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  #201  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2014, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post

The 10 Largest Counties by Population in the Maritime Provinces (2013):

1- Halifax (NS)………………408,714
2- Westmorland (NB).……149,921
3- Cape Breton (NS)………100,823
I'm surprised to see CB at #3; what are the significance of counties these days anyways? I don't believe taxes are distributed based on county population, but instead by LSD, Village, Town and City. I'll stand corrected.
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  #202  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2014, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Walk then Run View Post
I'm surprised to see CB at #3; what are the significance of counties these days anyways? I don't believe taxes are distributed based on county population, but instead by LSD, Village, Town and City. I'll stand corrected.
Granted, in NB and PEI (at least), counties have no politcal jurisdiction any more, but they still serve as meaningful and easily recognizable geographic boundaries and are used as census subdivisions for the purposes of Statistics Canada. Statistics are often accumulated based on county subdivisions.

In NS, Halifax and Cape Breton are now considered as "regional municipalites" rather than counties, but for Stats Can purposes, they amount to the same thing.
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  #203  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2014, 12:58 AM
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An interesting thing to note is that Fredericton is actually in both York and Sunbury counties (a small portion of the eastern part of the city on the south side falls within in Sunbury County).
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  #204  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2014, 11:50 AM
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An interesting thing to note is that Fredericton is actually in both York and Sunbury counties (a small portion of the eastern part of the city on the south side falls within in Sunbury County).
Interesting...makes you wonder if county boundaries should be redrawn / created, but I have a strong feeling there is no political will, or for that matter money.
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  #205  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2014, 1:28 PM
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It would be a huge job for absolutely no benefit. MonctonRad is right that StatsCan uses them as a geographic boundary for some things, but hardly everything.
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  #206  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2014, 4:24 PM
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OK, let's take these county stats a little further:

The resource that I'm using also provides county populations from 2002 which we can use as comparisons. Why they used 2002 estimates rather than 2001 StatsCan census figures I'm not sure, but this is a reliable source - so whatever……..

There are 36 counties in the three Maritime provinces (NS-18, NB-15, PEI-3)

Over the course of this 11 year time interval:

- 4 NS counties gained population (14 counties lost population).
- 5 NB counties gained population (10 counties lost population).
- 2 PEI counties gained population (1 county lost population).

The top 10 counties for population growth (2002-2013) are:

- Halifax (NS)……………………..+34,307
- Westmorland (NB)…….……..+19,851
- Queens (PEI)…………….….……+10,033
- York (NB)…………………..……….+9,422
- Kings (NB)……………..…………..+3,376
- Albert (NB)……………..………….+1,681
- Sunbury (NB)………….…………..+1,421
- Hants (NS)………………..…………+1,670
- Colchester (NS)…………..…………+658
- Kings (NS)………………..……………+473

County growth is of course driven by city growth, so it appears that the cities driving this growth are Halifax, Moncton, Fredericton and Charlottetown.

Outside the central counties in NS, the entire remainder of that province is losing population.
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Last edited by MonctonRad; Aug 4, 2014 at 4:44 PM.
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  #207  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2014, 4:38 PM
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Top 10 Counties for Population Loss in the Maritimes (2002-2013)

- Cape Breton (NS)…………………-10,194
- Gloucester (NB)……….…………….-7,419
- Northumberland (NB)…………….-4,728
- Restigouche (NB)……………………-4,579
- Madawaska (NB)…….………………-3,084
- Inverness (NS)……………………….-2,758
- Digby (NS)……………………………..-2,378
- Yarmouth (NS)…………………….….-2,308
- Cumberland (NS)……………….……-2,202
- Victoria (NB)……………………………-1.991

The top six counties for population loss in the region are located in either Cape Breton or northern NB. The next two are in southwestern NS.
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  #208  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2014, 5:22 PM
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The Top 10 Counties for Population Change in the Maritime Provinces (2002-2013)

- Halifax (NS)……………………..+34,307
- Westmorland (NB)…….……..+19,851
- Cape Breton (NS)……………..-10,194
- Queens (PEI)…………………….+10,033
- York (NB)………………….……….+9,422
- Gloucester (NB)………………....-7,419
- Northumberland (NB)…….……-4,728
- Restigouche (NB)…………………-4,579
- Kings (NB)…………………………..+3,376
- Madawaska (NB)…….……………-3,084

