War II oil and gas discoveries transformed Alberta's economy. Alberta's economy was
supported chiefly by the agriculture efforts of its inhabitants up until 1947.
There was also substantial support from Lethbridge coal, Athabasca forest
products, and Turner Valley oil.
A new source of
revenue for the province of Alberta was discovered at Leduc in 1947 and
Alberta's fortunes prospered. The Leduc oil strike was the culmination of many
years of effort to find oil outside of the Turner
Valley. By 1949 oil was found
at Woodbend and Redwater.
agriculture accounted for only 15 percent, while resource mining accounted for
40 percent of the province's economy. As a consequence of the oil and gas discoveries, Alberta became the
largest prairie province in terms of population.
By 1981, over
half of the West's population lived in Alberta. In addition, Albertans, new and
old, increasingly migrated to the province's urban centres. Both Edmonton and
Calgary found themselves experiencing large rates of population growth and increased