Government of Nova Scotia, Canada
Header - Service Directory

Use the Services Directory to quickly access information on all of the services provided by the NS Department of Finance.

Home > Economics and Statistics > Archived Daily Stats > Selected Archived Daily Stats Article
The Economics and Statistics Division maintains archives of previous publications for accountability purposes, but makes no updates to keep these documents current with the latest data revisions from Statistics Canada. As a result, information in older documents may not be accurate. Please exercise caution when referring to older documents. For the latest information and historical data, please contact the individual listed to the right.

<--- Return to Archive

For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email: thomas.storring@novascotia.ca

November 27, 2019
CLASSIFICATION OF THE FUNCTIONS OF GOVERNMENT, 2018

Statistics Canada has published details from Consolidated Government Finance Statistics for 2018 including consolidated results for provincial-territorial and local governments by nine functional areas of expenditure in consolidated provincial-local government spending: health care, education, social protection, general public service (which includes debt payments), economic affairs (which includes transportation), public order/safety, environmental protection, housing/community amenities and recreation/culture.  Details on defence spending are provided only at the Federal level.   Annual data correspond to the end of the fiscal year closest to December 31. For example, data for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2019 (fiscal year 2018/2019) are reported as the 2018 reference year.

These data are based on the international government financial statistical standard and, as such, may differ in their presentation from similar concepts reported in Public Accounts and other financial statements.  Statistics Canada's data allows for comparability across jurisdictions.

Total per capita expenitures by provincial-local government function add up to $14,127 in Nova Scotia, $88 per capita below the provincial-local government average in 2018.  The largest categories of expenditure were: health, education, general public services (including debt service costs), social protection and economic affairs (including transportation).  Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta and Saskatchewan reported the highest per capita expenditures while the lowest were observed in Ontario, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island.

Between 2008 and 2018, per capita provincial-local government spending increased by $3,099 on average across Canada.  The fastest growth was reported in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Alberta.  The slowest growth was observed in Prince Edward Island and British Columbia.  Per capita spending increased by $3,401 in Nova Scotia, above the national average.

Health care makes up the largest per capita expenditure function in every provincial-local government.  Nova Scotia's health expenditures of $5,373 per capita are above the national average of $4,672 per capita.  Hospitals and outpatient services make up the bulk of health care spending.  Nova Scotia's per capita expenditures are higher than average for hospitals ($3,863) and public health ($439 per capita) but lower for outpatient services ($612 per capita).  The highest health expenditures were reported in Newfoundland and Labrador while the lowest were reported in Ontario.

Note: n.e.c. refers to expenditures "not elsewhere classified".

Between 2008 and 2018, health expenditures increased by $1,048 per capita.  The largest increases were reported in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.  The smallest increases were reported in Ontario and Quebec.

Education is the second largest functional expenditure made by provincial-local governments.  Nova Scotia's education spending of $2,562 per capita is lower than the national average among provincial-local governments ($2,648).  Nova Scotia's lower spending on education is attributable to primary/secondary education ($1,384 per capita) and colleges ($249 per capita) while spending on universities ($891 per capita) were the highest in the country.  Per capita education spending was highest in Saskatchewan and lowest in British Columbia.

Education spending growth averaged $555 per capita over the 2008-2018 period.  The fastest per capita growth in education spending was reported in Saskatchewan Ontario while the slowest growth in education spending was reported in Newfoundland and Labrador and British Columbia.

Expenditures on social protection amounted to $1,379 per capita in Nova Scotia - lower than the national average of $1,931 per capita.  Expenditures on social protection exhibit a wide variation across Canada, with over $1,300 per capita difference from the lowest spending provincial-local government (Prince Edward Island) to the highest (Saskatchewan).  Some of this variation is explained by markedly different service levels across provinces; Saskatchewan's higher payments for sickness and disability is attributable to benefits provided under that province's public auto insurance program. 

Sickness/disability payments make up the largest portion of social protection expenditures in most jurisdictions, followed in some by children/family services and in others by expenditures to address social exclusion (including funding for low-income earners, refugees and homeless persons).  Nova Scotia's per capita expenditures on social exclusion were $453 per capita - above the national average of $402.

