GUYSBOROUGH — Halting a decades-long trend, the population of Guysborough County increased on a year-over-year basis last year, as more people came to stay than left to live elsewhere, according to newly released provincial government data.

The report from the economics and statistics unit of the Nova Scotia Department of Finance – using census data and population estimates from Statistics Canada data – published last week, showed a slight but measurable increase of 27 individuals between July 1, 2022, and July 1, 2023, bringing the number of residents in the county to 7,596. That compared with either declines or stagnation during the same periods in each of the past 23 years.

According to the report, over the 12-month period ending July 1, 2023, “Nova Scotia’s population increased by 3.24 per cent or 33,249 persons, reaching 1,058,694. Across Nova Scotia, all 18 counties reported population growth. Cape Breton County had the fastest at 6.62 per cent, followed by Halifax County at 4.07 per cent. Growth was slower in Victoria, Guysborough, Queens and Yarmouth counties.”

Still, it added that, while “outside of Halifax, Hants, Lunenburg, Colchester, Antigonish and Kings counties, most parts of the province have experienced periods of population decline, in recent years, population decline has stopped and reversed for all counties.”

During the reporting period, immigration – rather than “natural change” (births less deaths) – drove the change. While Halifax experienced a natural population increase of 605, every other county in the province reported more deaths than births. Meanwhile, for the province, net international in-migration and net interprovincial in-migration was 27,339 and 8,526, respectively.

In Guysborough County, the natural population decline was 85 individuals, while two people left the county for other parts of the province. Net international in-migration here was 13, while net interprovincial in-migration was 101.

Nova Scotia’s median age lowered from 44.5 years on July 1, 2023, to 43.8 years on July 1, 2022, the report also noted.

“Median age declined for most counties, but the decline in Cape Breton County’s median age was particularly sharp, falling from 47.9 on July 1, 2022 to 44.8 on July 1, 2023. Only Queens, Lunenburg, Guysborough and Victoria counties reported rising median age.”

Meanwhile, it said, “Halifax, Cape Breton and Antigonish counties report higher than average shares of population in younger cohorts (20-40). Shares of population aged 50-70 were notably higher in Shelburne, Yarmouth, Digby, Queens, Annapolis, Lunenburg, Cumberland, Pictou, Guysborough, Inverness, Richmond and Victoria counties.”

By Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 29, 2024 at 05:41

This item reprinted with permission from   Guysborough Journal   Guysborough, Nova Scotia
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