Earlier this month, the results of the third CityThink (for which the Greater Halifax Partnership is a co-sponsor with Metro Halifax and MarketQuest-Omnifacts) were released in a series of Metro Halifax articles. Previous surveys were in 2007 and 2010.
For those who wonder what CityThink is, its tagline is “MarketQuest-Omnifacts talks to the people in your neighbourhood” and it does what it says on the box; it’s a survey of 600 randomly sampled adults in Halifax about their community, their leaders and the hot topics of the year.
The economy is, of course, one of the key topics surveyed and the results mirrored how the economy is actually doing, I think. 53% feel positively (excellent or good) about the economy and 38% think it is fair. If we compare that to the Q1 2011 snapshot, we see that year over year, good or fair is a realistic assessment. Real GDP growth in 2010 was about 3.3%, which was 8th out of 27 cities measured by the Conference Board of Canada. That’s pretty good.
While confidence in the future is measured (67% believe the economy will be about the same next year and 20% believe it will be better); this is consistent with slow growth, post-recession. Overall the year-over-year view is that the last 10 years of economic growth, residential and commercial development have been good for Halifax. This is promising as we begin work implementing the 2011-16 economic strategy; residents approve of the foundation that we’re building on and the direction that the city is headed in.
Consistenty, Halifax residents report a high quality of life and incredibly high levels of satisfaction (91% satisfied or very satisfied); from quality health care, leisure activities, public education and affordable living, Halifax residents like living here and are planning on staying here.
What I’m most excited about for next year is the number of game changers currently sitting in the pipe for Halifax; the various development projects that are on the doorstep and Irving’s great shot at building the next fleet of combat ships (an opportunity so big, it’s really hard to overstate it) mean we could be surveying an entirely different Halifax in future editions of CityThink.
David is the Research Coordinator for the Greater Halifax Partnership. He studied Economics and Philosophy at the University of Prince Edward Island, and has experience working with private, public and non-profit organizations. He maintains the economic data section of the website and provides economic analysis on key issues relating to Halifax.