Colliding tectonic plates have shaped much of the geology of Newfoundland.Gros Morne National Park has a reputation as an outstanding example of tectonics at work, The north-south extent of the province (46°36′N to 60°22′N), prevalent westerly winds, cold ocean currents and local factors such as mountains and coastline combine to create the various climates of the province.The influence of early Portuguese exploration is also reflected in the name of Labrador, which derives from the surname of the Portuguese navigator João Fernandes Lavrador.
A former colony and then dominion of the United Kingdom, Newfoundland gave up its independence in 1933, following significant economic distress caused by the Great Depression and the aftermath of Newfoundland's participation in World War I.
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In 2013, the province's population was estimated at 526,702.
About 92% of the province's population lives on the island of Newfoundland (and its neighbouring smaller islands), of whom more than half live on the Avalon Peninsula.