Canada >> Provinces >> Nova Scotia

Population of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. The province’s mainland is the Nova Scotia peninsula, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and including numerous bays and estuaries. Nova Scotia is the seventh most populous province of Canada and It’s the second smallest province by area.  As per the Canada Census Bureau, the population of Nova Scotia in 2021 is 969,383 and its estimated population in 2024 is  1,066,416 or 1 million.

Source: Statistics Canada

Nova Scotia Population 2016-2021

Nova Scotia has a population growth rate of 5% during 2016-2021. It has population increase of 45,785 since 2016. 

Nova ScotiaCensus 2021
Total Population969,383 
Percentage Change since 20165%
Population Rank7th
Total Land Area52,825 sq. km (20,441 sq mi)
Area Rank12th
Population Density18.4/km2 (47.6/sq mi)
Capital CityHalifax
Largest CityHalifax

Source: Statistics Canada

Nova Scotia Historical Population

Nova Scotia has a population growth rate during 2016-2020 of 7.41%. In 1901 Population of Nova Scotia was 0.27 million & Year 2021 it reached 1 million, an increase of almost 1 million. Let’s look at population & percentage change from the Year 1851 to 2021.

Year Population Actual Change Percentage Change
1851 276,854
1861 330,857 54,003 19.51%
1871 387,800 56,943 17.21%
1881 440,572 52,772 13.61%
1891 450,396 9,824 2.23%
1901 459,574 9,178 2.04%
1911 492,338 32,764 7.13%
1921 523,837 31,499 6.40%
1931 512,846 -10,991 -2.10%
1941 577,962 65,116 12.70%
1951 642,584 64,622 11.18%
1956 694,717 52,133 8.11%
1961 737,007 42,290 6.09%
1966 756,039 19,032 2.58%
1971 788,965 32,926 4.36%
1976 828,570 39,605 5.02%
1981 847,442 18,872 2.28%
1986 873,175 25,733 3.04%
1991 899,942 26,767 3.07%
1996 909,282 9,340 1.04%
2001 908,007 -1,275 -0.14%
2006 913,462 5,455 0.60%
2011 921,727 8,265 0.90%
2016 923,598 1,871 0.20%
2021 969,383 45,785 5%

Source: Statistics Canada

Nova Scotia Ethnic composition

The ethnic origin most often reported in Nova Scotia was Canadian followed by Scottish, English, Irish, French & German. European origins (84.7%) are the most common and prevalent among the population of Nova Scotia. Aboriginals are 5.5% of Nova Scotia’s Population. First Nations, Metis, and Inuit are major Aboriginal people groups. Almost 9.8% of the population of Nova Scotia belongs to a visible minority group. The main Visible minority communities are Black, South Asian, Chinese, Filipino, Latino, and Arab.

Top cities in Nova Scotia by population

Halifax is the capital and largest municipality of  Nova Scotia and the largest municipality in Atlantic Canada As of 2021, it has a population is 439,819 people. Next comes Cape Breton which is  Nova Scotia’s second-largest municipality and the economic heart of Cape Breton Island. As of 2021, the municipality has a population of 93,694. It’s followed by Kings (47,918), Colchester (36,044), and Lunenburg (25,545).

#City/TownPop 2021
1Halifax439,819
2Cape Breton93,694
3Kings47,918
4Colchester36,044
5Lunenburg25,545
6East Hants22,892
7Pictou20,676
8Cumberland19,964
9West Hants19,509
10Annapolis18,834
11Antigonish15,101
12Inverness13,239
13Truro12,954
14Chester10,693
15Queens10,422
16Yarmouth10,067
17New Glasgow9,471
18Amherst9,404
19Bridgewater8,790
20Richmond8,509

Source: Statistics Canada 2021

Nova Scotia Population 2024 | Top Cities in Nova Scotia