Halifax Index 2021

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You are viewing the 2021 Halifax Index.

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All Halifax Index editions: 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020

How Halifax Measures Up

Every year, the Halifax Index provides an overview of our city and insights to strengthen and grow Halifax. This 10th annual edition continues to measure Halifax's growth across a wide range of key indicators and progress towards our Economic Growth Plan goals.

The Index compares Halifax against five other similar-sized Canadian "benchmark cities." They include St. John’s, Quebec City, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (KCW), Regina, and Victoria. This year, the Index reports on the continuing economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights indicators regarding recovery.

"2020 was unlike anything any of us have seen or could have predicted."

Ian Munro
Chief Economist


Halifax added more than 9,000 new residents in 2020, making it the second-fastest growing city in the country. Over 60% of newcomers to Halifax were under 30 years of age.


Halifax’s labour market was hit hard by the pandemic, with a sharp drop in labour force participation and a jump in unemployment. However, throughout the second half of the year, Halifax rebounded strongly.


Many sectors of Halifax’s economy suffered deep losses in 2020 with many key indicators plummeting in the wake of COVID-19. However, measurements of business confidence taken in spring 2021 show significant optimism.


Rural residents fared better than urban residents when it came to difficulties related to COVID-19. Though overall quality of life was high, affordability continued to be a growing concern.


Government grants, subsidies, and policies to fight the pandemic led to increased per capita income while housing and child care affordability continued to face significant pressure.


Not surprisingly, the pandemic had an adverse effect on quality of life in Halifax. However, with its strong sense of community and emphasis on the environment, Halifax is still considered a good place to raise a family.

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Looking for a previous index?

View previous years' Index publications by visiting the Halifax Index Archive below.

Halifax Index Presentation

On June 24th the Halifax Partnership held an event to present this year's Halifax Index. Our Chief Economist, Ian Munro, shared insights from the Index and other key economic indicators showing our current environment.

Download the Presentations:

What does Recovery Look Like?

We are leading economic recovery efforts with our private, public and post-secondary partners. Together, we will restart and restore Halifax’s economy and get back to our positive long-term growth trend.



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