Halifax among fastest growing cities in Canada

The Halifax Regional Municipality grew by 4.4 per cent between July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022. (Dave Irish/CBC - image credit)
The Halifax Regional Municipality grew by 4.4 per cent between July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022. (Dave Irish/CBC - image credit)

Halifax was the second-fastest growing urban region in the country in 2022, after Moncton, N.B., according to new data from Statistics Canada.

The municipality grew by 4.4 per cent between July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022. According to the report, the majority of the influx comes from international migration and people moving to the city from other parts of Canada.

"It's very significant ... I've been involved in the Atlantic economy for 25 years, I've seen nothing like this before," Patrick Brannon, a senior researcher at the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, told CBC's Maritime Noon on Thursday.

"It's really a great thing to see that we're growing strongly and it's coming at a very important time because we've seen labour force decline, you have a lot of baby boomers that are retiring, so this addition to our future labour force is very important."

The report also noted a small increase in people leaving Halifax Regional Muncipality. The last time there was an increase in people leaving the city was in the 2003-2004 time period.

Robert Short/CBC
Robert Short/CBC

Kentville, Truro, New Glasgow and CBRM

Other urban regions in the province also so growth, including Kentville, Truro, New Glasgow and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

Kentville grew by 2.7 per cent, with more international migration and inter-provincial migration.

Truro grew by 1.8 per cent, with more international migration and inter-provincial migration.

New Glasgow grew by 1.3 per cent, with more international migration and inter-provincial migration.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality grew by 0.9 per cent. Much of this is due to international migration and people moving there from other parts of Canada. This is a big difference from the previous year's data, when international migration dropped dramatically, likely due to COVID-19 travel restrictions at the time.

Record-breaking growth

Outside HRM, Truro and CBRM, the rest of the province grew by 1.5 per cent between July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022. Most of that population growth is from people moving to the province from other parts of Canada and international migration.

In September, the province noted as of July 1, 2022, Nova Scotia had an estimated population of 1,019,725. This is an increase of 28,608 (2.89 per cent) from the previous year.

"In absolute and percentage terms, Nova Scotia's population grew faster last year than in any modern data series," provincial data noted.

Brannon says COVID-19 and the ability for people to work remotely likely played a part in more people moving to Nova Scotia from other parts of the country, but the province has been seeing "good growth before the pandemic as well."

He added that as more people move to the region, Nova Scotia still needs more housing availability and health-care supports.

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