January 22, 2004

Ranking Halifax on creativity, diversity, talent and technology Richard Florida speaks to sold-out crowd in Halifax

HALIFAX, NS - (January 22, 2004) The Greater Halifax Partnership today released the results of a report that examines the placement of Halifax among Canada’s city regions in terms of talent, creativity, technology and diversity.

“There appears to be a strong set of linkages between creativity, diversity, talent, and technology-intensive activity that are driving the economy of Halifax and Canada’s other city-regions,” said Stephen Dempsey, President and CEO of Greater Halifax Partnership. He added, “it takes more than bricks and mortar to create economic opportunity, it takes people - this research tells us what kind of people we need in our community to be successful.”

The report was complied by Meric S. Gertler and Tara Vinodrai from the department of Geography and the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto and ranks cities on four key measures:

  • Talent index - the proportion of the CMA population over 18 years of age with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Bohemian index - the proportion of the CMA employed labour force that works in artistic or creative endeavours.
  • Mosaic Index - the proportion of the CMA population that is foreign-born.
  • Tech-pole index - compares the region's share of employment in high-tech industry compared to the region's overall share of national employment.

How Halifax Ranks on Key Indicators - 2001

  • Talent Index 4
  • Bohemian Index 7
  • Mosaic Index 19
  • Tech Pole Index (1999) 10

“There are a few priority areas for your region to focus on, but there are undoubtedly many places in Canada (and the US) who would be delighted to have what Halifax has going for it,” said Meric Gertler. He added, “There's more hard work ahead -- particularly on the diversity side of things -- but you should also be counting your blessings.”

For policy makers, this work confirms the importance of urban centres in the knowledge economy and the need to investigate further the importance of higher education in this knowledge economy. At the municipal level, this work points to the importance of the collaborative efforts between local governments, firms, and individuals to reinforce and strengthen the unique urban character of their city-regions. This work also underscores the importance of immigration and settlement, as well as the nurturing of arts and creativity.

This report was commissioned by the Greater Halifax Partnership, with the support of the following partner organizations - Nova Scotia Economic Development, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Halifax Regional Municipality, Downtown Halifax Business Commission, Nova Scotia Business Inc., and ICE Awards.

In correlation with this research, over 630 business, civic, community, education, and arts and cultural leaders gathered in Halifax for a luncheon presentation on Thursday January 22. The sold out event, featured Richard Florida, author of best-selling book, The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure Community and Everyday Life.

Based on extensive research, Florida has discovered that the cities that attract, embrace, and encourage creative people, diverse ethnic communities, artists, and alternative culture are at the centre of economic prosperity. Areas rich with artisans, street musicians, integrated diversity, and lively cultural scene are the cities that flourish.

The Greater Halifax Partnership is the economic growth organization for Greater Halifax focused on retaining, expanding and attracting business. It is among the most innovative and successful economic development partnerships in North America.