Takeaway - population growth is concentrated in a small handful of counties. Population loss tends to be much more distributed throughout all three provinces. The biggest exception is Cape Breton county in NS which is experiencing exceptionally heavy and concentrated population loss.
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  #209  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2014, 6:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Walk then Run View Post
what are the significance of counties these days anyways?
None, politically. StatsCan still insists on using them. The sooner we can remove counties and replace them with the (already implemented) regional service commissions (in NB) the better.
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  #210  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2014, 10:29 PM
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Top 10 Maritime Counties by Percentage Population Growth (2002-2013)

- Westmorland (NB)…….+15.3%
- Queens (PEI)………….….+13.8%
- York (NB)…………………..+10.5%
- Halifax (NS)……….……….+9.2%
- Albert (NB)………….………+6.1%
- Sunbury (NB)………………+5.4%
- Kings (NB)…………….…….+5.1%
- Hants (NS)…………………..+4.0%
- Colchester (NS)………..…+1.0%
- Kings (NS)……………………+0.8%
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  #211  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2014, 10:40 PM
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Top 10 Maritime Counties by Percentage Population Decline (2002-2013)

- Guysborough (NS)…………-19.3%
- Victoria (NS)………….………-15.9%
- Shelburne (NS)……….…….-13.9%
- Inverness (NS)………………-13.6%
- Restigouche (NB)…….…….-12.6%
- Digby (NS)…………………….-11.9%
- Queens (NB)……….…………-10.6%
- Richmond (NS)…………..……-9.8%
- Victoria (NB)…………………..-9.6%
- Cape Breton (NS)……………-9.2%

Personal note - Wow; rural Nova Scotia is really hollowing out quickly. By this metric, the last person in Guysborough County will be packing up and leaving by about 2075.

Five of the eighteen counties in NS (nearly 1/3rd of the total) have had population declines in excess of 10% in the last decade. Richmond County just barely avoided the 10% threshold.
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Last edited by MonctonRad; Aug 4, 2014 at 11:13 PM.
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  #212  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2014, 11:08 PM
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Urbanization or Albertization...it would be really interesting to know the age range associated with the NS rural decline...I'm guessing the 18-40 bucket is a tiny sliver of the pie chart.

It also seems that PEI is a bit immune to large declines, must have a lot of new islanders (~10,000) making Charlottetown their new home.
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  #213  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 10:26 PM
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Maritime Regions - Population Change 2002-2013

- Central Nova Scotia……….……..+35,997
- Southeast New Brunswick….….+19,924
- Central New Brunswick…..….……+9,552
- Prince Edward Island……………….+8,361
- Southwest New Brunswick..……….+161
- Northern Nova Scotia….……………-5,576
- Northwest New Brunswick………..-6,242
- Western Nova Scotia………………..-9,550
- Cape Breton Island……………….…-15,219
- Northeast New Brunswick……….-16,726

In essence - northern NB has lost 22,968 people while southern NB has gained 29,637 people.

Meanwhile, central NS has gained 35,997 people while the rest of the province has lost 30,345 people.

Also, Cape Breton and PEI have changed position since 2002.
- in 2002, Cape Breton had 149,755 people while PEI had 136,876 people.
- in 2013, PEI had 145,237 people while Cape Breton had 134,536 people.
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Last edited by MonctonRad; Aug 5, 2014 at 11:06 PM.
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  #214  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 11:00 PM
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and finally:

Maritime Regions - Percent Population Change 2002-2013

- Southeast New Brunswick…………….+10.5%
- Central Nova Scotia………………………..+8.6%
- Central New Brunswick……………..……+7.4%
- Prince Edward Island……………………….+6.1%
- Southwest New Brunswick……………...+0.1%
- Northern Nova Scotia………….……………-3.4%
- Western Nova Scotia………………………..-4.6%
- Northwest New Brunswick……….……….-7.3%
- Cape Breton Island……………….……………-9.0%
- Northeast New Brunswick…….……………-9.6%

and that's it - I'm done with these stats….
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  #215  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2014, 12:37 AM
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Thanks for all the Stats MonctonRad! I think we will always see PEI maintain a similar population growth as long as real estate remains affordable, and boomers look for a great place to retire. Its is a shame the Cape Breton can't see any of the same results, such a beautiful spot.
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  #216  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2014, 10:24 PM
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And now for a visual representation of where population growth is occurring in the Maritime Provinces:

There are 11 counties in the region (out of 36) where there has been population growth over the last dozen years. In the map below, I have highlighted each of these counties by outlining them in red.



