Nova Scotia

Template:Canadian province or territory

Nova Scotia (Latin for New Scotland; “Alba Nuadh” in Scottish Gaelic, la Nouvelle-cosse in French) is a Canadian province on the North Atlantic coast. Nova Scotia has an area of 55,500 km² and a population of just under 940,000 (Nova Scotians). Its capital is Halifax.



The province's mainland is a peninsula, connected to mainland North America by the Isthmus of Chignecto, and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, including numerous bays and estuaries. Cape Breton Island, a large island to the northeast of the Nova Scotian mainland, is also part of the province, as is Sable Island, a small island notorious for its shipwrecks, approximately 175 km from the province's southern coast. Nova Scotia is Canada's second smallest province in area (after Prince Edward Island), and no point in Nova Scotia is more than 56 km from the sea.

See also individual articles on Nova Scotia geography and below for a map.
10 Largest Municipalities by population

Municipality 2001 1996
Halifax 359,111 342,851
Cape Breton 105,968 114,733
Kings County 47,159 47,486
Colchester County 35,641 35,161
MD of Lunenburg 25,570 25,949
Pictou County 21,778 22,671
East Hants 20,821 19,767
Annapolis County 18,429 18,937
Cumberland County 16,183 17,738
Inverness County 15,601 16,535



Nova Scotia is the seventh most populated province in Canada with 939 791 residents. It accounts for 3% of the population of Canada. The population density is approximately 17.8 persons/km. Roughly 60% of the population live in rural parts of the province.


Unemployment is at just under 8% of the work force, as of May 2005.

Per capita income

Per capita income is just over $26 000 (Can), of which just over $19 000 is disposable.

Gross Domestic Product

Nova Scotia GDP is presently approximately $29 billion (Can) annually.

National and ethnic origins

According to the most recent federal government census conducted in 2001, 95.4% of Nova Scotians are Canadian born. Of the 4.6% of Nova Scotia residents who had immigrated to Canada, 45% per cent of immigrants were from Asia; 29.3% were from Europe; 21.9%, the Middle East; 11.8%, the United States; and 6.8%, the United Kingdom.

In the same census, 50.7% of Nova Scotians indicated that their single ethnic origin to be "Canadian". 30.8% indicated it to be "British Isles"; 7.2%, "European"; 5.5%, "French"; 2.1%, "Black"; 1.9%, "Aboriginal Canadian"; 0.6%, "Arab/West Asian"; 0.4%, "Chinese"; 0.4% "South Asian". Each other category - "Filipino", "Japanese", "Korean", "Latin American", "Southeast Asian", and "Visible minority, n.i.e." - accounts for less than 0.2% of the population makeup.

(Statistics source: The statistics presented here were obtained from the Government of Nova Scotia's statistics website (


Missing image
A satellite photo of Nova Scotia

Paleo-Indians camped at locations in present-day Nova Scotia approximately 11,000 years ago. Archaic Indians are believed to have been present in the area between 1,000 and 5,000 years ago. Mi'kmaq, the First Nations of the province and region, are their direct descendants.

The explorer John Cabot visited present-day Cape Breton in 1497. The first European settlement in Nova Scotia was established by French lead by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts. They established the first capital for the colony Acadia at Port Royal in 1605 at the head of the Annapolis Basin.

In 1620, the Plymouth Council for New England, under James I of England/James VI of Scotland designated the whole shorelines of Acadia and the Mid-Atlantic colonies south to the Chesapeake Bay as New England. In the latter 1620s, a group of Scots was sent by Charles I of England and Scotland to set up the colony of 'Nova Scotia'. (The Latin appellation was so stated in Sir William Alexander's 1621 land grant.) However owing to the signing of a peace treaty with France, the territory was given to the French and the Scots ordered to abandon their mission before their colony had been properly established. The French fortress at Louisbourg on le Royale (Cape Breton Island) was established to guard the sea approaches to Quebec. This fortress was captured by American colonial forces, then returned by the British to France, then ceded again after the French and Indian War.

British governing officials became increasingly concerned over the unwillingness of the Acadians, who were French-speaking, Catholic and the majority of colonists, to pledge allegiance to the British Crown. Despite a large number of mostly German foreign Protestants to be brought and settled along the South Shore in 1750, the colony remained mostly Acadian. In 1755, the British forcibly expelled the Acadians in what became known as the Great Expulsion. Most of these Acadians resettled in the French colony of Louisiana.

The colony's jurisdiction changed during this time. In 1763 Cape Breton Island became part of Nova Scotia. In 1769, St. John's Island (now Prince Edward Island) became a separate colony. In 1784 the western, mainland portion of the colony was separated and became the province of New Brunswick. Cape Breton became a separate colony from 1784 to 1820, when it was rejoined.

Ancestors of more than half of present-day Nova Scotians arrived in the period following the Acadian Expulsion. Approximately 30,000 United Empire Loyalists (American Tories) settled in Nova Scotia (when it comprised present-day Maritime Canada) following the defeat of the British in the American Revolutionary War. Approximately 3,000 of this group were slaves of African ancestry, about a third of which soon relocated themselves to Sierra Leone in 1792. Large numbers of Highland Scots emigrated to Cape Breton and the western portion of the mainland during the late 18th century and 19th century. An approximate thousand Ulster Scots settled in mainly central Nova Scotia during this time, as did just over a thousand farming migrants from Yorkshire and Northumberland between 1772 and 1775.

Nova Scotia was the first colony in British North America and in the British Empire to achieve responsible government in January-February 1848 and become self-governing through the efforts of Joseph Howe. Nova Scotia was one of the four original provinces of Confederation, along with New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario.

See also individual articles on Nova Scotia history.

Other facts

Missing image
The current Nova Scotia license plate features the schooner Bluenose.

Nova Scotia is in the Atlantic standard time zone.

The Bluenose, which appears on the front of the Canadian ten-cent piece (dime) and current Nova Scotia license plate was built in Lunenburg, a town on the South Shore.

Very few Nova Scotians today are fluent in Scottish Gaelic.

Sable Island is also considered to be jurisdictionally part of The HRM, despite being located 180 km offshore.



See also

Provinces and territories of Canada
Provinces: Alberta British Columbia Missing image

New Brunswick Newfoundland and Labrador
Alberta British Columbia Manitoba New Brunswick Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia Ontario Missing image
Prince Edward Island

Quebec Saskatchewan
Nova Scotia Ontario Prince Edward Island Quebec Saskatchewan
Territories: Yukon Missing image
Northwest Territories

Yukon Northwest Territories Nunavut

External links

da:Nova Scotia de:Neuschottland es:Nueva Escocia eo:Nova-Skotio fr:Nouvelle-cosse ga:Alba Nua ko:노바 스코샤 io:Nova Scotia it:Nuova Scozia he:נובה סקוטיה ka:ახალი შოტლანდია la:Nova Scotia nl:Nova Scotia ja:ノバスコシア州 no:Nova Scotia pl:Nowa Szkocja pt:Nova Esccia sk:Nov ktsko fi:Nova Scotia sv:Nova Scotia vi:Nova Scotia


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