‘Nova Scotia Population Milestone’, Province Experiences Record Level Immigration

Source – theglobeandmail.com

  • “…Between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, nearly 10,000 more people came to Nova Scotia from other provinces or territories than left Nova Scotia – a dramatic shift in traditional population migration patterns in Canada. That eastward movement, some of it driven by people born in the province or who attended university there, is fuelling a new optimism about Nova Scotia’s future after six straight years of population growth”

Nova Scotia nears a population milestone as the province experiences record levels of immigration

Greg Mercer, November 23, 2021

Jatender Sachdev and his wife Poonam, daughter Saachi and son Ronith outside their home in Bedford, N.S., on Nov. 13.Carolina Andrade/The Globe and Mail

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Jatender Sachdev doesn’t need to consult immigration statistics to know that Nova Scotia is growing and changing. He just needs to go to Walmart.

Mr. Sachdev, who immigrated to Halifax from India in 2016, says the demographic transformation taking place in his adopted province is plain to see just by walking through his local shopping centre.

“I used to see one person who looked like me maybe once every 15 times I would go to Walmart. Now, I see them in every aisle, I see them at the counters. The change has been dramatic.”

As part of an unprecedented period of growth for Atlantic Canada’s most populous province, record levels of immigration have helped push Nova Scotia to the brink of a historic population milestone: the one million mark. According to Statistics Canada’s population clock, a real-time model that measures births, deaths, domestic migration and immigration, the province is fewer than 600 people away from that goal.

“It’s a major psychological milestone,” said Tom Urbaniak, a professor of political science at Cape Breton University. “In some communities in Nova Scotia, there will be a buzz around this, because the prevailing paradigm had been one of stagnation and in some cases decline. This represents a change in the narrative.”

In 2013, just 1,474 immigrants landed in Nova Scotia. This year, it’s expected that number will be somewhere near 7,000. Mr. Sachdev says he’s watched Halifax transform in just a few short years from a relatively quiet East Coast city to an increasingly diverse, energized urban centre of half a million people where new condo towers and construction cranes are popping up all the time. Nova Scotia populationTotal population, 1971-2019750,000800,000850,000900,000950,0001,000,000197119751979198319871991199519992003200720112015797294THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: datacommons.org; statistics canadadatashare×

dateNova Scotia Count_Person
1971-01-01797294
1972-01-01802255
1973-01-01812386
1974-01-01818751
1975-01-01826549
1976-01-01835166
1977-01-01840028
1978-01-01844628
1979-01-01849396
1980-01-01852659
1981-01-01854871
1982-01-01859038
1983-01-01868289
1984-01-01877471
1985-01-01885848
1986-01-01889087
1987-01-01893606
1988-01-01897216
1989-01-01903841
1990-01-01910451
1991-01-01914969
1992-01-01919451
1993-01-01923925
1994-01-01926871
1995-01-01928120
1996-01-01931327
1997-01-01932402
1998-01-01931836
1999-01-01933784
2000-01-01933821
2001-01-01932494
2002-01-01935179
2003-01-01937717
2004-01-01939664
2005-01-01937926
2006-01-01937882
2007-01-01935115
2008-01-01935897
2009-01-01938208
2010-01-01942107
2011-01-01921727
2012-01-01943635
2013-01-01940434
2014-01-01938545
2015-01-01936525
2016-01-01923598
2017-01-01950401
2018-01-01959500
2019-01-01971395

Nova Scotia population

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On top of record levels of immigration, there’s been a dramatic increase in interprovincial migration to Nova Scotia, particularly among people leaving Ontario, Quebec and the Western provinces during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, nearly 10,000 more people came to Nova Scotia from other provinces or territories than left Nova Scotia – a dramatic shift in traditional population migration patterns in Canada.

That eastward movement, some of it driven by people born in the province or who attended university there, is fuelling a new optimism about Nova Scotia’s future after six straight years of population growth.