Except for Cumberland County in NS and Queens County in NB, there is a near continuous band of growth occurring in the central Maritimes. It is easy to see that it is northeastern NS, southwestern NS, northern NB and eastern PEI which are in trouble.

This will be a challenge for any government to deal with. The dying counties are in the extremities of the region. The question becomes - do we concentrate our resources where growth is naturally going to occur, or do we participate in a Quixotic adventure to try and stabilize populations in the extremities?

A very serious question indeed, especially given our limited and diminishing financial resources……….

Thoughts anyone??

EDIT - I'm not really seriously thinking about throwing the areas of the Maritimes not experiencing growth to the wolves. That would be inhumane. Basic services have to be maintained everywhere, and all Maritimers should be guaranteed a basic standard of living. I'm just thinking that expenditures should be judiciously employed in order to stimulate growth in those areas of the region where there is a greater probability that there will be a guaranteed economic return. That only makes good business sense. Growth therefore should be preferentially stimulated in the central Maritimes, and by this I do not mean just the 11 counties currently experiencing growth, I also mean Saint John County, Cumberland County, Queens County (NB), the Upper River Valley in NB, Lunenburg County and Pictou and Antigonish Counties in northern NS. This encompasses 20 counties in the very heart of the region.

I think we would get far more bang for our bucks if we concentrate economic development funds in the central 20 counties rather than spreading it out over all 36 counties………...
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Last edited by MonctonRad; Aug 8, 2014 at 12:50 AM.
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  #217  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2014, 12:53 PM
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It seems to me we really have 3 regions that are shrinking. Northern NB, Cape Breton and Southern NS. Cumberland, Queens and Charlotte counties feel more like aberrations than actual areas in trouble. (And in Queens' case, that's mostly empty space anyway, isn't it?)

Kent and Carleton counties in NB I suspect will recover just from proximity to Moncton and Fredericton. I know Carleton's numbers are basically stable, neither growing nor shrinking so while not the best, it's not too bad either.

As for what we do with those regions? It is a tough question, both politically, emotionally and realistically.

The realist in me says to leave them on life support for now; let the populations atrophy until they get back to a level the region can support economically. So while we shouldn't abandon them completely, we need to make sure the investment that is put into them is investments that make sense, and not just investments to try and see what sticks. Don't throw money at someone who comes in and says "I'll open a Banana farm in Bathurst if you give me X$ to start up."

It seems to me that all three of those regions are in various transition stages at the moment; with their old industries in decline and the new ones that fit the areas still getting sorted out. The key for the governments is to figure out which new growth industries in those areas will work and to nurture those ones which is not a trivial problem to solve.
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  #218  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2014, 2:08 PM
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It is a tricky conundrum. I grew up in one of the borderline counties (Kent) but had lots of friends from farther North. I haven't been through Miramichi or Bathurst or Campbellton in a while, but I see how they're struggling with all the closures. In a way, NB is kind of a microcosm of Canada with SE NB being "out west". I suppose Hali is the same in NS.

I'm not sure what the answer really is... there is only so much a government can do (even less if it's almost bankrupt) to prop up areas that are effectively dying. How do you even maintain infrastructure in areas that are used less and less (roads, pipes, etc)?

The most "humane" way, is probably to do as has been mentioned before... infusions of money to lure businesses that ultimately only stay long enough to use the grant and then bail is a dead end... stop doing that and the population will continue to migrate as it will. It's sad, but I don't think it's avoidable.
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  #219  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2014, 7:34 PM
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Current Unemployment Rates for Atlantic Canadian CMA's (July 2014)

- Halifax………………..5.7%
- Moncton………………5.8%
- St. John's….…………6.6%
- Saint John…………..7.4%

And for comparison:

- Montreal……………..7.3%
- Toronto……………….8.1%
- Calgary……………….5.3%
- Vancouver…………..5.7%

So, right now, Halifax & Moncton compare favourably to Vancouver and are within spitting distance of Calgary in terms of unemployment rates.

Again, the urban Maritimes compare very favourably to the rest of the country. It is the rural extremities of the region that are responsible for our poor reputation in the rest of the country.

Hopefully as urbanization continues in Atlantic Canada, this reputation will disappear
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  #220  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2014, 9:56 PM
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It'll be interesting to see how things start changing when Freddy tips over into CMA status; 4 CMA's within 5 hours at most of eachother will probably help draw attention to the Maritimes.
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