It is one of the ten provinces that, together with the three territories, make up the thirteen federal entities of Canada. Its capital is Edmonton and its most populous city, Calgary. It is located in the west of the country, bounded on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Saskatchewan, on the south by the United States and on the west by British Columbia. With 4 067 175 inhabitants. in 2016 it is the fourth most populated entity, behind Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.
Alberta has one of the strongest and most influential economies in Canada. The province is a large producer of oil and natural gas. Alberta produces about 70% of Canada's oil and natural gas. A large part of these natural resources is exported to the United States. In addition, agriculture, manufacturing, finance and tourism are also of great importance in the economy of the province.
The primary sector is responsible for 3% of Alberta's GDP. Agriculture and livestock - which were previously Alberta's main sources of income - together account for 2.92% of the province's GDP, and employ approximately 70,000 people. Alberta has about 55 thousand farms, which cover about 35% of the province. Fishing and forestry together account for 0.08% of the province's GDP and employ about 1,500 people together. Alberta is a national leader in the area of agriculture. The province has the largest cattle herds in Canada and one of the largest herds in North America. Alberta has a total of about 5 million heads of cattle. About half of all Canadian beef is produced in Alberta. The province is also the largest producer of bison meat in Canada. Alberta also has considerable herds of sheep, which are used mainly for wool production. Alberta is the largest national wheat producer in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. It is also a large rapeseed producer. On top of that, Alberta is a national leader in beekeeping.
Alberta's secondary sector accounts for 36% of GDP. The mining industry - based mainly on the extraction of oil, tar, coal and natural gas - corresponds to 19% of GDP, being the province's largest source of income. Mining employs a total of more than 85 thousand people. Alberta's other mineral resources are sulphur and salt. The manufacturing industry corresponds to 10% of the GDP of the province, employing about 140 thousand people. The products manufactured annually in the province have a total value of more than 14 billion Canadian dollars. The main products manufactured in Alberta are petroleum products, chemical products, processed foods and products derived from metals and wood. The construction corresponds to 7% of the GDP of the province, employing more than 130 thousand people. Alberta is the largest producer of fossil fuels in Canada; it produces more than 70% of the national production. Also one of the largest producers in the world. On top of that, Alberta has the largest bitumen reserves in the world. In fact, it is estimated that these bitumen reserves contain more than 1.6 trillion barrels of oil - more than in the rest of the world. Until the 1980s, the refinement of bitumen for the collection of oil was a very expensive task. However, several oil companies developed technologies and refining methods that reduced the production costs of the oil obtained through these bitumen reserves. On top of that, the recent increases in the price of a barrel of oil made the refining of bitumen in oil a particularly lucrative activity. Alberta is expected to produce more than 10% of North America's oil alone in 2010. The state's industrial capital is Edmonton, where most of the province's oil refineries are based. The total value of the natural resources produced in Alberta corresponds to 60% of the value of all natural resources extracted throughout Canada.
The tertiary sector of Alberta corresponds to 61% of the GDP of the province. Calgary hosts the main oil companies in the country (and other multinationals installed in the country), as well as various financial and telecommunications companies. The community and personal services correspond to 20% of the GDP of the province and employ about 602 thousand people. The financial and real estate services correspond to 16% of the GDP of the province and employ approximately 79 thousand people. Wholesale and retail trade corresponds to 9% of Alberta's GDP, employing 159,000 people. Transports and telecommunications correspond to 11% of Alberta's GDP, employing approximately 630 thousand people. Government services employ approximately 62,000 people and account for 4% of the province's GDP. Public utilities correspond to 3% of Alberta's GDP and employ about 12.5 thousand people. Nearly 50% of the electricity produced in Alberta is generated in coal-fired power plants, and 32% is produced in natural gas thermoelectric plants.
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