Halifax Partnership report outlines benefits of immigration

August 4, 2015

Immigrants to Halifax, Nova Scotia, have been strengthening the municipal and provincial economies for years, particularly within the realm of entrepreneurship.

“Welcoming immigrants comes with numerous advantages.”

According to the Halifax Partnership’s “Economic Benefits of Immigration” report released in May, immigrants joining the Nova Scotian labour pool are helping to offset the province’s shrinking working-age population, which is projected to decrease by 100,000 over the next two decades. Since 2001, immigration has been responsible for nearly half (45 percent) of population growth in Halifax alone. Statistics from the National Household Survey cited by the Partnership also revealed many of these individuals bring highly sought-after skills to the workforce: Compared to non-immigrants, a greater share of Canada’s immigrant population has post-secondary and university education and holds bachelor’s or advanced degrees.

The Halifax Partnership found that welcoming immigrants comes with numerous advantages, including:

  • Tax Revenue: An immigrant with a university education will generate approximately $80,000 in net taxes for Nova Scotia over the course of his or her life. 
  • Research and Innovation: Immigrants make up 20 percent of the general population, but hold 38 percent of STEM jobs and 35 percent of university research chair positions in Canada.
  • Entrepreneurship: Immigrants who do business in Canada are 60 percent more likely than non-immigrants to export to countries outside North America, establishing important international connections and revenue paths.

Halifax’s Lebanese community is a good example of how immigrants can be beneficial to Canada. The average age of Lebanese Haligonians is lower than that of the total population, meaning they have a higher number of years in the workforce ahead of them, and 16 percent of these individuals hold a university degree above bachelor’s level, compared to 12 percent of the population as a whole. One in five Lebanese members of the labour pool in Halifax is self-employed – more than double the overall rate. The Halifax Partnership delved deeper into the Lebanese community’s impressive contributions in its report.