List of counties of Nova Scotia

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Map showing locations of Nova Scotia's historical counties
Distribution of Nova Scotia's 18 historical counties by municipal status
Counties of Nova Scotia (1862) with township subdivisions
Census divisions by province and territory

The Canadian province of Nova Scotia has a historical system of 18 counties that originally had appointed court systems to administer local governance prior to the establishment of elected local governments in 1879. The historical counties continue as census divisions used by Statistics Canada for statistical purposes in administering the Canadian census.

History[edit]

Prior to the establishment of rural municipalities in the form of county municipalities and district municipalities in 1879, local government within these historical counties was administered by appointed courts of sessions including justices appointed by the Crown with support from local proprietors selected to grand juries.[1] These courts of sessions met "in the counties to hear cases, make regulations, authorize assessments, and appoint local officers."[1] On April 17, 1879, the original non-elected courts of sessions were abolished in favour of elected councils when The County Incorporation Act came into force, which stated

The Inhabitants of every County and Sessional District in this Province ... shall be a body corporate under the name of the Municipality of the respective county or district, as the case may (be), ...[1]

As a result, 12 county municipalities were established, while the remaining 6 counties, which were previously divided into districts for court sessional purposes, were established as district municipalities.[1] Today, 9 of the original 12 remain incorporated as county municipalities, with 3 eventually becoming regional municipalities in 1995 and 1996,[2] while Statistics Canada uses all 18 historical counties as census divisions for statistical purposes in the Canadian census.[3] County municipalities and district municipalities provide local government to the residents of the historical counties living outside of incorporated towns and regional municipalities.[1][2]

List of historical counties[edit]

Historical county[4] Historical
county seat[5]
Population
(2016)[3]
Population
(2011)[3]
Change
[3]
Land area
(km²)[3]
Population
density[3]
Annapolis Annapolis Royal 20,591 20,756 −0.8% 3,188.48 6.5/km2
Antigonish Antigonish 19,301 19,589 −1.5% 1,457.81 13.2/km2
Cape Bretona Sydney 98,722 101,619 −2.9% 2,470.60 40.0/km2
Colchester Truro 50,585 50,968 −0.8% 3,627.94 13.9/km2
Cumberland Amherst 30,005 31,353 −4.3% 4,272.65 7.0/km2
Digby Digby 17,323 18,036 −4.0% 2,515.23 6.9/km2
Guysborough Guysborough 7,625 8,143 −6.4% 4,044.23 1.9/km2
Halifaxb Halifax 403,390 390,328 +3.3% 5,495.71 73.4/km2
Hants Windsor 42,558 42,304 +0.6% 3,051.73 13.9/km2
Inverness Port Hood 17,235 17,947 −4.0% 3,830.40 4.5/km2
Kings Kentville 60,600 60,589 0.0% 2,126.11 28.5/km2
Lunenburg Lunenburg 47,126 47,313 −0.4% 2,909.90 16.2/km2
Pictou Pictou 43,748 45,643 −4.2% 2,845.62 15.4/km2
Queensc Liverpool 10,351 10,960 −5.6% 2,398.63 4.3/km2
Richmond Arichat 8,964 9,293 −3.5% 1,244.24 7.2/km2
Shelburne Shelburne 13,966 14,496 −3.7% 2,464.65 5.7/km2
Victoria Baddeck 7,089 7,115 −0.4% 2,870.85 2.5/km2
Yarmouth Yarmouth 24,419 25,275 −3.4% 2,124.64 11.5/km2
Total counties 921,727 913,462 +0.9% 52,939.44 17.4/km2

a county boundaries contiguous with those of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
b county boundaries contiguous with those of the Halifax Regional Municipality.
c county boundaries contiguous with those of the Region of Queens Municipality.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "The Establishment of Elective Rural Municipal Government in Nova Scotia" (PDF). Government of Nova Scotia: Department of Municipal Affairs. pp. 1, 2. Retrieved December 27, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Nova Scotia Annual Report of Municipal Statistics for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014" (PDF). Department of Municipal Affairs. 2014. p. 12. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Population and dwelling count highlight tables, 2016 Census". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  4. ^ "History of County Boundaries". Province of Nova Scotia: Department of Municipal Affairs. October 8, 2015. Retrieved December 27, 2016. 
  5. ^ Foster Stockwell (2004). "A Sourcebook for Genealogical Research: Resources Alphabetically by Type and Location". McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 205. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 

External links[edit]