Assembly of New Brunswick
New Brunswick at the Dawn of a New Century
KEY DEMOGRAPHIC FACTS ABOUT NEW BRUNSWICK
New Brunswick has consistently shown a decline in births over the last 20 year-period. Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia exhibited the opposite trend.
LOW FERTILITY RATES
New Brunswick's fertility rate is at a very low level of 1.5. The replacement level is 2.1. In short, we are not replacing ourselves, a trend that is likely to have significant implications.
NO "ECHO BOOM"
New Brunswick, unlike most other provinces, did not experience an increase in births in the eighties and early nineties. This phenomenon has been labeled the "Echo Boom", for it reflects the period when the majority of "Baby Boomers" were having children.
NEW BRUNSWICK IS AN AGING POPULATION
New Brunswick's population is aging. By the time "baby boomers" retire, it is estimated that one in every five Canadians will be 65 years of age or more, compared to approximately one in ten today.
Immigration is the key to both size and characteristics of the future population of Canada. However, only 0.3% of Canada's national immigration total actually immigrate to New Brunswick. This low number is not likely to change in the future. Only P.E.I. and Newfoundland have lower or equal immigration levels, at 0.1% and 0.3% respectively.
NET LOSS TO INTERPROVINCIAL MIGRATION
In recent years, like most other provinces, more people have been leaving New Brunswick than have been coming in. Since 1988 however, out migration has stabilized and is significantly less than it was in the previous decade.
PEOPLE ARE RETURNING TO RURAL AREAS
New Brunswick has one of the highest rural non-farm populations in Canada. Urban population in New Brunswick consistently declined over the 1976-1991 period. Urban share of the population dropped from 53.5% in 1976 to 47.7% in 1991. Moreover, since 1986, New Brunswick has had a larger rural population than urban.
WE LIVE IN SMALL COMMUNITIES
In 1991, more than 90% of New Brunswick census subdivisions had a population of less than 5000 people.
New Brunswick has a population that is thinly distributed across all parts of the Province, with a majority of its residents living in rural areas. This has tremendous implications for the provision of services such as; health care, education, policing, sewage, water, garbage disposal, hydro, telephone, transportation, and other municipal services.
LOW POPULATION DENSITY
Out of 287 census subdivisions in New Brunswick, only 18 had a population density of at least 400 people per square kilometer. The Oromocto First Nation reserve had the highest population density of all NB geographies. Saint John and Westmorland counties were the most densely populated in 1991. Queens and Victoria were the least populated.
According to the 1991 census, 64.5% of New Brunswick's population indicated that English was their mother tongue, while 33% of the populace indicated that French was their mother tongue. Moreover, 30% of the total population is considered bilingual. New Brunswick is Canada's only officially bilingual province.