Focus on Geography Series, 2011 Census

Province of Nova Scotia

Map of Canada with the province of Nova Scotia shaded in green

Map of Nova Scotia

Interactive version of map

In 2011, the enumerated population of Nova Scotia was 921,727 which represents a change of 0.9% from 2006. This compares to the national average of 5.9%.

The land area of Nova Scotia is 52,939.44 square kilometres with a population density of 17.4 persons per square kilometre. This compares to the national land area of 8,965,121.42 square kilometres with a population density of 3.7 persons per square kilometre.

In total, there were 390,279 private dwellings occupied by usual residents in Nova Scotia in 2011. This represents an increase of 3.6% of the number of private dwellings occupied by usual residents from 2006. For Canada as a whole, the total number of private dwellings occupied by usual residents increased 7.1%.

Population and dwelling counts

Canada, provinces and territories – Population, percentage change between 2006 and 2011

Table 1 Canada, provinces and territories – Population change, 2006 to 2011
Geographic name Population
2011 2006 Change % change % of nat. pop.
Canada  33,476,688 31,612,897 1,863,791 5.9 100.00
Newfoundland and Labrador 514,536 505,469 9,067 1.8 1.54
Prince Edward Island 140,204 135,851 4,353 3.2 0.42
Nova Scotia 921,727 913,462 8,265 0.9 2.75
New Brunswick 751,171 729,997 21,174 2.9 2.24
Quebec  7,903,001 7,546,131 356,870 4.7 23.61
Ontario  12,851,821 12,160,282 691,539 5.7 38.39
Manitoba  1,208,268 1,148,401 59,867 5.2 3.61
Saskatchewan  1,033,381 968,157 65,224 6.7 3.09
Alberta  3,645,257 3,290,350 354,907 10.8 10.89
British Columbia  4,400,057 4,113,487 286,570 7.0 13.14
Yukon 33,897 30,372 3,525 11.6 0.10
Northwest Territories 41,462 41,464 -2 0.0 0.12
Nunavut 31,906 29,474 2,432 8.3 0.10

Nova Scotia – Census metropolitan areas (CMAs), census agglomerations (CAs) and regions outside CMAs and CAs

In 2011, 65.1% of the population of Nova Scotia lived inside a census metropolitan area (CMA) or census agglomeration (CA). That represents 600,003 persons.


The number of persons living outside a census metropolitan area (CMA) and a census agglomeration (CA) was 321,724 which accounts for 34.9% of the provincial population.

Table 2 Nova Scotia - Metropolitan areas, population rank and population change, 2006 to 2011
CMA or CA name Type Population Rank
2011 2006 % change Nat. Prov.
Halifax CMA 390,328 372,858 4.7 13 1
Cape Breton CA 101,619 105,928 -4.1 36 2
Truro CA 45,888 45,077 1.8 67 3
New Glasgow CA 35,809 36,288 -1.3 78 4
Kentville CA 26,359 25,969 1.5 97 5

Nova Scotia – Census subdivisions, with 5,000-plus population with the highest population growth

Table 3 Nova Scotia – Census subdivisions, with 5,000-plus population with the highest population growth, population change, 2006 to 2011
Census subdivision (CSD) name CSD type Population
2011 2006 % change
Antigonish, Subd. A SC 8,253 7,730 6.8
Kentville T 6,094 5,815 4.8
Halifax RGM 390,096 372,679 4.7
Bridgewater T 8,241 7,944 3.7
East Hants MD 22,111 21,397 A 3.3

Nova Scotia – Census subdivisions, with 5,000-plus population with the lowest population growth

Table 4 Nova Scotia – Census subdivisions, with 5,000-plus population with the lowest population growth, population change, 2006 to 2011
Census subdivision (CSD) name CSD type Population
2011 2006 % change
Inverness, Subd. A SC 5,280 5,859 -9.9
Digby MD 7,463 7,986 -6.5
Yarmouth T 6,761 7,162 -5.6
Clare MD 8,319 8,813 -5.6
Kings, Subd. D SC 5,201 5,499 -5.4

Age and sex

Nova Scotia – Age distribution

Table 5 Nova Scotia – Age distributions by broad age groups and sex, 2011 Census
Age groups Both sexes Males Females
0 to 14 15.0% 15.9% 14.2%
15 to 64 68.4% 68.9% 67.9%
65 and over 16.6% 15.2% 17.9%

In 2011, the percentage of the population aged 65 and over in Nova Scotia was 16.6%, compared with a national percentage of 14.8%. The percentage of the working age population (15 to 64) was 68.4% and the percentage of children aged 0 to 14 was 15.0%. In comparison, the national percentages were 68.5% for the population aged 15 to 64 and 16.7% for the population aged 0 to 14.

