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General Facts

Nova Scotia at a Glance (2006)
(Sources: Statistics Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, Taxation; Fisheries & Oceans Canada; Nova Scotia Government;

Lieutenant Governor: Honourable Mayann E. Francis
Premier: Honourable Rodney MacDonald

Nova Scotia is one of four Atlantic Provinces located on the eastern coast of Canada. It was one of the four original provinces to join Canada in 1867.


Population (July 1 Estimates)

Nova Scotia

1986 1996 2001 2006
889,326 931,413 932,389 934,405

In 2006 the provincial population was 2.9% of the total Canadian population. The population density was 17.7 persons per square kilometre.

Population of RegionalMunicipalities and Towns – 5,000+ (July 1 Estimates)

  1996 2001 2006
Halifax RGM 351,556 369,011 382,153
Cape Breton RGM 117,370 108,708 103,538
Queens RGM 12,680 12,008 11,736
Truro 12,224 11,762 11,390
New Glasgow 10,035 9,680 9,409
Amherst 9,903 9,712 9,670
Bridgewater 7,745 7,763 7,739
Yarmouth 7,527 7,825 8,068
Kentville 5,690 5,759 5,891
Stellarton 5,084 4,963 4,829

The Economy

Gross Domestic Product ($ Millions)

  1996 2000 2005
Market Prices 19,512 24,658 31,344
Chained (1997) Dollars 19,529 22,970 25,534


Gross Domestic Product by Industry ($ Millions Chained 1997)

  2000 2005
Goods Producing 4,980 5,432
Other Primary 608 678
Mining & Oil & Gas Extraction 581 622
Utilities 500 564
Manufacturing 2,130 2,232
Construction 1,161 1,336
Service Producing 15,803 17,953
Transportation & Warehousing 960 1,001
Trade 2,395 2,723
Finance,Insurance,Real Estate, & Renting & Leasing 4,366 5,063
Community, Business & Personal Services 5,338 6,204
Public Administration 2,244 2,391
Other Service 501 571
Total * 20,860 23,385

* Figures may not add due to rounding


Halifax International Airport, which ranks as the seventh busiest airport in Canada, is the best-equipped airport in Atlantic Canada. Services operating out of the Halifax International Airport offer regular flights to all Canadian destinations as well as international service to Boston, New York (Newark and JFK), Detroit, Bermuda, London and points beyond. In 2005, seven cargo services provided service from Halifax to various points including Europe and Asia. Major airports with service connecting to all key Atlantic Canadian destinations are also located in Yarmouth and Sydney. Numerous smaller facilities are located throughout the province to serve private craft and flying clubs.

CN operates the primary inland rail connection linking regional and international shippers to markets throughout Canada and the United States. In addition, CN offers access to an extensive intermodal service through its Halifax Richmond Terminal and service to two container terminals. There are two shortline railways under provincial jurisdiction providing service to regional and local shippers. The Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway (CB&CNS) operates from Sydney to Truro where it interchanges with CN. The Windsor and Hantsport Railway (WHRC) operates between Windsor Junction and New Minas, connecting with CN in Windsor Junction. VIA Rail operates the Ocean, a six-day a week transcontinental passenger rail service, between Halifax and Montreal.

There are approximately 23,000 kilometers of highways in Nova Scotia. The TransCanada and 100-series highways are all-weather, mostly controlled-access and high speed system that join with the New Brunswick TransCanada Highway to points in Canada and the United States. Highway 104 includes a section of four lane toll highway. Acadian Lines provides a public bus service seven days a week that links to most major communities within the province. Over 653,000 people have road motor vehicle operator’s licences, and total vehicle registration in fiscal 2005 numbered 545,545.

Numerous ports dot the coastline of the province. The Port of Halifax is one of the world’s finest and most sophisticated deep-water ports and is ideally suited to 21st century sea-going trade and commerce. It offers a 21 metre-deep ice free harbour with easy approaches and two of the most modern container terminals in the world, each with on-dock rail service and the capability to handle the most varied ro-ro and dimensional load cargoes, as well as the largest container ships. Handling about 14 million tonnes of cargo a year, the Port of Halifax is the first westbound and last eastbound port of call on the continent, offering the shortest ocean voyage times for trade across the North Atlantic, through the Mediterranean, into the Suez and around the world. Cruise Ship activity at the Portof Halifax in 2005 was 108 vessels carrying over 188,000 passengers. Car/passenger ferry service connects between Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; Port-aux-Basques and Argentia, Newfoundland to North Sydney, NovaScotia; Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia; and between Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island and Caribou, Pictou County, Nova Scotia.


The Province of Nova Scotia covers an area of 55,000 sq. km. The mainland part of the Province is connected to New Brunswick and the remainder of Canada by the 28 km. Isthmus of Chignecto. Cape Breton Island is joined to the mainland by the Canso Causeway. Nova Scotia is located at 59° to 67° Longitude and 43° to 48° Latitude. This places Halifax, the capital city, south of Paris, Vienna, Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon. The coastline stretches for 7,400 km, but the overall length of the Province is only 575 km, while average width is 130 km.

Halifax is…
4365 km (2713 miles) southwest of Aberdeen, Scotland
4631 km (2877 miles) southwest of London,UK
3238 km (2012 miles) northeast of Houston,Texas, U.S.
4317 km (2683 miles) northeast from Mexico City, Mexico


Average daily temperatures at Halifax range from – 4.6° Celsius in January to + 17.5° Celsius in July. Rainfall on an annual basis averages 1,178.1 millimeters.

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