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Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
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September 27, 2018

As of July 1, 2018, Nova Scotia's population is estimated to be 959,942, an increase of 9,262 (1.0%) over the revised July 1, 2017 estimate (950,680). Population estimates released today are the first to be based on the 2016 Census population counts. These new estimates also take into account the 2016 Census net undercoverage and incompletely enumerated Indian reserves. 

Net international migration was the biggest positive contributor to population growth, with a net gain of 7,419 people in the province over 2017/2018. Net interprovincial migration was also positive, with a gain of 2,658, the second consecutive year of net interprovincial migration topping 2,500.  The trend of net natural population decline (births - deaths) continued, with a loss of 816 to total provincial population. 

The number of births (8,475) was outweighed by the number of deaths (9,291) over the 2017/2018 year. This was the sixth consecutive year of natural population decline.

The 2017/2018 year saw the second largest number of immigrants to the province on record, at 5,137, up from 4,357 last year and second only to an estimated 5,442 in 2015/2016. Returning emigrants numbered 664. Combined, these components far outweighed emigration of 1,100 and net temporary emigration of 257. In 2017/2018, there was an increase of 2,975 net non-permanent residents. 

Nova Scotia saw a larger number of interprovincial migrants arriving from other provinces (16,279) than migrants leaving for other provinces (13,711) in 2017/2018. This was the third year in a row with positive net interprovincial migration. Nova Scotia has not seen three consecutive years of positive net interprovincial migration since the early 1980s.

Interprovincial movements data show that of the 13,711 persons who left Nova Scotia for other provinces over 2017/2018, the majority left for Ontario (5,393), Alberta (2,804), and New Brunswick (1,796). 

Of the 16,279 persons who moved to Nova Scotia from other provinces, the majority came from Ontario (6,106), Alberta (2,657), and New Brunswick (2,254).  

In net terms, Nova Scotia saw population outflow in 2017/2018 only to Alberta (147). The largest net inflows came from Ontario (+713), Newfoundland and Labrador (+534), and New Brunswick (+458). British Columbia also contributed a net inflow of people to Nova Scotia (+455).

Note: Age Breakdown has not been released for July 1, 2018 at this time. It will be released in December 2018.

 Statistics Canada Cat. No. 91-215