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Dramatic turnaround in population growth

The population of the three Maritime provinces is growing at its fastest pace in decades while Newfoundland and Labrador’s population has resumed its decline, according to the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council’s latest Report Card.

This follows three decades of steady decline in population growth rates in the Maritimes and seven years of population gains in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Prince Edward Island led the country with the fastest population growth, at an incredible rate of two per cent, per year,” said APEC’s senior policy analyst, Fred Bergman in a news release on Tuesday.

Between 2016 and 2018 Nova Scotia’s population grew at 0.8 per cent annually — the fastest pace since the 1980s. New Brunswick’s annual rate was 0.5 per cent, but this is still the highest rates for New Brunswick since the early 1990s. Newfoundland and Labrador’s population decreased by 0.2 per cent per year.

One trend has not changed in Atlantic Canada, says APEC in a news release. Its population is the oldest in Canada and continues to age faster. With more than 20 per cent are aged 65 years and older, there are now more Atlantic seniors than children and teenagers.

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