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Fort McMurray is located in Northern Alberta, on top of the largest oil sand deposits in the world – the Athabasca Oil Sands. It is a multicultural community, attracting people from all corners of the country and the world.

About fifty per cent of immigrants in Fort McMurray are Albertans, followed by seventeen per cent coming from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Fort McMurray had a population of 61,374 according to the 2011 Census; a 28.7% change from its 2006 population of 47,705.

In 2012, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s municipal census reported a population of 72,944 in Fort McMurray, which includes permanent and non-permanent populations of 70,964 and 1,980 residents respectively..

The city is a classic boomtown, where industry is dominated by one industry and population growth is sensitive to external economic factors like the price of oil.

Fort McMurray can be broken in two areas relative to the Athabasca River.  The portion southeast of the Athabasca River, colloquially known as “the Hill”, is predominately the older part of the city; the region north of the river is the newer residential area geared towards the middle and higher class residential housing. In addition to these, the development of the oil sands made mobile homes and apartments more prominent in the cultural landscape of Fort McMurray.