Knowing our Numbers

Knowing our Numbers

< Back to Articles | Topics: Working for you | Contributors: The African Nova Scotian Road to Economic Prosperity Advisory Council | Published: February 1, 2024

Would you be surprised to learn that, in this day and age, Black Nova Scotians make on average only 85 cents for every dollar earned by non-minority workers?

Would it trouble you to hear that 17.5% of our Black population lives in poverty?

Would it concern you to know that Black Nova Scotians continue to make up the largest share of Nova Scotians without a high school or post-secondary diploma, certificate, or degree?

This is a reality that African Nova Scotians know well. We live and experience it every day, and we see the intergenerational socio-economic impacts in our communities.

However, until our community led the development of the African Nova Scotian Prosperity and Well-being Index, we didn’t have all the statistics and facts to help tell the story of our lived experience. This Index is the first of its kind to focus on statistics for Black Nova Scotians. Knowing our numbers gives African Nova Scotians a credible starting point from which to chart a more prosperous future and measure our progress.

Historically, collecting data on the African Nova Scotian population has been challenging. This is partly due to mistrust from the community about how the data would be used by government or research institutions; in the past, data has been manipulated to create harmful policies. To improve faith in the processes and encourage more participation in the national census and other data-collecting initiatives, the African Nova Scotian Prosperity and Well-being Index was created by community, for community, to track and measure progress toward economic equity and prosperity.

Modelled after the Halifax Index, the African Nova Scotian Prosperity and Well-being Index is led by the African Nova Scotian Road to Economic Prosperity with support from Halifax Partnership’s Research team and other partners. Launching at a special event in the spring, the 2024 African Nova Scotian Prosperity and Well-being Index will report on key labour market, demographic, housing, education, income, and well-being data for Black Nova Scotians. Data are sorted by racial identity, including generational status, offering a detailed understanding of the experiences of first, second, and third-generation Black Nova Scotians.

The Index provides baseline measures and enables us to track progress over time, serving as the annual report on the state of African Nova Scotian economic and community progress. It also helps inform policy changes, laws and regulations, program funding, and economic development initiatives impacting Nova Scotia’s Black population.

Following the launch event, the Index will be available on the Road to Economic Prosperity website. To learn more and register for the event, visit

Developed and led by community, the African Nova Scotian Road to Economic Prosperity Plan (REPP) is a five-year economic development strategy that aims to address systemic issues and improve economic and quality of life outcomes for African Nova Scotians. The plan is delivered in partnership with the Halifax Regional Municipality and Halifax Partnership and with support from the Province of Nova Scotia, the private sector, and community partners.

< Back to Articles | Topics: Working for you

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