Nova Scotia was first settled by the Mi’kmaq, who were there when the French arrived in 1604. Two decades later the Scots moved in until they were removed by a treaty that turned the land back over to the French for the next 150 years.
At this time there was an influx of new settlers to Nova Scotia due to the end of the American Revolutionary war. These settlers included British loyalists and their slaves who were promised free land in exchange for fighting. The African population was increased further due to the result of US-bound slave ships being intercepted. The Irish and Scottish populations grew again in the 19th Century as the result of problems in the two home countries.
Nova Scotia has a population of almost 1 million. According to the 2006 census, around 92% of Nova Scotians consider English as their mother tongue, with around 4% speaking French.
People of Scottish, English and Irish ancestry make up approximately 80% of the population, with descendants of French and German immigrants making up 16% and 10% respectively. Just over 3% of people in Nova Scotia are Mi’kmaq, the First Nation of the province.
The wide variety of cultures that have blended in Nova Scotia make it a welcoming place and the government has been engaged in programmes to attract immigrants. Knowing one is likely to be made to feel welcome, and the fact that there are so many cultures represented, make it a good choice for those considering it for a new place to live.
Hundreds of different festivals and events are held throughout the year, so there is sure to be something for just about everyone.
Nova Scotians have long been known for being industrious, and that spirit still remains amongst those involved in fishing (though depleted stocks of ocean fish has reduced jobs), mining, lumber and agriculture. Tourism and other service industries are growing, adding jobs to the economy, and help to broaden Nova Scotia’s appeal throughout the world.