Alberta is a province located in the west of Canada. According to the 2016 census, more than four million people currently live in the area, making it the fourth most highly populated province in Canada. Of the three prairie provinces in the country, it is the most densely populated. Alberta is one of just two landlocked provinces in Canada.
The capital of Alberta is Edmonton, which is located near the center of the province. It is used as the primary service and supply hub for the oil industry in the province. Meanwhile, the largest city in the province is Calgary. Both the Edmonton and Calgary metropolitan areas have populations of over one million people.
There is evidence that Paleo-Indians settled in Alberta at least ten thousand years ago, around the end of the ice age. These people likely migrated from Siberia to Alaska across a land bridge that existed through the Bering Strait. As the years went by, they became varying First Nations groups. Southern Alberta was home to Plains Indian tribes including the Plains Cree and those who made up the Blackfoot Confederacy. To the north of the province, some of the most prominent tribes were the Chipewyan and Woodland Cree.
About half of Alberta was part of Rupert’s Land when European settlers and traders entered the area. This land was controlled by the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1779, fur traders created the North West Company of Montreal in an effort to compete with the HBC.
In 1870, the HBC ceded Rupert’s Land to the Canadian government, at which point it became the Northwest Territories. In 1882, the Canadian government created the District of Alberta as a part of these territories. Settlement increased greatly over the next few decades. Following a campaign for autonomy, the District of Alberta was enlarged into a province in 1905.
In 2013, Alberta experienced such heavy rainfall that there was catastrophic flooding throughout most of the southernmost part of the province. Several communities were forced to evacuate, and twelve municipalities declared local states of emergency. In 2016, over 80,000 people were forced to evacuate due to a wildfire.
Alberta is the fourth-largest province in Canada. The other three more populous provinces are British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.
The southern border separates Alberta from Montana. To the north, Alberta is bordered by the Northwest Territories. To the east and west, the province is bordered by Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
The highest point in the province is at the summit of Mount Columbia. It rises to 3,747 meters or 12,293 feet. The Peace River is the largest river.
The majority of the northern portion of the province is made up of boreal forest. Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountains that exist along the southwestern boundary tend to be forested. The southernmost quarter of the province ranges from shortgrass prairie to mixed grass prairie. In the middle of the province is an aspen parkland region.
There are also badlands found in southeastern Alberta. These areas have multiple striking landforms and deep canyons. The badlands terrain is showcased by Dinosaur Provincial Park. This park also shows visitors the remnants from when dinosaurs roamed Alberta in the past.
The majority of Alberta has a humid continental climate. Since the province extends fairly far north and south, there is a variety in average temperature. Summers in the province tend to be warm, while the winters tend to be cold. Cold arctic weather can come down from the north, which can often lead to very cold winter conditions. Temperatures sometimes change very quickly due to air masses moving in from different areas.
In the mountains, the record high is 32 Celsius or 90 Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, in southeastern Alberta, the record high is 40 Celsius or 104 Fahrenheit.
In southwest Alberta, the average January temperature is 0 Celsius or 32 Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, in the far north, the average January temperature is -24 Celsius or -11 Fahrenheit. The Rocky Mountains also interrupt the wind flow and carrying of moisture, which causes Alberta to have a dry climate.
A boreal forest covers the majority of Northern Alberta. This area has a subarctic climate. Meanwhile, the agricultural portion of southern Alberta experiences a semi-arid steppe climate.
Alberta has one of the strongest economies in the world. Alberta’s per capita GDP in 2013 was greater than that of Switzerland, Norway, or the United States. It was also the highest of any Canadian province. The petroleum industry is the biggest portion of the economy, with agricultural and technology following behind.
Agriculture is an important part of Alberta’s economy. There are more than three million cattle in the province. In addition, Alberta is among the top producers of buffalo for consumption. Sheep are also raised for mutton and wool.
Alberta produces more synthetic crude, conventional crude oil, gas products, and natural gas than any other province in Canada.
About 81 percent of Alberta’s population lives in urban areas. The area between Calgary and Edmonton is among the most densely populated areas in Canada.
From 1901 to 2006, Alberta’s population increased from 73,022 to 3,290,350.
Alberta is one of the sunniest provinces. It’s estimated that there are between 1,900 and 2,600 hours of bright sunshine every year. In Northern Alberta, there are about eighteen hours of daylight in the summer months.
Alberta is the top beekeeping province in Canada.
Alberta Cities and Regional Municipalities Include:
|Airdrie||Calgary||Edmonton||Fort McMurray||Grand Prairie|
|Red Deer||Sherwood Park||Spruce Grove||St. Albert|