The front page of today's hard-copy Herald is devoted to the new census numbers that came out yesterday. Coverage is skewed towards the standard Nova Scotia brain drain story. ("An exodus of people searching for work is a major reason why Nova Scotia is lagging behind the rest of Canada in population growth, the 2006 Statistics Canada census indicates," is a line at the heart of the main piece, by Jeffrey Simpson.) Yes, Alberta is evil and all for stealing our young people. But the more telling story, which I looked for without success in the paper, is that our province is atrocious at attracting immigrants.
In the day since the stats came out (reported here), the numbers have been crunched into more usable nuggets. Several of these are printed large on the Herald's cover, including: "There are 6.5 immigrants for every 1,000 Canadians" and "2,200 immigrants live in Nova Scotia." Knowing the province's population is now 913,462 there should be 5,937 immigrants living here. With 2,200 immigrants Nova Scotia is home to just 37 percent of the national average. And no matter how you crunch it, that number is a failing grade for welcoming newcomers.