Economic Diversification


Over the past 50 years, Hamilton has emerged from the perception of it being a “Steel City” to happily embracing the label of having a highly diversified economy. A diversified economy is one that is not reliant upon any one industry, and is able to accommodate a wide variety of businesses due to our competitive advantages.

The Conference Board of Canada provides a measure of a metropolitan area’s Economic Diversity based on the structure of its economy as compared to a national average. The range provided by the Conference Board to help derive meaning from their scoring is a “highly diverse” economy is said to have a score of 1, while an economy that is “not diverse” has a score of 0.

Story behind the numbers

With a score in the low to mid-90s over the past six years, the Hamilton CMA has a highly diversified economy.

Performance improvements

The Economic Development Office undertakes work to build the local economy in a number of ways.

  1. Business development, focuses on attraction/expansion and retention of new and existing businesses.
  2. Urban renewal, focuses on building employment opportunities in Hamilton’s six downtowns and 13 Business Improvement Areas.
  3. Small Business Enterprise Centre, is focused on building the entrepreneur ecosystem in the city and working with partners like Innovation Factory to advance small business growth.

Source: Conference Board of Canada – Hamilton CMA Spring Metropolitan Outlook (2012-2017)
Note: 1 is the maximum score for measuring economic diversification.

Economic Diversification Ranking

0 = Not Diverse, 1 = Highly Diverse

Year Diversification Ranking
2011 0.92
2012 0.94
2013 0.94
2014 0.95
2015 0.92
2016 0.94