List of counties of Nova Scotia

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Counties of Nova Scotia
Canada Nova Scotia location map 2.svg
LocationProvince of Nova Scotia
Number18
Populations7,089 (Victoria) – 403,390 (Halifax)
Areas1,244.24 km² (Richmond) – 5,495.71 km² (Halifax)
Government
Subdivisions
Counties of Nova Scotia (1862) with township subdivisions

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.[2] These courts of sessions met "in the counties to hear cases, make regulations, authorize assessments, and appoint local officers."[2] 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), ...[2]

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.[2] Today, 9 of the original 12 remain incorporated as county municipalities, with 3 eventually becoming regional municipalities in 1995 and 1996,[3] while Statistics Canada uses all 18 historical counties as census divisions for statistical purposes in the Canadian census.[4] County municipalities and district municipalities provide local government to the residents of the historical counties living outside of incorporated towns and regional municipalities.[2][3]

Nova Scotia's 18 counties by government structure.

List[edit]

County[5] County seat[6] Established Organization of county Population
(2016)[4]
Population
(2011)[4]
Change
[4]
Land area
(km²)[4]
Population
density[4]
Map
Annapolis Annapolis Royal 1759 County municipality 20,591 20,756 −0.8% 3,188.48 6.5/km2 AnnapolisCounty.png
Antigonish Antigonish 1785 County municipality 19,301 19,589 −1.5% 1,457.81 13.2/km2 AntigonishCounty.png
Cape Bretona Sydney 1765 Regional municipality 98,722 101,619 −2.9% 2,470.60 40.0/km2 CapebretonCounty.png
Colchester Truro 1835 County municipality 50,585 50,968 −0.8% 3,627.94 13.9/km2 ColchesterCounty.png
Cumberland Amherst 1759 County municipality 30,005 31,353 −4.3% 4,272.65 7.0/km2 CumberlandCounty.png
Digby Digby 1837 District municipality 17,323 18,036 −4.0% 2,515.23 6.9/km2 DigbyCounty.png
Guysborough Guysborough 1836 District municipality 7,625 8,143 −6.4% 4,044.23 1.9/km2 GuysboroughCounty.png
Halifaxb Halifax 1759 Regional municipality 403,390 390,328 +3.3% 5,495.71 73.4/km2 HalifaxCountyHRM.png
Hants Windsor 1781 District municipality 42,558 42,304 +0.6% 3,051.73 13.9/km2 HantsCounty.png
Inverness Port Hood 1835 County municipality 17,235 17,947 −4.0% 3,830.40 4.5/km2 InvernessCounty.png
Kings Kentville 1759 County municipality 60,600 60,589 0.0% 2,126.11 28.5/km2 KingsCountyNS.png
Lunenburg Lunenburg 1759 District municipality 47,126 47,313 −0.4% 2,909.90 16.2/km2 LunenburgCounty.png
Pictou Pictou 1835 County municipality 43,748 45,643 −4.2% 2,845.62 15.4/km2 PictouCounty.png
Queensc Liverpool 1762 Regional municipality 10,351 10,960 −5.6% 2,398.63 4.3/km2 QueensCounty.png
Richmond Arichat 1835 County municipality 8,964 9,293 −3.5% 1,244.24 7.2/km2 RichmondCounty.png
Shelburne Shelburne 1784 District municipality 13,966 14,496 −3.7% 2,464.65 5.7/km2 ShelburneCounty.png
Victoria Baddeck 1851 County municipality 7,089 7,115 −0.4% 2,870.85 2.5/km2 VictoriaCounty.png
Yarmouth Yarmouth 1836 District municipality 24,419 25,275 −3.4% 2,124.64 11.5/km2 YarmouthCounty.png
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]

Census divisions by province and territory

References[edit]

  1. ^ County government has been defunct since 1879 for 6 counties now administered by district municipalities, and since 1995/1996 for 3 counties now administered by regional municipalities.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Population and dwelling count highlight tables, 2016 Census". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  5. ^ "History of County Boundaries". Province of Nova Scotia: Department of Municipal Affairs. October 8, 2015. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  6. ^ Foster Stockwell (2004). A Sourcebook for Genealogical Research: Resources Alphabetically by Type and Location. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 205. ISBN 9780786484386. Retrieved December 29, 2016.

External links[edit]