African Nova Scotian Communities Launch Inaugural Economic Index Report

HALIFAX, May 22, 2024 -- Today, at Paul O’Regan Hall, 5440 Spring Garden Road, the African Nova Scotian Road to Economic Prosperity (REP) will release the inaugural African Nova Scotian Prosperity and Well-being Index (ANS Index).

This pioneering report presents statistical data on Black communities in Nova Scotia across six key areas: population, labour, income, education, housing, and well-being. The ANS Index, developed by the African Nova Scotian community with support from Halifax Partnership, represents a significant step toward understanding and addressing the economic disparities faced by Black and African Nova Scotians.

The release of the ANS Index follows the “Knowing Our Numbers” symposium held on April 12, 2024, at the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, in Cherry Brook, NS where community members and organizations serving Black communities developed recommendations in response to ANS Index data. These community-developed recommendations aim to close economic and social gaps and inequalities and highlight the critical need for increased African Nova Scotian participation in census data collection and research and the development of initiatives to address challenges.

Key Facts from the ANS Index Report 2024:

  • Between 2016 and 2021 the Black Nova Scotian population grew more quickly than the Nova Scotian population overall, led by international migration.

  • The share of Black adults without even a high school diploma has been dropping sharply while the share with a bachelor’s degree or higher has jumped.

  • African Nova Scotians report comparatively lower levels of life satisfaction, trust in others, self-assessed mental health, and financial security, but greater satisfaction with work-life balance.

Housing: The Black Nova Scotian community has higher shares of households living in unaffordable, inadequate, and unsuitable housing.

  • Black Nova Scotian households face significant housing challenges, with higher rates of unaffordable, inadequate, and unsuitable housing. While 7.3% of Nova Scotian households live in core housing need, this figure nearly doubles to 13.2% for Black Nova Scotians.

Wage Gap: A gap in average income remains, but this too is closing, especially for women.

  • On average, Black Nova Scotians earn 85 cents for every dollar earned by non-visible minority Nova Scotians. The wage gap widens for those with higher education, where Black Nova Scotians with a bachelor’s degree or higher earn only 79.2% of what their peers earn.

Employment: The age-adjusted unemployment rate for Black Nova Scotians is consistently higher than that of the overall population, with a 4.7% higher rate in 2016 and a 1.3% higher rate in 2021.

  • The Black population continues to lag in the labour force participation rate, the employment rate, and the unemployment rate, but the gaps appear to be narrowing.

To download the complete digital African Nova Scotian Prosperity and Well-being Index 2024 Report and Recommendations: CLICK HERE


“Our community and partners see this inaugural ANS Index as a pivotal starting point in providing an accurate baseline for a range of social and economic indicators for people of African descent in Nova Scotia - a measure of how far we have come and how far we have to go.” - Carolann Wright, Director, Capacity Building and Strategic Initiatives, African Nova Scotian Communities at Halifax Partnership

"Knowing Our Numbers is crucial for our Black communities. This index is a vital tool for tracking our progress and guiding economic interventions. We recognize the impact of anti-Black racism and systemic barriers that have hindered our prosperity, and this data helps us address these challenges head-on." - Irvine Carvery, Co-chair, REP Advisory Council

“Generation after generation, African Nova Scotians have demonstrated our ability to navigate barriers to further our economic progress but for every barrier we overcome, a new challenge presents itself. The cost and adequacy of housing are key challenges of the moment, and it is extremely important to have the African Nova Scotian index as a living resource that can help us measure the changes in our economic environment overtime and propose proactive solutions that reflect our intersectional experience.” - Shekara Grant, Co-chair, REP Youth Council

"Our communities have always worked hard to bring attention to economic issues and to build better lives for ourselves. The African Nova Scotian Prosperity and Well-being Index shows us just how much more work we need to do. This index builds on what we've already done in important areas like education and housing. As we look back on our progress, we also look forward with hope. We call on all levels of government to join us in improving the economic status of African Nova Scotians and helping us create a better future for everyone." - Melinda Daye, Co-chair, REP Elder Council

Media Contact

Nzingha Millar

Media Liaison for African Nova Scotian Road to Economic Prosperity