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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Mike Milloy Planning and Development Officer
Tel: 902-424-8800Email:

September 27, 2017


Nova Scotia’s population increased by 1,853 between April 1, 2017 and July 1, 2017. The population as of July 1, 2017 stands at 953,869. This is the highest population estimate reported in Nova Scotia, surpassing the previous high of 952,016 reported as of April 1, 2017. Since July 1, 2016 Nova Scotia's population has increased by 5,251.                                                                                                                                                          

There are seasonal patterns in quarterly population changes, particularly evident in births and international migration. The most recent population increase of +1,853 is the second largest for the second quarter of the year since 2003, after the second quarter of 2016.

Population growth in Nova Scotia is typically slower than the national average pace. In the last quarter, Nova Scotia’s net population increase amounted to 0.19 per cent of the population as of April 1, 2017. The national population grew by 0.40 per cent over this period. Compared with July 1, 2016 Nova Scotia’s population has increased by 0.55 per cent while the national population grew by 1.22 per cent.

In recent quarters, immigration from other countries has been a strong contributor to population growth in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia received 1,206 immigrants during the second quarter of 2017. This is the third largest number on record for a single quarter, after the 1,849 and 1,621immigrants who arrived in Nova Scotia in the first and second quarters of 2016, both of which included an influx of Syrian refugees.

Nova Scotia’s ‘natural’ population change (the number of births, less the number of deaths) has been negative for several years, with the exception of the regular Q3 increase in births. Q1 is regularly the quarter with the lowest natural population change of the year, as a result of the regular Q1 decrease in births. Between April 1, 2017 and July 1, 2017, there were 2,050 births and 2,406 deaths, amounting to a natural population decline of -356.

Interprovincial migration has typically been a drain on Nova Scotia’s population. From April 1, 2017 to July 1, 2017 there was a net inflow of 295 interprovincial migrants to Nova Scotia. 

There has been a shift in patterns of interprovincial migration in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the second quarter of recent years. Outmigration from Nova Scotia to Alberta increased compared to the same quarter last year, but remained below the recent average. Outmigration to Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan also increased.

Among those coming to Nova Scotia from other provinces, there were notable increases in in-migration from Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec. There were notable decreases from Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.


In aggregate, net interprovincial migration inflows of population to Nova Scotia from Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador increased and the net outflows to British Columbia and Quebec turned to net inflows. The net inflow from Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan turned to net outflows.


Statistics Canada Cat. No. 91-215

Quarterly Demographic Estimates, Statistics Canada. Pub 91-002-X (free)
Statistics Canada CANSIM tables: 051-0005 (Population estimates), 051-0017 and 051-0045 (Interprovincial Migrants), 053-0001 (Births and Deaths), 051-0037 (International Migrants)

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