Goal 19

Net Debt to GDP

By 2024 the Province of Nova Scotia’s net debt to GDP ratio will be 30% or less.


Nova Scotia flag waving in the wind at dusk by Halifax Harbour. Nova Scotia flag waving in the wind at dusk by Halifax Harbour.

Goal Status

checkmark icon to signify progressing Progressing On Track
Baseline: 36.9%
Current: 34.1%
Target: 30%
Bands

Current Situation

The province reported a net debt-GDP ratio of 34.1% for 2018-19 in the annual Public Accounts. This reflects a 2.8 percentage point decline from the baseline of 36.9%. Projections from the March 2019 Budget for 2019-20 through 2022-23 show the ratio continuing to drop steadily, reaching 31.6% by 2022-23. Note that there have been revisions to the historical nominal GDP data, resulting in a higher ratio for the baseline period (to 36.9% in 2012-13).

Fiscal Year Actual Forecast/Estimate Target
1981-82 19.0% 30.0%
1982-83 20.6% 30.0%
1983-84 21.5% 30.0%
1984-85 23.1% 30.0%
1985-86 25.1% 30.0%
1986-87 24.9% 30.0%
1987-88 24.9% 30.0%
1988-89 24.8% 30.0%
1989-90 26.2% 30.0%
1990-91 27.5% 30.0%
1991-92 29.5% 30.0%
1992-93 38.8% 30.0%
1993-94 42.9% 30.0%
1994-95 44.2% 30.0%
1995-96 44.1% 30.0%
1996-97 45.6% 30.0%
1997-98 47.4% 30.0%
1998-99 46.9% 30.0%
1999-00 47.3% 30.0%
2000-01 47.5% 30.0%
2001-02 45.4% 30.0%
2002-03 43.6% 30.0%
2003-04 41.4% 30.0%
2004-05 39.9% 30.0%
2005-06 38.1% 30.0%
2006-07 37.8% 30.0%
2007-08 35.7% 30.0%
2008-09 34.8% 30.0%
2009-10 37.2% 30.0%
2010-11 35.0% 30.0%
2011-12 35.5% 30.0%
2012-13 36.9% 30.0%
2013-14 38.2% 30.0%
2014-15 37.8% 30.0%
2015-16 37.1% 30.0%
2016-17 36.1% 30.0%
2017-18 35.1% 30.0%
2018-19 34.1% 30.0%
2019-20 33.8% 30.0%
2020-21 33.5% 30.0%
2021-22 32.5% 30.0%
2022-23 31.6% 30.0%
2023-24 30.0%
2024-25 30.0%

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Note: Projections are from Budget 2019-20. Historic Net Debt balances are not directly comparable to current balances.  The Province adopted public sector accounting standards for the year ended March 31, 1999.  Accounting policy changes at this time, and since, that require retroactive application are typically adjusted for only one or two previous years and the remaining historical figures are not restated (any residual impact would be adjusted through the opening net debt balance).

What This Means

This data point measures the dollar value of the provincial government's debt relative to the size of the province’s GDP. It is expressed in this ratio because the size of the GDP is a common measure of the province's tax base from which to draw revenue, and thus a measure of its ability to pay down the debt.

Deep Dive

Read more detailed information about this goal by clicking 'Deep Dive'

Net Debt to GDP Deep Dive

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