Fortis et liber (Latin)
("Strong and free")
Coordinates: 55°59′30″N 114°22′36″W / 55.99167°N 114.37667°W / 55.99167; -114.37667[1]
Before confederationDistrict of Alberta, District of Assiniboia, District of Athabasca, District of Saskatchewan
ConfederationSeptember 1, 1905 (1905-09-01) (split from NWT) (10th, with Saskatchewan)
Largest cityCalgary
Largest metroCalgary Region
 • TypeParliamentary constitutional monarchy
 • Lieutenant governorSalma Lakhani
 • PremierDanielle Smith
LegislatureLegislative Assembly of Alberta
Federal representationParliament of Canada
House seats34 of 338 (10.1%)
Senate seats6 of 105 (5.7%)
 • Total661,848 km2 (255,541 sq mi)
 • Land640,081 km2 (247,137 sq mi)
 • Water19,531 km2 (7,541 sq mi)  3%
 • Rank6th
 6.6% of Canada
 • Total4,262,635[2]
 • Estimate 
(Q3 2023)
 • Rank4th
 • Density6.66/km2 (17.2/sq mi)
Official languagesEnglish[4][5]
 • Rank3rd
 • Total (2015)CA$326.433 billion[6]
 • Per capitaCA$78,100 (2nd)
 • HDI (2021)0.955[7]Very high (1st)
Time zoneUTC−07:00 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−06:00 (Mountain DST)
Canadian postal abbr.
Postal code prefix
ISO 3166 codeCA-AB
FlowerWild rose
TreeLodgepole pine
BirdGreat horned owl
Rankings include all provinces and territories

Alberta (/ælˈbɜːrtə/ al-BUR-tə) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is a part of Western Canada and is one of the three prairie provinces. Alberta is bordered by British Columbia to the west, Saskatchewan to the east, the Northwest Territories to the north, and the U.S. state of Montana to the south. It is one of the only two landlocked provinces in Canada, with Saskatchewan being the other.[8] The eastern part of the province is occupied by the Great Plains, while the western part borders the Rocky Mountains. The province has a predominantly continental climate but experiences quick temperature changes due to air aridity. Seasonal temperature swings are less pronounced in western Alberta due to occasional Chinook winds.[9]

Alberta is the fourth largest province by area at 661,848 square kilometres (255,541 square miles),[10] and the fourth most populous, being home to 4,262,635 people.[2] Alberta's capital is Edmonton, while Calgary is its largest city.[11] The two are Alberta's largest census metropolitan areas.[12] More than half of Albertans live in either Edmonton or Calgary, which contributes to continuing the rivalry between the two cities. English is the official language of the province. In 2016, 76.0% of Albertans were anglophone, 1.8% were francophone and 22.2% were allophone.[13]

Alberta's economy is based on hydrocarbons, petrochemical industries, livestock and agriculture.[14] The oil and gas industry has been a pillar of Alberta's economy since 1947, when substantial oil deposits were discovered at Leduc No. 1 well.[15] It has also become a part of the province's identity. Since Alberta is the province most rich in hydrocarbons, it provides 70% of the oil and natural gas produced on Canadian soil. In 2018, Alberta's output was CA$338.2 billion, 15.27% of Canada's GDP.[16][17]

Until the 1930s, Alberta's political landscape consisted of 2 major parties: the centre-left Liberals and the agrarian United Farmers of Alberta. Today, Alberta is generally perceived as a conservative province. The right-wing Social Credit Party held office continually from 1935 to 1971 before the centre-right Progressive Conservatives held office continually from 1971 to 2015, the latter being the longest unbroken run in government at the provincial or federal level in Canadian history.

Before becoming part of Canada, Alberta was home to several First Nations like Plains Indians and Woodland Cree. It was also a territory used by fur traders of the rival companies Hudson's Bay Company and North West Company. The Dominion of Canada bought the lands that would become Alberta as part of the NWT in 1870.[18] From the late 1800s to early 1900s, many immigrants arrived to prevent the prairies from being annexed by the US. Growing wheat and cattle ranching also became very profitable. In 1905, the Alberta Act was passed, creating the province of Alberta.[19] Massive oil reserves were discovered in 1947. The exploitation of oil sands began in 1967.[15]

Alberta is renowned for its natural beauty, richness in fossils and for housing important nature reserves. Alberta is home to six UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites: the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Wood Buffalo National Park and Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park.[20] Other popular sites include Banff National Park, Elk Island National Park, Jasper National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park, and Drumheller.

  1. ^ "Alberta". Geographical Names Data Base. Natural Resources Canada.
  2. ^ a b "Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population Data table". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Archived from the original on February 9, 2022. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  3. ^ "Population estimates, quarterly". Statistics Canada. September 27, 2023. Archived from the original on September 28, 2023. Retrieved September 28, 2023.
  4. ^ "Languages Act". Government of Alberta. Archived from the original on May 2, 2021. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  5. ^ Dupuis, Serge (February 5, 2020). "Francophones of Alberta (Franco-Albertains)". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on August 10, 2020. Retrieved September 30, 2020. In 1988, as a reaction to the Supreme Court's Mercure case, Alberta passed the Alberta Languages Act, making English the province's official language and repealing the language rights enjoyed under the North-West Territories Act, while allowing French in the Legislative Assembly and court.
  6. ^ "Gross domestic product, expenditure-based, by province and territory (2015)". Statistics Canada. November 9, 2016. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  7. ^ "Sub-national HDI". Global Data Lab. Archived from the original on July 18, 2021. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  8. ^ "Get to know Canada - Provinces and territories". aem. April 1, 2011. Archived from the original on October 18, 2020. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  9. ^ Wenckstern, Erin (January 8, 2015). "Chinook winds and Alberta weather". The Weather Network. Archived from the original on October 4, 2015. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  10. ^ Harrison, Raymond O. "Alberta - Climate". Encyclopedia Britannica. Archived from the original on September 21, 2017. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  11. ^ "The 10 Biggest Cities In Alberta". WorldAtlas. September 9, 2019. Archived from the original on October 17, 2020. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  12. ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations, 2016 and 2011 censuses – 100% data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. February 7, 2018. Archived from the original on February 23, 2020. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  13. ^ "Census 2016 Language of Albertans" Archived December 4, 2019, at the Wayback Machine (consulted April 2021)
  14. ^ "Key Sectors". Archived from the original on November 16, 2019. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  15. ^ a b "The Leduc Era: 1947 to 1970s - Conventional Oil - Alberta's Energy Heritage". Archived from the original on October 19, 2020. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  16. ^ "Economic Dashboard - Gross Domestic Product". Archived from the original on February 18, 2021. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  17. ^ "Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016 - Market income". May 3, 2017. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  18. ^ "History & Geology". Bow Valley Naturalists. Archived from the original on February 14, 2021. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  19. ^ "Alberta becomes a Province". Alberta Online Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2009.
  20. ^ "World Heritage Sites in Alberta". Archived from the original on September 30, 2020. Retrieved October 16, 2020.

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