In the past the islands were called Parry Archipelago or Parry Islands. They were named after British Arctic explorer Sir William Parry. In 1953 the islands were renamed after Elizabeth II.
According to the Atlas of Canada there are 34 large and 2,092 small islands in the archipelago. Many of the islands are among the largest in the world. The largest island in the archipelago is Ellesmere Island.
Less than 400 people live on the Queen Elizabeth Islands.