Living In New Brunswick

Living in New Brunswick:

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New Brunswick’s Location

Fredericton : Moncton : Saint John : Immigration : Migrant Population

New Brunswick lies on the Atlantic Coast of Canada and is heavily forested – about 80 percent of the land is covered with woodland inhabited by moose, bears and other wildlife.

Most people who move to New Brunswick find they are welcomed into very friendly communities.

Southern New Brunswick is home to the province’s English speaking communities.

French speaking communities – making up one-third of the people in New Brunswick – lie in the northern part of the province.

New Brunswick is Canada’s only officially bilingual province.

New Brunswick is one of Canada’s smallest provinces – about the same size as Ireland or Scotland or the Czech Republic.

This leaves plenty of space for its 750,000 residents to enjoy the great outdoors and to build their houses.

Who Would Want To Live In New Brunswick?

New Brunswick is an especially attractive immigration destination for downsizers – people who desire a simpler, no-frills lifestyle amidst a land teeming with lakes and forests.

Real estate in New Brunswick is amongst the cheapest in Canada. In June 2018, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average house price in New Brunswick was just $192,000.

Newcomers who have sold more expensive property elsewhere often find they can buy a house mortgage-free in New Brunswick.

On New Brunswick’s Coast

In New Brunswick you get the chance to own an acreage of land that only the wealthy could afford in some places and the opportunity to live in communities where people still genuinely help one another.

If you are money-oriented and want to find a high-powered, fast moving career path (and a cosmopolitan nightlife with trendy nightclubs and the like) New Brunswick is probably not for you.

Although New Brunswick does not have a dynamic economy, the average hourly earnings for salaried employees is consistently higher than any other Atlantic province apart from Newfoundland and Labrador. The unemployment rate, which typically hovers around 9 or 10 percent, has been below 10 percent for most of 2016.

Who Lives In New Brunswick?

Winter in New Brunswick
Winter in New Brunswick

Most New Brunswickers have British Isles ancestry (English, Scottish and Irish) or French ancestry.

The province is currently home to a small migrant population. Fewer than 4 percent of New Brunswickers are migrants, a very small proportion compared with Toronto, where almost half of the people are migrants.

New Brunswick’s population has seen fewer changes in its demographics than most other Canadian provinces in recent years. Figures from Statistics Canada show that visible minorities make up less than 2 percent of New Brunswick’s population compared with around 16 percent for the whole of Canada.

Workers in New Brunswick are paid about 15 percent less than the Canadian average. People who are keen to pursue high-paying careers tend to move west.

What’s New Brunswick’s Climate Like?

autumn-fall New Brunswick
Fall / Autumn in New Brunswick

New Brunswick has a continental climate, which you can find out more about on our climate page for Fredericton.

Where Are The Main Places To Live In New Brunswick?

The three biggest cities in New Brunswick are Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton.

Almost half of New Brunswick’s population lives within the metropolitan areas of these three cities and, for most people, the best opportunities for work can be found here.

The major primary industries in New Brunswick are fishing and timber.

Saint John

Saint John Harbour
Saint John Harbour

Saint John is the most industrial city in New Brunswick and perhaps the least picturesque. Its metropolitan population is about 125,000.

Saint John is New Brunswick’s principal port and manufacturing area. The port is ice-free in winter because of very vigorous tidal currents in the Bay of Fundy.

Saint John has faced difficulties as its older industries – like ship building – have been unable to compete in the world economy and have been closing.

Current industries include brewing, electricity generation, transport / distribution, call centres and the largest oil-refinery in Canada.


Suburban Moncton

Moncton’s metropolitan population is about 140,000. It is a lively area with a mixture of English and French (30 percent) speakers and cultures.

Almost all of Moncton’s French speakers are bilingual. A significant number of Moncton’s English speakers do not speak French. It is easy to work in Moncton without speaking French but, if you are in business, it could prove useful.

Moncton is a growing centre for high-tech and service industries – including call-centres drawn by Moncton’s bilingual workforce.

The Université de Moncton – a French speaking university – is based in Moncton and the city is well provided for in terms of shopping, schools and recreation.

Moncton and Halifax (Nova Scotia) are actively promoting a Moncton-Halifax growth corridor to try to enhance their mutual economies along with those of Truro, Amherst and Sackville en-route.

Moncton is home to New Brunswick’s main airport, operating scheduled flights to Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Calgary, Edmonton and Newark. Seasonal and charter flights operate to France, Germany, Florida, and Caribbean islands.


Traditional Street in Fredericton
A Traditional Street in Fredericton

Fredericton’s metropolitan population is about 90,000 – 95,000, depending on student numbers. Fredericton is the capital of New Brunswick and sits, picturesquely, on the St John river.

In addition to government work, Fredericton is a university city, with good shopping facilities, schools, and recreational facilities. Fredericton is the home of two universities – The University of New Brunswick, founded in 1785, and St. Thomas University, a centre for Catholic liberal arts education.

Information technology based businesses are a growing force in Fredericton.

Fredericton’s airport operates internal flights to Toronto, Montreal and Halifax and externally to Boston, Massachusetts.

Which City is Best to Live In?

Confederation Bridge
Confederation Bridge: New Brunswick to Prince
Edward Island. At 12.9 km (8 miles), it’s the
longest bridge over ice-covered water on Earth.

The commonly held view is that Fredericton and Moncton, with less heavy industry, are preferable to Saint John in terms of quality of life.

In mid 2018, the average price of a standard two storey house in Fredericton area was $294,000 and the average price in Saint John was $210,000.

How Can I Live In New Brunswick?

To make your home in New Brunswick you need to become a permanent resident of Canada. This is done via the normal immigration processes.

To speed your application up, you might consider New Brunswick’s Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP).

Applicants are ranked according to an assessment score. The highest ranked candidates may be invited to apply to NBPNP Express Entry Labour Market Stream.



  1. And what about the weather? What part of Nb has the best/worst weather for snowfall, hurricanes and other atlantic ‘desease’?

    • Saint John and Any of the southern coastal towns along the Bay Of Fundy have the best weather! Moncton gets a lot of snow!

      • David Little says:

        I disagree, Fundy coast towns especially Saint John are always foggy, raining and dreary. I prefer the higher amounts of snow in the winter and the higher temps in the summer along the eastern coastline, New Brunswick’s “Muskoka” cottage country.

  2. what about language, my wife is as medical professional, ultrasound, would she have to speak french in a hospital setting?

    • It’s bilingual with English and French. French is an asset but most people speak English there anyway.

      • so you have to speak french thats the question he wants answered. Actually NB lost probably 400000 people due to a slow economy and french needs to be spoken and written in many of the best jobs so all the educated english folk had to leave! English are 60 percent of NB, French are 40 percent. This is where minority rights are more than the majority where all this bs started and why I had to leave st john 6 times since my 20s!! the strange thing is french people have poor english and are not even tested.

  3. Joanna Brandon says:

    Is New Brunswick Handicap Accessible? Can you find accessible housing? Are there good hospitals/neurologists there?

  4. Joanna Brandon says:

    Can someone living on a pension afford to live there?

  5. Looking forward to live in Moncton, New Brunswick as an immigrant.

  6. Amy Wager-Mayhew says:

    I am looking to relocate to a smaller town south of St. John’s.
    Easy going, laid back but community activities and a pub is a must.
    Any feedback would be so appreciated.

  7. According to you, which city in NB is the best to live in ? I currently live in Toronto and I’m sick and tired of life here. I would greatly appreciate it if someone could give me positive feedbacks about life styles in NB

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