Between 2008 and 2018, per capita expenditures on social protection rose by $337.  The fastest increases were reported in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick while the slowest increases were reported in Prince Edward Island and Ontario.  Nova Scotia's expenditures on social protection increased by $271 per capita over the 2008-2018 period.

General public service expenditures were $2,103 per capita in Nova Scotia, including $994 per capita in public debt transactions, $585 per capita in general provincial-local government services and $193 per capita in executive/legislative/financial/fiscal affairs.  Nova Scotia's general public service expenditures are above the national per capita average because of general public service spending.  Nova Scotia has lower than average public debt transactions and lower than average spending in executive/legislative/financial/fiscal affairs.  The highest expenditures on general public services were in Newfoundland and Labrador (where general service spending was higher) as well as Quebec (where public debt expenditures are higher).  The lowest general public service expenditures were in Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia.

Spending on general public services has increased by $398 per capita from 2008-2018 with the fastest growth in Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec.  The slowest growth in general public service expenditures over this period was observed in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.  Nova Scotia's general public service spending increased by $389 per capita, just below the national average increase.

The economic affairs functional category includes expenditures in a wide range of activities.  Transportation is the largest provincial-local exepnditure on economic affairs across Canada, but it is not the largest expenditure in four provinces: Alberta (fuel and energy), Saskatchewan (agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting), Nova Scotia (general economic/commercial/labour affairs) and Prince Edward Island (also general). 

Overall per capita spending on economic affairs in Nova Scotia was $1,124 - below the national average of $1,501.  The highest expenditures on economic affairs were in Alberta, with its uniquely large expenditure on fuel and energy.  The lowest spending on economic affairs was reported in Manitoba. 

Over the most recent ten years, some provinces have reduced their per capita spending on economic affairs: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia.  National spending on economic affairs has increased by $426 per capita, led by increases in Ontario and Alberta.  Nova Scotia's spending on economic affairs increased by $75 per capita over this period. 

Expenditures on public order and safety were $745 per capita in Canada and $736 per capita in Nova Scotia.  Police services made up the bulk of these expenditures, followed by law courts and fire protection services.  The highest expenditures on public order and safety were reported in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (where prison spending was notably higher).  The lowest expenditures on public safety were in Prince Edward Island and Quebec.  Nova Scotia's expenditures on public safety were above the national average for police services and law courts and below average for fire protection and prisons.

Over the period from 2008 to 2018, expenditures on public safety increased by $148 per capita across Canada.  Spending in Manitoba and Saskatchewan grew fastest while spending in Quebec and Prince Edward Island reported the least growth.  Nova Scotia's spending on public safety increased by $184 per capita, faster than the national pace. 

Spending on recreation and cultural services was $385 per capita across Canada and $310 per capita in Nova Scotia.  Recreation and culture spending was higher in British Columbia, which has a larger expenditure on broadcasting/publishing services.  Prince Edward Island had the lowest spending on recreation and cultural services.

 

Provincial-local government spending on recreation and cultural services increased by $78 per capita from 2008 to 2018.  The fastest increases were reported in British Columbia and Nova Scotia.  Prince Edward Island reported declining per capita spending on recreation and cultural services and there was little change in Saskatchewan.

National spending on environmental protection was $314 per capita in 2018.  Nova Scotia's expenditures on environmental protection were $318 per capita.  Waste management and waste water management make up the largest portions of national expenditures on environmental protection.  Other environemntal protection expenditures are higher in Manitoba and Nova Scotia; these other expenditures includes administration, enforcement and data dissemination.

Between 2008 and 2018, expenditures on environmental protection increased by $78 per capita, led by gains in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.  There were declines in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.  Per capita spending on environmental protection increased by $14 in Nova Scotia, slower than the national pace of growth.

 

Spending on housing and community amenities amounted to $216 per capita nationally and $224 per capita in Nova Scotia.  Provision of water supply makes up the bulk of housing/community amenity spending in all provinces.   

Over the last ten years (2008-2018) provincial-local government spending on housing and community amenities has increased by $29 per capita nationally.  There were larger gains in Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.  Spending on housing and community amenities was down in both Alberta and Quebec.

Statistics Canada.   Table  10-10-0005-01   Canadian Classification of Functions of Government (CCOFOG) by consolidated government component (x 1,000,000),  Table  17-10-0005-01   Population estimates on July 1st, by age and sex



<--- Return to Archive