Hal­i­fax falls be­hind na­tional rate


New cen­sus data shows the pop­u­la­tion of the metropoli­tan area of Hal­i­fax fell be­low the na­tional growth rate over the last five years.

Sta­tis­tics Canada re­leased the first batch of num­bers from the 2016 cen­sus on Wed­nes­day and the pop­u­la­tion of what the govern­ment agency refers to as the cen­sus metropoli­tan area of Hal­i­fax in­creased by 3.3 per cent since the last cen­sus in 2011.

The area’s growth rate was be­low the na­tional growth rate of 5.0 per cent, while the pop­u­la­tion of Nova Sco­tia in­creased by 0.2 per cent.

Cen­sus metropoli­tan ar­eas do not con­form to es­tab­lished mu­nic­i­pal bound­aries. Sta­tis­tics Canada de­fines them as a metropoli­tan area with a pop­u­la­tion of at least 100,000, where the ur­ban core of that area has at least 50,000 peo­ple. Com­mut­ing pat­terns and other fac­tors are used in de­ter­min­ing th­ese cen­sus metropoli­tan ar­eas. Look­ing at metropoli­tan ar­eas this way takes in to ac­count the grow­ing im­pact of sub­ur­ban ar­eas on Canada’s largest cities.

When the 2016 cen­sus was taken last May 10, the pop­u­la­tion of the cen­sus metropoli­tan area of Hal­i­fax was 403,390, com­pared with 390,328 from the 2011 cen­sus. The pop­u­la­tion of the ac­tual city of Hal­i­fax was 403,131, up from from 390,086 in 2011.

The cen­sus in­di­cated that Hal­i­fax ranked No. 13 among the coun­try’s 35 cen­sus metropoli­tan ar­eas.

Canada’s pop­u­la­tion on cen­sus day was 35,151,728, Sta­tis­tics Canada re­ported.

The na­tional cen­sus is con­ducted ev­ery five years. The in­for­ma­tion pub­lished Wed­nes­day is the first of sev­eral re­leases of data to come from Sta­tis­tics Canada over the next year that will even­tu­ally paint a de­tailed pic­ture of the coun­try, right down to the lo­cal level — in­clud­ing age break­downs of the pop­u­la­tion, fam­ily makeup, lan­guages spo­ken, im­mi­gra­tion and eth­nic ori­gin, the level of ed­u­ca­tion at­tained and in­come earned.

Fu­ture cen­sus re­leases will give more in­sight to ex­plain the rea­sons be­hind the pop­u­la­tion changes — whether it’s re­lated mostly to changes in birth and death rates, im­mi­gra­tion or in­ter­provin­cial mi­gra­tion.

At the pro­vin­cial level, pop­u­la­tion levels in Al­berta saw the high­est in­crease at 11.6 per cent, fol­lowed by Saskatchewan (6.3 per cent) and Man­i­toba (5.8 per cent).

Growth in New Brunswick shrank by 0.5 per cent — the first time since 2006 a prov­ince has re­ported a neg­a­tive growth rate.

Bri­tish Columbia’s pop­u­la­tion levels in­creased by 5.6 per cent, com­pared with On­tario (4.6 per cent), Que­bec (3.3 per cent), Prince Ed­ward Is­land (1.9 per cent), New­found­land and Labrador (1.0 per cent) and Nova Sco­tia (0.2 per cent). Among the north­ern ter­ri­to­ries, the pop­u­la­tion grew by 12.7 per cent in the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries, 5.8 per cent in the Nu­navut and 0.8 per cent in Yukon.

On­tario is still the coun­try’s most pop­u­lous prov­ince, with a pop­u­la­tion of 13,448,494. The pop­u­la­tion of other prov­inces and ter­ri­to­ries: Que­bec, 8,164,361; Bri­tish Columbia, 4,648,055; Al­berta, 4,067,175; Man­i­toba, 1,278,365; Saskatchewan, 1,098,352; New Brunswick, 923,598; New Brunswick, 747,101; New­found­land and Labrador, 519,716; Prince Ed­ward Is­land, 142,907; North­west Ter­ri­to­ries, 41,786; Nu­navut, 35,944 and Yukon, 35,874.

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