Fraser Institute Press Release: Median Income of Halifax Workers Nearly $24,000 Lower than Boston

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HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Oct. 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) The average employment income in Halifax is $23,709 lower than in Boston. In fact, average employment income in urban areas in Atlantic Canada is much lower than in urban areas in New England, finds a new study published by the Fraser Institute.

Halifax and Boston are regional economic centers. However, there is a significant difference in prosperity between the two, with the average employment income in Halifax being almost $24,000 lower, said Ben Eisen, a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and co-author of the book Comparison of average employment income in Atlantic Canada and New England metropolitan areas.

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The study measured average earned income in 20 metropolitan areas in Atlantic Canada and New England from 2010 to 2019.

In 2019, the median employment income in Halifax was $38,084 compared to $61,793 in Boston. Similarly, Bangor, Maine, located right on the border with New Brunswick, has a higher median income than all cities in all of Atlantic Canada (except St. Johns). Lewiston, Burlington and Portland, other cities close to the border, have higher average incomes than any city in Atlantic Canada.

Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada, average employment incomes were much lower than in urban areas of New England. In fact, if you consider the 20 jurisdictions, Halifax, Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John and St. Johns, along with Bangor, were in five of the bottom six spots.

The study also measured compound annual growth in average employment income from 2010 to 2019. Only one urban area in the Atlantic CanadaSt. Johns was in the top half for height (9th).vol place in 20 metropolitan areas). The rest of Atlantic Canada’s metropolitan areas were among the seven lowest in terms of labor income growth.

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Eisen said there is not only a significant prosperity gap between urban areas in Atlantic Canada and their New England counterparts, but it has actually widened in the 2010s.

Ben Eisen, Senior Research Fellow
Fraser Institute

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and education organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal and affiliated with 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 researching, measuring and broadly communicating the impact of government policies, entrepreneurship and choices on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept government grants or research contracts. Visit

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