Statistical Resources

Where possible, the following provide direct links to Nova Scotia statistics. Selected international links to rich statistical resources and to local open data portals are shown below. The following are some of the resources used by DWPilkey Consulting and are not intended to be a comprehensive list of available statistical data. Suggestions for additional links are welcomed. Many government departments, not shown below, have their own statistics with some easier to find than others.


  1. Provincial Statistical Resources
  2. National Statistical Resources
  3. International Statistical Resources
  4. Open Data Portals

Provincial Resources

Economics And Statistics at the Department of Finance is the Nova Scotia Statistics Agency.  This site has a Daily Stats feature which provides Nova Scotia highlights of Statistics Canada’s Daily Statistical releases.

Nova Scotia Education Statistics – Statistical Summary

For 2017-18, there were almost 119,000 students enroled in the public education system. This is the second year of a slight enrolment increase from 118,000 in 2015-16 which was the lowest following several decades of sharp declines.

Nova Scotia Tourism Visitor Statistics

In 2017, Nova Scotia had 1.6 million visitors by road and 789 thousand visitors by air.  Total visitors to Nova Scotia increased by 9% over 2016.

Elections Nova Scotia Past Election Results & Statistics

In May, 2017, 53% of the 756,000 registered electors cast votes in the Nova Scotia Election.  This turnout continues the long term trend of decreasing civil engagement at the polls.  In 1978, the voter turnout was 78% and 1960 had a turnout of 82% with one rural riding having 90% of registered voters participating in that election.

Nova Scotia Crime Statistics  by type of violation

In 2016, there were 52,604 crimes, of all types, recorded in Nova Scotia. This is a rate of 5,540 per 100,000 population, which is lower than the Canadian rate of 5,905.

Nova Scotia Arts and Culture research reports

In 2016, Culture contributed $874 million to the provincial economy and employed almost 14,000 people.

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National Resources

Statistics Canada Health Indicators provides a rich source of health statistics for Canada and the provinces and territories. The linked Data Tables and definitions page describes available data and gives further links to topic areas that then give links to CANSIM tables. Yes, it is convoluted with lots of data and options for selecting, viewing and down-loading.

According to the Health Indicators for 2016,  56.9% of males and 61.5% of females living in Nova Scotia perceived their health to be very good or excellent. This compares to the Canadian results of 61.7% for males and 60.5% for females. Nova Scotians had lower perceived life stress levels.

Statistics Canada 2016 Census Profile for Nova Scotia

In May 2016, the Census counted 923,598 people living in 458,568 dwellings in Nova Scotia. The actual number of people living in Nova Scotia is more than this since the Census both misses some people and counts others more than once.  The population estimate at July 1, 2016, based on the 2011 Census, was 948,618.  Population Estimates based on the 2016 Census will be released on September 27, 2018.

CANSIM is Statistics Canada’s key socioeconomic database. Updated daily, CANSIM provides fast and easy access to a large range of the latest statistics available in Canada.

CMHC HOUSING MARKET INFORMATION PORTAL “The housing data you want, the way you want it.” This  is a very rich resource of housing related statistics and other information. Some of the data is based on the 2011 National Household Survey, which has been shown to be not as good as prior or subsequent Census data. You must accept the terms and conditions to “Get Started”.

In 2017, there were 3,432 dwelling units started in Nova Scotia.  This is comparable to the last few years and down from the peak of 4,075 starts in 2011.

Industry Canada has a rich resource of Small and Medium Enterprise Statistics

In 2015, 1.2 million businesses in Canada employed 11.6 million people.

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International Resources

OECD provides a comprehensive list statistical data collection programmes. They also have additional statistical resources.

U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics has a list of  Statistical Sites on the World Wide Web

United Nations Statistics Division “in its mission to promote the development of national statistical systems, has developed a central repository of country profiles of statistical systems. The country profiles include, among others, a brief history of the country’s statistical system, legal basis, the statistical programme and much more.”

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Open Data Portals

Open Data Portals have made it much easier to get government information. They tend to be technical and not necessarily easy to get the information needed.  A common feature of Data Portals is access to Geographic System Information (G.I.S.). Developing thematic maps and related data modelling is now easier.

HRM Open Data Portal “As part of Halifax Regional Municipality’s commitment to improving citizen engagement and enhancing transparency and accountability to its residents, the municipality is pleased to provide public access to its data. Open Data is a permanent service provided to citizens and businesses to access data free of charge in machine readable format.” (from HRM’s Open Data portal April 24, 2018)

thedatazONE provides access to  property and municipal datasets from across Nova Scotia. The information includes data and resources that can be used in geographic applications. Some of the datasets are larger than the limits of Excel. They can be filtered and downloded. For example, a table of assessments for NS contained over three million lines of information. A subset for HRM was less than one million and was within the Excel limit.

Nova Scotia Government’s Open Data Portal “Making government data easier to access for individuals, businesses, and researchers” (from Nova Scotia’s Open Data portal April 24, 2018)  The Data Catalogue on this site has 489 data sets. It includes many of the data sets from the former Nova Scotia Community Counts website.  They are not as easy to use compared to the former website. There is a wide variety of data and features included in this site.

Canada Open Data Portal “Looking for data about Government of Canada services, financials, national demographic information or high resolution maps? Discover that and more through our open data portal, your one-stop shop for Government of Canada open datasets.” (from Canada’s Open Data portal April 24, 2018) Open Data Inventory
is a searchable review of the open data inventories submitted by Government of Canada departments and agencies.

There are many other Open Data portals for other provinces and other countries. World Bank Open Data provides free and open access to global development data.  But of course, this is starting to get far beyond my focus on Nova Scotia Statistics.

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