A municipal district is the most common form of all rural municipality statuses used in the Canadian Province of Alberta. Alberta's municipal districts, most of which are branded as counties, are predominantly rural areas that may include either farmland, Crown land or a combination of both depending on their geographic location. They may also include country residential subdivisions and unincorporated communities, some of which are recognized as hamlets by Alberta Municipal Affairs.
Municipal districts are created when predominantly rural areas with populations of at least 1,000 people, where a majority of their residential buildings are on parcels of land greater than 1,850 m², apply to Alberta Municipal Affairs for municipal district status under the authority of the Municipal Government Act. Applications for municipal district status are approved via orders in council made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under recommendation from the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Alberta has 64 municipal districts that had a cumulative population of 451,979 and an average population of 7,062 in the 2011 Census. Alberta's largest and smallest municipal districts are Rocky View County and the Municipal District (MD) of Ranchland No. 66 with populations of 36,461 and 79 respectively.
437 elected officials (eight mayors, 56 reeves and 373 councillors) provide municipal district governance throughout the province.
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