Halifax Index Reports Strong Population Growth and Record Business Confidence, but GDP Lags

Halifax, NS, June 18, 2018 –  Today, the Halifax Partnership released the Halifax Index 2018, the city’s annual report on economic and community progress, as well as Halifax’s Economic Growth Plan: Years 3-5 Action Plan.

Although Halifax saw its second year of strong population growth and record business confidence in 2017, GDP is not growing fast enough to reach Halifax’s ambitious Economic Growth Plan target of $30 billion by 2031.

“Halifax saw a great year for immigration and youth retention which contributed to Halifax’s strong population growth. However, there is still work to do in terms of growing Halifax’s GDP, as major projects wind down,” said Ian Munro, Chief Economist at the Halifax Partnership.


The Conference Board of Canada projects Halifax’s GDP growth to remain steady at a rate of 1.9% for 2018 and in the range of 1.5%-1.9% out to 2022.

“As a city, we must remain focused on attracting and retaining talent, improving our quality of life, and maximizing every growth opportunity,” said Munro. “The Partnership looks forward to continuing to work with our partners and stakeholders to implement our economic plan and accelerate growth over the next three years.”

Halifax Index 2018 Key Findings:

The Halifax Index tracks Halifax’s vital signs across four major themes: people, education, economy, and quality of place benchmarked against five other cities - St. John’s, Quebec City, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Regina, and Victoria. It includes an analysis on Rural Halifax and one special analysis focused on residential affordability. New in this year’s Index is a deeper dive into education and an expanded quality of life section.

The Halifax Partnership leads the development and implementation of Halifax’s Economic Growth Plan and is responsible for tracking, measuring, and reporting on progress annually through the Halifax Index. A Growth Plan progress report is included in the Index.


  • Halifax had its second straight year of strong population growth, growing by 1.6% from 424,950 to 431,701. This was greater than the national growth rate of 1.2% and third among our benchmark cities: St. John’s, Quebec City, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (KCW), Regina, and Victoria.

  • Immigration was the key driver of this growth with Halifax welcoming over 4,500 international migrants. The past two years have been the best for immigration growth in the history of the municipality.


  • Among those ages 25 to 64 in Halifax, 70% have at least some post-secondary education, with 38% holding a university degree or certificate.

  • International post-secondary enrolment hit its highest level ever in Halifax, reaching roughly 6,500 students.


  • Halifax’s GDP grew by 1.7% in 2017, below both the national figure and most of the benchmark cities.

  • The Business Confidence Index for Halifax reached an all-time high in 2018, marking the fourth straight year of gains.



  • The Crime Severity Index dropped again for Halifax.

  • In comparison to benchmark cities, Halifax fares well in terms of the population’s participation in physical activity but ranks poorly when it comes to good (fruit and vegetable) and bad (alcohol and tobacco) consumption.

To download the complete Halifax Index 2018, visit HalifaxIndex.com. For more information or to arrange a media interview please contact:

Brittany Warren

Communications Specialist

Halifax Partnership



About the Halifax Partnership:

The Halifax Partnership is Halifax’s public-private economic development organization. The Partnership drives and accelerates economic growth by selling and marketing Halifax to the world, helping businesses reach their full potential and tracking Halifax’s economic progress. The Partnership’s network of over 115 influential and globally connected partners are committed to building a thriving, prosperous Halifax.