General Facts

Nova Scotia at a Glance (2011)

(Sources: Statistics Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, Taxation; Fisheries & Oceans Canada; Nova Scotia Government;; Halifax International Airport Authority)


Lieutenant Governor: Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia: Brigadier-General The Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret'd)
Premier: Honourable Darrell Dexter

Nova Scotia was one of the four original provinces to join Confederation in 1867. Modeled on the British system, the province has what is known as a 'parliamentary democracy' form of government which ensures stability, security and continuity.


Nova Scotia

Population (June 2011 Estimates)
2001 2007 2008 2009 2010 (Sept 29)
932,454 935,794 936,737 939,124 942,506
Population by County (June 2011)
  2001 2006 2007 2009
Halifax 369,232 384,786 385,457 398,049
Shelburne 15,903 15,903 15,725 15,065
Yarmouth 27,549 26,917 27,047 26,021
Digby 20,070 19,382 18,904 18,217
Queens 12,020 11,446 11,555 11,247
Annapolis 22,331 21,871 21,501 21,477
Lunenburg 48,885 48,185 48,237 47,269
Kings 60,442 61,625 60,989 60,786
Hants 41,646 42,273 42,108 41,571
Colchester 50,631 51,284 51,238 51,902
Cumberland 33,439 32,747 32,347 31,995
Pictou 48,224 47,621 46,594 46,216
Guysborough 10,059 9,222 8,985 8,687
Antigonish 20,082 19,336 20,081 19,066
Inverness 20,443 19,427 19,148 18,427
Richmond 10,489 9,938 9,717 9,787
Cape Breton 112,092 108,285 106,666 104,928
Victoria 8,166 7,762 7,848 7,473

The Economy

Gross Domestic Product ($ Millions)
  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Market Prices 28,853 31,275 31,199 31,644 33,031 34,041 34,283
Chained (2002) Dollars 27,464 27,710 28,016 28,174 28,611 28,969 28,931


Gross Domestic Product by Industry ($ Millions Chained 2002)
  2007 2008 2009 2010
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting 681.8 700.3 707.1 753.2
Mining & Oil & Gas Extraction 793.0 830.1 662.6 559.0
Utilities 628.0 610.0 590.5 590.0
Manufacturing 2549.2 2468.8 2306.8 2464.6
Construction 1521.4 1476.8 1578.0 1588.6
Goods Producing Industries 6,173.4 6, 086.0 5, 845.0 5, 995.4
Transportation & Warehousing 1042.7 1062.3 1062.3 1099.8
Wholesale Trade 1239.4 1263.9 1225.8 1301.8
Retail Trade 1844.8 1884.2 1917.5  
Information & Culture Industries 928.6 944.3 940.0 1985.7
Finance & Insurance, Real Estate & Renting & Leasing & Management of Companies 5526.4 5642.3 5729.5 937.5
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 848.8 872.7 897.2 5878.9
Administrative & Support, Waste Management 578.3 609.9 620 898.2
Educational Services 1513.0 1575.4 1585.6 649.9
Health Care & Social Assistance 2259.5 2324.4 2371.3 1606.5
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation 169.6 165.7 165.0 2406.0
Accommodation & Food Services 627.4 641.8 637.3 165.9
Other services 655.3 663.6 672.6 637.3
Public Administration 2854.9 2898.1 2971.9 2971.9
Service Producing Industries 20,115.4 20,548.6 20,742.3 21,212.0
All Industries 26,215.5 26,582.3 26,490.4 27,046.3

* Figures may not add due to rounding


Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport, home to 27 air carriers and traffic of 3.5 million passengers annually, is the best-equipped airport in Atlantic Canada. It is the only airport in the region with a U.S. preclearance facility, making connections easier and giving passengers access to more U.S. airports. In 2010, Halifax Stanfield was rated by passengers as the Best Airport in the World in its class (under 5 million) for the seventh year in a row.

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.

Over 1000 kilometers (600 miles) of rail line are in service in Nova Scotia. 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. VIA Rail, Canada’s inter-city passenger rail service 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 joins with the New Brunswick TransCanada Highway to points in Canada and the United States. Acadian Lines provides a public bus service seven days a week that links to most major communities within the province.

There are many excellent harbor ports that dot the coastline of the province. Nova Scotia is home to several of the world’s finest and most sophisticated deep-water ports on the East Coast of North America. The province is ideally suited to 21st century sea-going trade and commerce, offering ice free harbors reaching depths of 18 meters at low tide. Nova Scotia features some of the most modern container terminals in the world, with on-dock rail services and the capability to handle the most varied ro-ro and dimensional load cargoes present.

