The early 70s economic boomlet in New Brunswick

The early to mid 1970s might have been know for social, economic and geopolitical upheaval around the world as well as bell bottoms, wide ties and Watergate but there seems to have been something interesting going on in New Brunswick.

Between 1971 and 1976 GDP per capita increased more quickly than any other five year period in 90 years.

The population grew by more than 60,000 or 10 percent between 1970 and 1076.

There was a spike in immigrants – just a short lived boost from 1972 to 1976 – then the numbers mostly went back to the traditional lows.

Did the draft dodgers lead to NB’s mini boom?  Maybe attracting disgruntled Yanks is the right strategy?  What else was going on at the time?

According to Richard Wilbur’s New Brunswick: An Annual Review, 1960-2006 (essential reading if you want a quick survey of NB history over that period), the early 70s was a period of economic turbulence in New Brunswick.  The pulp and paper industry was expanding during the period, the port in Saint John and, of course, the infamous Bricklin manufacturing facility started up but the economy in northern NB was struggling.  Public spending expanded too during the period with the province’s first billion-dollar budget in 1975 (combined with a record deficit of $64 million).   There is no indication from his writing that the province was booming but the Stats Can data indicates otherwise.

Anyway, I was in short pants during that period so I kind of missed NB’s early to mid 1970s economic boomlet.