Nova Scotia – Population by broad age groups and sex

Table 6 Nova Scotia – Population by broad age groups, sex and population change between 2006 and 2011, 2006 and 2011 censuses
Broad age groups by sex Population
2011 2006 change % change
Both sexes
Total 921,730 913,465 8,265 0.9
0 to 14 138,215 146,435 -8,220 -5.6
15 to 64 630,140 628,815 1,325 0.2
65 and over 153,375 138,215 15,160 11.0
Males
Total 445,590 439,830 5,760 1.3
0 to 14 70,775 74,500 -3,725 -5.0
15 to 64 306,885 305,915 970 0.3
65 and over 67,925 59,415 8,510 14.3
Females
Total 476,140 473,630 2,510 0.5
0 to 14 67,435 71,935 -4,500 -6.3
15 to 64 323,255 322,900 355 0.1
65 and over 85,445 78,795 6,650 8.4

Nova Scotia – Population by five-year age groups and sex

Table 7 Nova Scotia – Population by five-year age groups and sex, 2011 Census
Age groups Both sexes Males Females
Total - Age groups 921,730 445,590 476,140
0 to 4 years 43,980 22,565 21,415
5 to 9 years 44,420 22,660 21,765
10 to 14 years 49,810 25,555 24,260
15 to 19 years 57,440 29,235 28,205
20 to 24 years 59,620 30,055 29,560
25 to 29 years 51,920 25,405 26,520
30 to 34 years 51,545 24,470 27,070
35 to 39 years 56,380 26,840 29,545
40 to 44 years 62,115 29,890 32,220
45 to 49 years 76,280 37,010 39,270
50 to 54 years 77,460 37,465 39,995
55 to 59 years 70,955 34,200 36,755
60 to 64 years 66,430 32,310 34,120
65 to 69 years 48,920 23,840 25,080
70 to 74 years 36,395 17,305 19,095
75 to 79 years 27,655 12,460 15,195
80 to 84 years 20,015 8,040 11,975
85 to 89 years 12,735 4,300 8,435
90 to 94 years 5,900 1,645 4,255
95 to 99 years 1,545 300 1,240
100 years and over 200 30 165
Median age 43.7 42.7 44.6

Nova Scotia – Median age1 of the population in the last 90 years

The median age in Nova Scotia was 43.7 years. In comparison, the median age of Canada was 40.6 years.

Chart E: Nova Scotia - Median age of the population in the last 90 years

Chart E description: Nova Scotia - Median age of the population in the last 90 years

Table 8 Nova Scotia and Canada – Median age of the population, 1921 to 2011 censuses
Median age Census year
1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011
Canada 23.9 24.7 27.0 27.7 26.3 26.2 29.6 33.5 37.6 40.6
Nova Scotia 23.6 24.1 25.8 26.5 24.9 25.4 29.3 33.4 38.8 43.7

Families and households

In 2011, the number of census families2 in Nova Scotia was 270,065, which represents a change of 1.0% from 2006. This compares to a growth rate for Canada of 5.5% over the same period.


In Nova Scotia, 68.5% of census families were married couples in 2011, while 14.2% were common-law-couples and 17.3% were lone-parent families.

Family structure

Table 9 Canada, provinces and territories – Distribution of census families by family structure, 2011 Census
Geographic name Total families Married-couple families Common-law-couple families Lone-parent families % change, census families, 2006 to 2011
number % number % number %
Canada  9,389,695 6,293,950 67.0 1,567,905 16.7 1,527,840 16.3 5.5
Newfoundland and Labrador 159,385 114,335 71.7 20,630 12.9 24,420 15.3 2.3
Prince Edward Island 40,850 29,695 72.7 4,570 11.2 6,580 16.1 4.2
Nova Scotia 270,065 184,870 68.5 38,460 14.2 46,735 17.3 1.0
New Brunswick 224,590 152,455 67.9 35,945 16.0 36,190 16.1 3.1
Quebec  2,203,625 1,143,370 51.9 694,750 31.5 365,515 16.6 3.9
Ontario  3,612,205 2,612,890 72.3 394,670 10.9 604,645 16.7 5.5
Manitoba  327,875 232,635 71.0 39,060 11.9 56,185 17.1 4.8
Saskatchewan  285,375 202,770 71.1 35,785 12.5 46,825 16.4 6.7
Alberta  999,525 719,355 72.0 135,660 13.6 144,510 14.5 10.5
British Columbia  1,238,155 887,990 71.7 160,360 13.0 189,805 15.3 6.6
Yukon 9,330 5,080 54.4 2,340 25.1 1,915 20.5 11.9
Northwest Territories 10,930 5,465 50.0 3,135 28.7 2,330 21.3 0.5
Nunavut 7,780 3,035 39.0 2,545 32.7 2,195 28.2 10.5

