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Nova Scotia GDP Per Capita Slipped All The Way Back To 2016

Canada’s favorite Maritime province has been a big winner when it comes to real estate. It’s economy? Not so much. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) data shows real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita made a sharp downturn in 2023. The province’s shock was so large, it returned the quality of life measure back to 2016-levels. Ouch.

What Is Real GDP Per Capital?

Real GDP is a region’s output—the total value of goods and services produced, adjusted for inflation. The faster it rises, the more goods and services are being produced and consumed. That’s generally a sign of a healthy society, since more people working and spending means capital is flowing.

There’s a big issue with this measure though—it doesn’t adjust for population. That results in some economies appearing to be fast growing, but it just added more economic units. Those workers are doing worse, but there’s more of them to make up for it. If one wants to know how well a government’s tax revenues are growing, they can look at GDP. If one is curious how its population is doing, they would look for a per capita adjustment.

Nova Scotia’s Population Is Booming, But It’s Economy Isn’t 

Nova Scotia has recently seen its population grow at one of the fastest rates ever. Stat Can estimates it grew a whopping 2.8% to 1.07 million people in 2023. It’s a relatively small population, but adding 30k people in a year is still no easy task.

Nova Scotia’s economy wasn’t so lucky. Real GDP advanced 1.3% in 2023, less than half the rate of its population. On a per capita basis, this represents a decline of 1.4% last year. That places real GDP per capita in the region at the lowest level since 2020. If we’re ignoring 2020 since artificial restrictions on trade fail to represent reality, it’s a similar level to 2016. …[Continue Reading]