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Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
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December 20, 2018

Nova Scotia’s population increased by 4,751 between July 1 and September 30, 2018.  The population as of October 1, 2018 was 964,693, the highest population for Nova Scotia on record. Since April 1, 2015 Nova Scotia's population has increased by 28,422.  This quarter's increase reflects an increase in immigrants and net interprovincial migration offsetting the natural population change.

There are seasonal patterns in quarterly population changes, particularly evident in births and international migration.  In recent years, the third quarter has shown strong population growth.  

Population growth in Nova Scotia is typically slower than the national average pace, though this quarter shows similar growth rates between the province and the national average.  In the last quarter, Nova Scotia’s population increased by 0.49 per cent compared to the July 1 estimate.  The national population grew by 0.50 per cent over this period.  Compared with October 1, 2017 Nova Scotia’s population has increased by 1.08 per cent, or 10,319, while the national population grew by 1.44 per cent.

In recent quarters, immigration from other countries has been a strong contributor to population growth in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia received 1,701  immigrants during the third quarter of 2018.  This is among the highest number of immigrants on record.

Nova Scotia’s natural population change (the number of births, less the number of deaths) has been negative for several years. Between July 1, 2018 and September 30, 2018, there were 2,234 births and 2,274 deaths, amounting to a natural population decline of 40. 

Interprovincial migration has historically shown a net outflow of Nova Scotia's population to other provinces.  Recent quarters have shown population growth through interprovincial movements. This quarter, Nova Scotia showed a net inflow interprovincially of 700 persons, with net inflows from six provinces. 

Outmigrants from Nova Scotia to other provinces was similar to the third quarter of 2017.  Out-migration to Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and BC slowed, while there were increases in the number of Nova Scotians leaving for all other provinces compared to the same quarter in 2017. 

In-migrants to Nova Scotia were largest from Ontario, Alberta, BC and New Brunswick.  New Brunswick and BC both saw an increase in people coming to Nova Scotia compared to the same quarter last year. 

Interprovincial migration to Alberta was a small outflow (14 persons). Three of the last four quarters have seen outflows to Alberta from Nova Scotia, although this quarter is the smallest outflow of the past four quarters. BC has shown a larger increase in net migration compared to previous years, a similar situation seen with Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Net nonpermanent residents can be a key component of quarterly demographic growth. In this quarter, Nova Scotia saw a net gain of 2,631 nonpermanent residents compared to Q2 2018 (April to June). This quarter typically sees the highest net nonpermanent resident change of any quarter in the year. 


 Statistics Canada Cat. No. 91-215

Quarterly Demographic Estimates, Statistics Canada. Pub 91-002-X (free)
Statistics Canada CANSIM tables: 17-10-0009-01 (Population estimates), 17-10-0020-01 and 17-10-0045-01 (Interprovincial Migrants), 17-10-0059-01 (Births and Deaths), 17-10-0040-01 (International Migrants)