Nova Scotia – Presence of children within couple families

Among couples (married and common-law) in Nova Scotia, 40.5% were couples with children aged 24 and under at home. In comparison, as a whole, 46.9% of couples in Canada had children aged 24 and under at home.

Among couples with children aged 24 and under at home in the province of Nova Scotia, 85.5% were intact families, that is, in which all children were the biological or adopted children of both parents, while 14.5% were stepfamilies, in which at least one child was the biological or adopted child of only one married spouse or common-law partner. For Canada as a whole in 2011, 12.6% of couples with children aged 24 and under at home were stepfamilies.



Nova Scotia – Marital status

In Nova Scotia, 57.8% of the total population aged 15 and over were either married (48.0%) or living with a common-law partner (9.8%).


The remaining 42.2% were not married and not living with a common-law partner, including those who were single (never-married), separated, divorced or widowed.


Note: Percentages may not total 100 percent due to random rounding.

Table 10 Canada, Nova Scotia – Population 15 years and older by marital status, 2011 Census
Marital status Nova Scotia Canada
number % number %
Total - Population 15 years and over 783,510 100.0 27,869,345 100.0
Married or living with a common-law partner 453,095 57.8 16,084,490 57.7
Married (and not separated) 376,020 48.0 12,941,965 46.4
Living common-law 77,075 9.8 3,142,525 11.3
Not married and not living with a common-law partner 330,420 42.2 11,784,855 42.3
Single (never legally married) 209,180 26.7 7,816,045 28.0
Separated 23,545 3.0 698,245 2.5
Divorced 46,060 5.9 1,686,035 6.0
Widowed 51,625 6.6 1,584,525 5.7

Nova Scotia – Types of private households

There were 390,280 private households3 in Nova Scotia in 2011, a change of 3.6% from 2006. Of these, 22.7% of households were comprised of couples with children aged 24 and under at home, a change of -8.1% compared with five years earlier.

Table 11 Canada, Nova Scotia – Distribution of households by household type, 2011 Census
Household type4 Nova Scotia Canada
number % number %
Total - Private households 390,280 100.0 13,320,615 100.0
Couple-family households with children5 88,450 22.7 3,524,915 26.5
Couple-family households without children6 128,065 32.8 3,935,540 29.5
Lone-parent family households7 42,445 10.9 1,375,450 10.3
One-person households 108,795 27.9 3,673,310 27.6
Multiple-family households8 5,495 1.4 268,060 2.0
Other households9 17,030 4.4 543,340 4.1

Nova Scotia – Size of private households

The average household size in Nova Scotia was 2.3 persons in 2011, compared to the Canadian average household size of 2.5 persons.

In Nova Scotia, the proportion of total private households with only one person has increased over time, while the proportion of larger households (five or more persons) has decreased.

Table 12 Nova Scotia – Proportion of total private households with one person and five or more persons, 1961 to 2011 censuses
Private household size 1961 1966 1971 1976 1981 1986 1991 1996 2001 2006 2011
One person 8.6 9.7 11.4 14.3 17.8 18.6 20.7 22.3 24.7 26.5 27.9
Five or more persons 35.8 34.2 29.8 22.8 17.3 13.8 10.6 9.2 7.5 6.4 5.8

Nova Scotia – Structural type of dwelling

In Nova Scotia, 66.7% of private households lived in single-detached houses and 4.6% lived in apartments in buildings that have five or more storeys. The rest lived in other types of dwelling structures.

Table 13 Canada, Nova Scotia – Distribution of private households by structural type of dwelling, 2011 Census
Structural type of dwelling Nova Scotia Canada
number % number %
Total - Structural type of dwelling 390,280 100.0 13,320,615 100.0
Single-detached house 260,435 66.7 7,329,150 55.0
Semi-detached house 19,450 5.0 646,240 4.9
Row house 9,175 2.4 791,600 5.9
Apartment, building that has five or more storeys 17,880 4.6 1,234,770 9.3
Apartment, building that has fewer than five storeys 56,485 14.5 2,397,555 18.0
Apartment, duplex 11,970 3.1 704,485 5.3
Other single-attached house10 705 0.2 33,310 0.3
Movable dwelling11 14,175 3.6 183,510 1.4

Language

Nova Scotia – Mother tongue

Chart J: Nova Scotia - Mother tongue and language spoken most often at home

Chart J description: Nova Scotia - Mother tongue and language spoken most often at home

Note: Counts for mother tongue as well as those for language spoken most often at home include single responses only.

