News release

Nova Scotia Reaches One Million Population Milestone

Nova Scotia marks a major population milestone as the province surpasses one million people, following record growth since July 2021.

“Reaching the one million mark is a significant moment in our province’s history. After years of a declining population, the world is learning how special Nova Scotia is; we have momentum and are growing,” said Premier Tim Houston. “More people make us stronger in every way. We all benefit from this growth with a greater tax base, new businesses and jobs, greater diversity and culture and improved infrastructure. I ask our citizens, employers, communities, schools and workplaces to open their arms to new Nova Scotians and provide a warm welcome to all who choose our spectacular province as their home.”

A key priority for government, as identified in Ministers’ mandate letters, is economic growth. In collaboration across the government, with businesses, communities and other stakeholders, the Province is working to attract and retain more young people, entrepreneurs and skilled workers who deliver essential services such as healthcare, education and construction.

Immigration has played a large part in growing the population in Nova Scotia. The Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration continues to work with employers to find innovative ways to respond to current and emerging needs in occupations where there are shortages and help to streamline the immigration process.

To grow Nova Scotia’s population to two million by 2060, the Province aims to attract 25,000 newcomers per year through a combination of migration from other parts of Canada and strategic immigration efforts.

While Canada’s real-time population clock website is currently offline, Statistics Canada’s The Daily report for today, December 16, indicates Nova Scotia has surpassed one million.


Nova Scotia is steadily growing, and we want to encourage those living across the country and around the world to build a life in our beautiful province. With a growing population comes increased opportunities. Newcomers fuel our economy, fill labour gaps and enrich our communities. We look forward to welcoming new people to Nova Scotia with open arms and experiencing the benefits of newcomers in all parts of the province. Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration

Since moving here from Israel in 2020, I've rejoiced again and again over the spectacular natural beauty that is literally around every corner in Nova Scotia. But most of all, I love the people here. They are sincere, kind, friendly, with a lot of sensitivity to others' emotions and a genuine willingness to help anyone. That is the real treasure of our province. Bridgewater resident Sasha Raz

Quick Facts:

  • from January 1 to April 1, 2021, 5,696 people moved to Nova Scotia from other countries and other parts of Canada, and the province’s population grew by 2,877 – the largest increase in a first quarter since 1971
  • in 2020, the top five source countries for all landed newcomers to Nova Scotia were India, China, the Philippines, Korea and the United Kingdom
  • Nova Scotia’s current immigrant retention rate is 71 per cent, the highest in Atlantic Canada
  • the Province is preparing to launch a $2.5-million marketing initiative to support new provincial immigration and migration targets by attracting newcomers from across Canada

Additional Resources:

Statistics Canada’s The Daily report is available at: (page 20 references Nova Scotia’s population)

Mandate Letter of the Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration:

Nova Scotia Immigration: