Fraser Institute News Release: Median employment income for Halifax workers nearly $24,000 less than in Boston

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Oct. 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Median employment income in Halifax is $23,709 less than in Boston—in fact, median employment incomes in urban areas across Atlantic Canada are significantly lower than in urban areas in New England, finds a new study published by the Fraser Institute.

“Halifax and Boston are both regional economic hubs. However, a significant prosperity gap exists between the two, with median employment income being nearly $24,000 less in Halifax,” said Ben Eisen, a Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author of Comparing Median Employment Incomes in Atlantic Canada and New England Metropolitan Areas.

The study measures median employment income in 20 metropolitan areas in Atlantic Canada and New England from 2010-2019.

In 2019, median employment income in Halifax was $38,084 compared to $61,793 in Boston. Likewise, Bangor, Maine—which sits right on the border with New Brunswick—has a higher median income than all cities across Atlantic Canada (except for St. John’s). Lewiston, Burlington, and Portland, other cities close to the border, all have higher median income than any city in Atlantic Canada.

Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada, median employment incomes were significantly lower than urban areas in New England. In fact, when the 20 jurisdictions are ranked, Halifax, Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John and St. John’s made up five of the six lowest positions, along with Bangor.

The study also measures compound annual growth in median employment income from 2010 to 2019. Only one urban area in Atlantic Canada—St. John’s—ranked in the top half for growth (9th place out of 20 metro areas). The remaining metro areas in Atlantic Canada ranked among the seven lowest in terms of employment income growth.

“Not only does a significant prosperity gap exist between urban areas in Atlantic Canada and their New England counterparts, but that gap widened over the course of the 2010s,” Eisen said.

Ben Eisen, Senior Fellow
Fraser Institute

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit