Alberta is a province of Canada in western Canada. It's one of the 3 Prairie Provinces in Canada bordered by British Columbia to the west, Saskatchewan to the east, the Northwest Territories to the north and the U.S. state Montana to the south. The capital of Alberta is Edmonton, located near the center of the province and 180 miles north of Calgary, the largest city of Alberta.
Alberta is the 4th most populous province of Canada and the most populous of the prairie provinces. Alberta has an estimated population of 4.08 million, up from 3.645 million in 2011. The province has a population density of 6 people per square kilometer, or 15 people per square mile.
Cities in Alberta
- Calgary is the largest city with an estimated population of 1.1 million and a metropolitan population of 1.21 million. This makes it the third-largest municipality and the 5th largest census metropolitan area (CMA) in the country.
- Edmonton is the capital of Alberta and located on the North Saskatchewan River. As the second-largest city in Alberta and the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the country, Edmonton has a population of 815,000 in 2014. The Edmonton CMA has a population of 1.16 million. It is the northernmost city in North America with a metro population of at least one million.
- Red Deer, in central Alberta, is the third largest city and it's located midway in the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor. Red Deer is the center for agriculture and oil distribution in the country with an estimated population of 98,000.
- Lethbridge is the 4th most populous city in Alberta and located in Southern Alberta, southeast of Calgary with an estimated population of 90,000.
About 81% of Alberta's population lives in an urban area with just 19% in the rural areas. The most urbanized area is the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor, which is also one of the most densely populated areas in all of Canada.
In 2006, the racial and ethnic composition of Alberta was 80.3% white, 13.9% belonging to a visible minority group and 5.8% Aboriginal (3% First Nations, 2.6% Metis, 0.1% other Aboriginal). Visible minority groups include:
- Chinese: 3.7%
- South Asian: 3.2%
- Filipino: 1.6%
- Black: 1.4%
- Southeast Asian: 0.9%
- Latin American: 0.8%
- Arab: 0.8%
- Korean: 0.4%
- West Asian: 0.3%
- Japanese: 0.3%
Alberta is very ethnically diverse, with many immigrants from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Germany, France, Ukraine and Scandinavia. Alberta also has the second-highest percentage of Francophones (French speakers) in western Canada at 2%, most of whom live in the northwestern and central part of the province. It's also the third most diverse province in terms of visible minorities.
The most common ancestry/ethnic groups in the province include, in order of size, European, British Isles, English, Western Europe, other North American, German, Canadian, Scottish, Eastern European, Irish, French and Ukrainian. The full list is available through Statistics Canada.
Native languages spoken in Alberta include:
- English: 80%
- Chinese 3%
- German: 2.6%
- French: 1.9%
- Punjabi: 1.1%
- Tagalog: 0.9%
- Ukrainian: 0.9%
- Spanish: 0.9%
- Polish: 0.7%
- Arabic: 0.6%
- Dutch: 0.6% Other languages include Vietnamese, Cree (an Aboriginal language), Italian, Urdu, Korean, Hindi, Persian, Portuguese and Hungarian.
Alberta Population Growth
Alberta has grown fairly quickly over the last decade, in large part due to its growing economy. Alberta has had high birthrates combined with high immigration and a high rate of interprovincial migration. In 2011, it was home to 7 of the 8 fastest-growing census agglomerations in the country.
Alberta has grown from just 73,000 people in 1901 to 2.9 million in 2001, hitting 3.3 million in 2006.
Today, Alberta is leading Canada in population growth, in part as many people move to the region from other parts of Canada. From October 2013 to the start of 2014, Alberta gained almost 22,000 people with a growth rate of 3.3% in 2013. By 2041, Alberta is projected to hit a population of 5 to 7 million, with a growth rate that drops to about 1.5% a year between 2012 and 2041.
- Alberta is one of 3 Canadian provinces and territories bordered by a single U.S. state and one of just 2 landlocked provinces.
- Alberta is home to Canada's oldest mosque in Edmonton and the largest mosque in Calgary.
- Alberta is the second largest exporter of natural gas in the world and the world's 4th largest producer.
- Alberta produces about 50% of all Canadian beef with over 3 million head of cattle.
- Alberta is the leading beekeeping province in the country.
- Edmonton is home to the largest mall in North America. The West Edmonton Wall spans 48 city blocks and it was the world's largest until 2004.