Alberta is an amazing and uniquely blessed province, as the recent federal census indicates. With our size, economic clout and population, as a province, we stack up quite favourably when comparing ourselves to entire countries in our weight class. Examining statistics as to where we would be ranked if we were a country is not only important for Albertans to realize, with respect to world issues, but it’s lots of fun, too.
For example, in the case of our land mass, Alberta contains 661,848 square kilometers of a myriad of climates from desert to frozen northland. That ranks us sixth in Canada behind Nunavit, Quebec, the Northwest Territory, Ontario and British Columbia. Our placing is rather humble in a twelve horse field until you consider the size of the rest of the world. The amount of property Alberta encompasses is a little bigger than Burma (676,578), Afghanistan (652,230) and France at 640,679. It’s almost twice as big as Japan (377,930), Germany (357,114) and Finland with 328,424. We’re almost three times as big as the UK who boasts a landmass of just 242,900 square kilometers for a ranking of 80th in the world. In fact, if we were a country, our size ranking would be a respectable 40th out of 249 identified countries and protectorates. Canada as a whole comes in third behind Russia and Antarctica.
With respect to our economic clout, as a province, nationally we are fourth in the field, behind Ontario with revenues around the $100 billion mark, Quebec at about $65 billion, and BC with forecast revenues of $41.9 billion for 2012, according to their governmental website. Alberta’s tally is a respectable $40.3 billion of revenue forecast for 2012 which is in their budget documents, also available online.
That’s not too bad, but where does that place us internationally? Again, it’s really quite impressive. With a budget that size, that puts us 52nd in the world in the company of countries such as Egypt (40.46 billion), Qatar (36,840) and even financial powerhouse Hong Kong at $36.62 billion. Canada was ranked eighth with revenues of $605,700 million. The seven countries ahead of us were the US, followed closely by China then Japan, Germany, France, Italy and the UK.
Population is one area where we may be disadvantaged, unfortunately in the short term but our growth has been leading the country. With a citizen base of a healthy 3,852,690 as of June 1st, according to Statscan, we appear to be growing like a weed. Nationally, we come in fourth behind Ontario, Quebec and BC. Compared to other countries, the results are surprising and thought-provoking. We’re no match for either China or India, of course, each with over a billion souls apiece. In fact, Canada as a whole has just 33.5 million or so which puts us 35th in the world. Alberta on our own,, however, are relatively under-populated compared to our economic and physical size. Alberta’s population, when compared with sovereign nations would put us at the 130th position behind Bosnia-Herzegovina. We’re in the company of such powerful nations as Moldova, Mauritania and Lithuania. Last on the list, by the way, was Pitcairn Island with a population of 66.
Looking at these figures in total, it is interesting to see where we rate compared to other places around the globe. It also serves as a great reminder how much stronger we are within Canada than we would be on our own.