Nova Scotia offers the shortest ocean voyage times for trade across the North Atlantic, through the Mediterranean, into the Suez and around the world. The province contains one of the very few eastern seaboard ports able to accommodate post-Panamax ships. With more than 20 direct container liner services as well as transshipment and feeder services, Nova Scotia plays a vital role in serving world markets.

Nova Scotia is part of the Canada/New England cruise corridor. More than 20 major cruise lines visit Nova Scotia ports of call. From the marquee ports of Halifax and Sydney, to the smaller ports of call, a variety of shore excursions will provide rich cultural experiences to suit every taste.


The Province of Nova Scotia covers an area of 55,500 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 7,400km, but the overall length of the Province is only 575km, while average width is 130km. No part of Nova Scotia is more than 56 km (35 miles) from the sea.

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 –6° Celsius in January to +18.6° Celsius in July. Rainfall on an annual basis averages 1,356.1 millimeters.

Oil and Gas Infrastructure

The Sable Offshore Energy Project (SOEP) is producing about 350 million cubic feet of natural gas per day carried by international pipelines to Canadian and U.S. markets. SOEP supplies the equivalent of up to 15 per cent of gas consumed in the northeastern United States. The SOEP includes the onshore Goldboro Gas Plant and a fractionation plant in Point Tupper on Cape Breton Island. The plant, located in Goldboro, occupies a 45 hectare site and has a processing capability of 17 million cubic metres per day.

Natural gas liquids from the Goldboro Plant are separated and transported via a buried pipeline to Point Tupper for fractionation. With a processing capability of 20,000 barrels of liquid per day, the liquids are separated into propane, butane and condensate.

The Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline, a joint venture of Spectra Energy, Emera Inc. and ExxonMobil, is a 1400 kilometer transmission pipeline system that provides direct access to the large northeastern United States market and has the capacity to handle gas from additional projects in Nova Scotia's offshore.

Encana's Deep Panuke Project involves the production of natural gas from an offshore field located approximately 250 kilometers southeast of Halifax. Natural gas will be processed on the offshore production field centre (PFC) and transported, via subsea pipeline, to Goldboro, Nova Scotia, for further transport to markets in Canada and the northeastern United States via the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline.

The gas processing system will include inlet compression, separation, sweetening, dehydration, export compression and measurement. Deep Panuke is considered a sour gas reservoir and sweetening equipment is required. First gas production is targeted for 2012, with a capacity for 300 million cubic feet per day.

With a competitive economic regime, proximity to North American markets and strong potential for additional commercial reserves, Nova Scotia offers a competitive advantage to offshore exploration and development.

Supply Community

Nova Scotia is home to Canada's first offshore natural gas discovery and first offshore oil production project. Nearly forty years of offshore exploration and production experience have allowed companies the opportunity to develop world-class expertise. The local labour force consists of skilled workers with a strong work ethic in virtually every trade.

The province's 300 energy service companies are recognized internationally for their expertise in training, engineering, construction, transportation, research and specialized services. They have been actively working on projects in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, West Africa and India. New markets of interest also include China, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America.

Education and Training

Nova Scotia enjoys more post-secondary institutions per capita than any other region in North America, with ready access to these institutions across the province. Programs include geology, petroleum operations, electrical technologies, marine trades and offshore safety and survival training. In fact, Nova Scotia has set the international standard for offshore safety training.

Our universities and colleges also offer energy workers tailor-made training in a variety of disciplines. A consultative approach is used to design customized programs for delivery in Nova Scotia or anywhere else in the world.

About Canada


Since confederation, Canada has evolved into a multicultural society that boasts a unique national culture of increasing diversity and greater inclusiveness, making it one of the most richly diverse populations in the world. This section provides statistical and other information on Canada's diverse population, past and present, including aboriginal, ethnic and visible minority communities.

  • Between 2006 and 2011, Canada's population grew by 5.9%, up slightly from the previous intercensal period (2001 to 2006), when it grew by 5.4%.
  • Canada's population growth between 2006 and 2011 was the highest among G8 countries, as was the case in the previous intercensal period (2001 to 2006).
  • Every province and most territories saw its population increase between 2006 and 2011.

Canadian population:

Canada is a democratic constitutional monarchy, with a Sovereign as head of State and an elected Prime Minister as head of Government.

Canada has a federal system of parliamentary government: Government responsibilities and functions are shared between federal, provincial and territorial governments.

Federal responsibilities are carried out by the Monarchy and the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of Government.

Links to Provinces and Territories: