuel and natural gas. Future options include geothermal, biomass and wind power.

The NWT has world-class deposits, including an estimated 8.2 billion barrels of oil and 97 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.

Mining is the largest economic sector in the Northwest Territories, with the diamond mines generating approximately $1.7 billion in export sales.