Alberta is the second westernmost province within Canada. In 2010, the estimated population was 3.7 million which made it the most populous of the 3 Prairie Provinces. On the first of September, 1905, the province of Alberta and its neighbor Saskatchewan became officially established as provinces.
Alberta is bounded by Saskatchewan towards the east and wonderful British Columbia forms the western border. Towards the north lie the Northwest Territories and the U.S. State of Montana lies towards the south. Alberta is 1 among only 2 provinces which are landlocked and it is 1 of 3 Canadian provinces and territories to border one U.S. state.
Edmonton is the capital city of the province. The city of Edmonton is the province's primary service and supply hub for the Canadian oil sands and other northern resource industries. This is mainly due to the city being located near the geographical centre of the province of Alberta. The city of Calgary is another large city which is roughly 300 kilometres and 190 miles to the south. Both of these two metropolitan regions have exceeded 1 million inhabitants according to the latest census estimates.
Thanks in part to the large petroleum business, the economy within Alberta is one of the strongest within the country, with technology and agriculture following suit. In the year 2007, the GDP per capita was the highest of any province by far in Canada coming in at $74,825. This number was higher than the national average of $46,441 by 61% and compared to some of the Atlantic Provinces it was twice as much. The census of 2006 recorded the median annual family income after taxes to be $70,986 in the province of Alberta as opposed to the $60,270 Canadian average.
The province's most urbanized region is the corridor between Calgary and Edmonton, which makes up among the densest regions in Canada. The area covers over 400 kilometers from its northern boundary to the south. The Calgary-Edmonton Corridor had a population in 2001 of 2.15 million that was seventy-two percent of Alberta's populationthe population of Albertathe province of Alberta. This is one of the fastest growing places in the country. Based on the Fraser Institute, Alberta is rated as the freest economy in Canada and along with its economic freedom; it is the 2nd freest economy among US states and Canadian provinces.
Alberta is the largest producer of conventional crude oil, synthetic crude, natural gas and gas products in Canada. Furthermore, Alberta rates as the 2nd largest exporter of natural gas and the 4th largest producer. Two of the top producing petrochemical plants in North America are situated within north-central and central Alberta. There are likewise world class polyethylene and vinyl makers who make products in Edmonton and Red Deer and ship to all around the world. The raw materials for a huge petrochemical industry located to the east of Edmonton are provided by Edmonton's oil refineries.
The Athabasca oil sands have an estimated 254 km3 or 1.6 trillion barrels of unconventional oil reserves, that is roughly the amount of all conventional oil reserves which could be found in the rest of the globe. There are new extraction methods being developed in the province of Alberta such as the method of steam assisted gravity drainage. This advancement has made bitumen and synthetic crude oil able to be produced at prices similar to those of conventional crude.