In Nova Scotia, 91.8% of the population reported English only as mother tongue, 3.4% reported French only, and 4.1% reported only a non-official language, in 2011. In comparison, the national percentages were 56.9% for English only, 21.3% for French only and 19.8% for non-official languages only.

In 2011, 95.4% of the population spoke English only most often at home, 1.8% spoke only French, and 2.0% spoke only a non-official language. In comparison, the national percentages were 64.8% for English only, 20.6% for French only and 11.1% for only a non-official language.

Table 14 Nova Scotia – Mother tongue and language spoken most often at home, 2011 Census
Selected language Mother tongue Language spoken most often at home
number % number %
Total 910,615 100.0 910,615 100.0
English 836,090 91.8 868,765 95.4
French 31,110 3.4 15,940 1.8
Non-official language 37,090 4.1 18,510 2.0
Aboriginal language 4,715 0.5 2,775 0.3
Non-Aboriginal language 32,380 3.6 15,735 1.7
Multiple responses 6,335 0.7 7,405 0.8
Table 15 Nova Scotia – Mother-tongue retention, 2011 Census
Mother tongue Mother-tongue retention12
(in percentage)
Total retention; language spoken at home at least on a regular basis Complete retention; language spoken most often at home Partial retention; language spoken at home on a regular basis
Note: Counts for mother tongue and home language include single response of a language as well as multiple responses of a language with English and/or French.
English 99.8 99.7 0.1
French 67.2 47.1 20.1
Non-official language 78.4 54.3 24.1
Aboriginal language 85.2 57.5 27.7
Non-Aboriginal language 77.4 53.9 23.6

Nova Scotia – Non-official languages

In Nova Scotia, the three most common mother tongues were Arabic (0.7%), Mi'kmaq (0.5%) and German (0.4%), in 2011. In comparison, the most common mother tongues at the national level were Panjabi (Punjabi) (1.4%), Chinese, n.o.s. (1.3%) and Spanish (1.3%).

Table 16 Nova Scotia – The most common non-official language mother tongues, 2011 Census
Mother tongue Number Percentage of non-official language mother-tongue population Percentage of total population
Note: Counts for mother tongue and home language include single response of a language as well as multiple responses of a language with English and/or French.
Arabic 6,720 16.6 0.7
Mi'kmaq 4,840 12.0 0.5
German 3,525 8.7 0.4
Chinese, n.o.s. 2,845 7.0 0.3
Dutch 1,830 4.5 0.2
Spanish 1,675 4.1 0.2
Tagalog (Pilipino, Filipino) 1,390 3.4 0.2
Persian (Farsi) 1,230 3.0 0.1
Mandarin 940 2.3 0.1
Polish 870 2.2 0.1

Nova Scotia – Bilingualism

Table 17 Nova Scotia – Rate of English-French bilingualism by mother tongue and age groups, 2011 Census
Age groups Mother tongue
Total English French Non-official language
Note: Counts for mother tongue include single responses only. Consequently, the total excludes multiple responses.
Total 10.0 7.1 90.4 8.7
0 to 19 12.7 11.5 85.7 8.5
20 to 44 12.1 9.7 94.1 8.1
45 to 64 7.6 3.8 91.5 9.9
65 and over 7.1 2.5 87.0 8.7
Table 18 Nova Scotia – Knowledge of official languages, 2011 Census
Knowledge of official languages Number Percentage
Total 910,615 100.0
English only 814,670 89.5
French only 875 0.1
English and French 93,435 10.3
Neither English nor French 1,635 0.2

Symbols:

···
not applicable
excludes census data for one or more incompletely enumerated Indian reserves or Indian settlements. For further information, refer to Notes.
incompletely enumerated Indian reserve or Indian settlement. For further information, refer to Notes.
A
adjusted figure due to boundary change. For further information, refer to Content considerations.
E
use with caution. For further information, refer to Cautionary note.


Source:

Statistics Canada. 2012. Focus on Geography Series, 2011 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-310-XWE2011004. Ottawa, Ontario. Analytical products, 2011 Census. Last updated October 24, 2012.
 

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