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Exodus: Rural to Urban
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residential districtAlberta's cities witnessed tremendous growth and affluence following World War II. Largely owing to the baby boom and the oil boom, both Edmonton and Calgary grew from just over 100,000 people each in 1946 to over 400,000 by 1971. While Alberta was akin to all of North America in experiencing the baby boom, it also received thousands of people from other provinces and the United States, arriving to work in the oil industry.

Although this growth coincided with wealth and consumerism in Alberta's cities, this same period marked the beginning of an uncertain future for the rural portion of the province. The economic troubles of the depression in the 1930s had halted and even reversed the use of farm machinery. However, Bullwith renewed affluence, a shortage of labour and a drop in the price of equipment, the use of machinery on Alberta farms increased dramatically during World War II. Less labour and larger farms were needed to Three self-propelled combinesmake economically feasible the use of equipment such as tractors, combines and other new machinery. The development of better roads, new crop strains, fertilizers and pesticides also reduced the amount of labour required. As a result, the percentage of Albertans living in rural areas dropped from 67 percent in 1946 to only 31 percent by 1966.

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