According to a recent Global News headline “Halifax rated Canada’s second fastest growing municipality”.
Nope. Halifax is not even Nova Scotia’s second fastest growing municipality.
Setting aside what the word ‘rated’ means, Halifax actually ranks sixth among Nova Scotia municipalities for population growth between July 2019 and June 2020. The fastest growing was the Shelburne Municipal District followed by Port Hawkesbury which saw its population rocket ahead by 2.6% in one year.
The Halifax CMA is the second fastest growing among the country’s 35 Census Metropolitan Areas – which is a huge feat.
But compared to all municipalities in Canada – there are several thousand – Halifax is a laggard. Kugaaruk (HAM) in Nunavut clocked in at a one-year population growth rate of 11% (from 1,063 to 1,180). The Town of Montague on PEI grew its population by a scorching 5.2% (from 2,003 to 2,107). How about the big town of Cobourg in Ontario – up a whopping 7.8% (from 20,316 to 21,696).
Among larger cities, Brampton ate Halifax for lunch with a 3.42% population growth rate (from 690,000 to 713,500). Oakville, Oshawa, Barrie, Whitby, Milton, Waterloo, Edmonton, Surrey and Kelowna all increased population faster than Halifax.
Again this is not to diminish what is happening in Halifax. It is a shining example of how an Atlantic Canadian city can thrive. It’s universities are mostly rocking. The startup scene is very strong. It’s role as a regional services hub is strengthening.
But we need to a) use the right terms when telling these stories (municipality versus urban area versus economic region, etc.); and b) we need to ensure the readers understand the full context when embarking on the broader thrust of the article.