Desperate counties

Last fall StatsCan published a report showing, as of 2016, the percentage of Canadian households living below the low-income threshold. It was unsurprising, but still upsetting, to see the statistics from the rural area where I grew up.

Of the 70 census tracts in Nova Scotia, the place where I grew up ranked 61st. More than 1 in 3 homes in that area live below the low income threshold. Apart from a nearby area where the homes are nicer, the whole county was around that same 1-in-3 mark. Meanwhile, the country average (for tracts that could be reported) is only 21.5%.

As I said, it’s not surprising that Nova Scotia in general struggles economically, nor is it surprising that where I grew up (which is rural and economically depressed) would be at the low end even of that. It’s just hard to reconcile the factual hardness of these flaws with the filter of my nostalgia (and ongoing love) for the place.

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