Halifax as a population centre grew to include East Hants in the 2021 census.

While the municipality of East Hants falls outside the limits of the Halifax Regional Municipality, it was included as a part of the Halifax census metropolitan area because more than 50 per cent of the labour force in East Hants commutes to the HRM for work, according to Statistics Canada.

A census metropolitan area is formed by one or more adjacent municipalities centred on a population centre.

“Other adjacent municipalities must have a high degree of integration with the core” to become a part of its census metropolitan area, according to Statistics Canada.

East Hants being added to Halifax’s census metropolitan area “could be an example of the urban spread phenomenon,” said Stacey Hallman,  an analyst at the centre for demography at Statistics Canada.

Downtown growth and urban spread are two trends simultaneously affecting Canadian cities.

“So the downtowns are growing fast, as are their distant suburbs. So that’s the process of urban spread,” said Hallman.

Statistics Canada considers a distant suburb to be more than a 30-minute drive from downtown, which East Hants is from Halifax.

The population of East Hants grew by two per cent, or 439 people, from the 2016 census to the 2021 census. The total population of East Hants is now 22,892.

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Lane Harrison

Lane Harrison is a fourth-year multimedia journalist from Toronto, Ontario. He works as the editor-in-chief of the Dalhousie Gazette, Dalhousie's...

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  1. H

    Hal Shiels

    Including East Hants in HRM census statistics is bringing a crow bar into the surgery room. Commuters may be creeping across HRM's boundaries but it's primarily adjacent the 100-series highways. Blending Bay of Fundy community statistics is an exceptionally blunt tool approach and a likely disservice to the requirements of both regions.
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