“Nova Scotians have always been wanderers. But we also have an incredible homing device. We want those people to come back,” said Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston. “I think people are starting to reassess their quality of life, and they’re starting to clue in to what we have here, and are saying, ‘That’s what I want.’ ”

Population growth is a major plank of Mr. Houston’s Tory government, which wants to double the number of Nova Scotians to two million by 2060. The Premier acknowledges that won’t come without challenges, particularly around keeping housing prices affordable, building enough schools and helping all those newcomers find family doctors – an issue that played no small role in the August provincial election.

Mr. Houston says he’s focused on “planned growth,” and has introduced tax breaks for tradespeople under 30, designed to keep them in the province and maintain a skilled labour force able to address shortages in the housing supply. His government has also launched a recruitment program to lure more doctors and nurses.

“We know that a lot has to happen to prepare our communities for that growth. When new people get here, they need to have a doctor, they need to have confidence in the education system, and they need to be able to afford housing,” he said. “We’ve never really had a plan for population growth before, and we’re trying to learn from those mistakes.” Net interprovincial migration to Nova ScotiaAnnual number of people ages 18-64, 1971-2020-4,000-3,000-2,000-1,00001,0002,0003,0004,0005,0006,0007,0008,000197119751979198319871991199519992003200720112015Positive targetNegative target-190THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: one nova scotiadatashare×

YearNet
1971-01-01-190
1972-01-013511
1973-01-01983
1974-01-011794
1975-01-012667
1976-01-01-630
1977-01-01-298
1978-01-01-183
1979-01-01-1792
1980-01-01-2069
1981-01-01-1624
1982-01-012950
1983-01-013040
1984-01-011930
1985-01-01-898
1986-01-01-1047
1987-01-01-1659
1988-01-01194
1989-01-0156
1990-01-01-328
1991-01-01-11
1992-01-01-36
1993-01-01-1438
1994-01-01-2296
1995-01-01-1069
1996-01-01-1319
1997-01-01-1887
1998-01-01-101
1999-01-01-334
2000-01-01-1688
2001-01-01-625
2002-01-01272
2003-01-01-613
2004-01-01-2358
2005-01-01-2600
2006-01-01-3996
2007-01-01-1975
2008-01-01-1214
2009-01-01304
2010-01-01-199
2011-01-01-2487
2012-01-01-2970
2013-01-01-2488
2014-01-01-2422
2015-01-01360
2016-01-011840
2017-01-012017
2018-01-012531
2019-01-014293
2020-01-017625

Net interprovincial migration to Nova Scotia

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The Premier says it helps that the new federal Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, is from rural Nova Scotia, and understands how important newcomers are to the economic future of small towns such as those scattered around his province.

The trend in remote work, and a growing creative, entrepreneurial class in Nova Scotia also bodes well for future growth, Prof. Urbaniak says. There’s less reliance on the big, government-subsidized projects of the past that have created boom-and-bust cycles.

In Halifax, the growth is alreadyputting pressure on the expanding city. And it’s forcing Nova Scotians to adjust some long-held attitudes about people who “come from away” versus lifelong “Bluenosers,” Prof. Urbaniak said.

“Halifax is now a major city, and it’s grappling with big city problems like urban sprawl, public transportation and development charges. We also have to do away with this artificial distinction between people who have settled here recently and people who can claim multigenerational roots in Nova Scotia.”

Many of Nova Scotia’s international arrivals, such as Mr. Sachdev, are coming through the provincial nominee program, which allows the government to fast-track immigrants in certain sectors. That program has grown significantly in the past decade, to 1,900 people last year from just 23 nominees in 2003.

The federal Atlantic Immigration Pilot program, which helps employers in Atlantic Canada hire foreign skilled workers, has also doubled the number of people it’s bringing to Nova Scotia since it began in 2018, to 1,617 last year.

Mr. Sachdev, a father of two who runs a busy real-estate business selling homes to new Canadians, said many immigrants are attracted to Halifax as a safer, more affordable and less hectic alternative to larger cities. That’s what drew him and his wife five years ago, and now they can’t imagine living anywhere else.

“When we first came, we thought, okay, we’ll try it for two or three years. Now we have two kids, we have more time with family, and we love living here.”

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-nova-scotia-nears-a-population-milestone/