In her article, 'Descended from Heroes: The Frontier Myth in Rural Alberta'
Joanne Stiles notes three features to Alberta's post-WWII farming activity. The
reduced importance in percentage of provincial production, a decline in the
percentage of the province's overall population and increased centralization of
services (leading to more travel outside of rural districts for these services)
point to drastic changes in rural life.
Stiles points out that farmer's personal incomes have increased enormously in
this period but farmers are no longer the dominant class in Alberta. Her
assessment of this situation is that it gives rise to 'a powerful and remarkably
uniform myth of orgins' that has resulted in overly sentimentalized and
nostalgic recollections of rural life, no longer if ever accurate. There is a
tendency to portray early settlers as being self-reliant and inventive in
manufacturing and providing for their daily needs at home. The evidence shows
that the basics of daily life were more often purchased and further transformed
into useful products.
In general, Alberta's cities witnessed tremendous growth and affluence following
World War II. In the late 1940s, Red Deer's population was stable around 5000.
By the early 1970s it had grown to 26,000 residents and in the thirty years
since has increased to approximately 70,000. Town and city centres in the region
has all realized substantial growth and like the rest of the Alberta, the
region's population is concentrated in urban settlements. Further, the greatest
increases in growth are along the corridor that runs through the region between
Edmonton and Calgary. The mobility and proximity of rural communities to the
region's urban centres as well as Alberta's metropolitan areas increasingly
blurs the line between a distinct rural and urban life, although this been true
through the development of the region.