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Yellowknife is the largest city in the Northwest Territories, with a population of about 20,000. It is a hub for mining, industry, transportation, communications, education, health, tourism, commerce, and government activity in the territory.

Historically, Yellowknife's economic growth came from gold mining, and later government. The discovery of diamonds north of the city in 1991 spurred a diamond boom. More recently, tourism, transportation, and communications have emerged as significant industries.

The opening of several international diamond mining operations place Canada as the world's third-largest producer of rough diamonds by value (about 12.5% of world production) and the third-largest producer by volume (about 13.5% of world production). Canada's total primary exports of diamonds were valued at $2.21 billion in 2019.

The federal government is among the largest employers in Yellowknife. Other major employers include RTL Robinson Trucking and the City of Yellowknife.

Tourism represents the largest “renewable” industry in the territory, and Yellowknife is the main entry point for visitors, many of whom come to experience the northern climate, traditional lifestyle, and to see the aurora borealis.

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