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On socio-economic indicators, B.C. ranks middle of the road

B.C. scores high on quality of life, lower on economic well being
delta houses housing property tax increase
Study puts B.C. in middle of the road in terms of prosperity, but dead last in housing affordability.

Compared to 20 other peer countries, provinces and states, British Columbia is middle of the pack, when it comes to things like economic prosperity, according to a new study.

The Business Council of BC (BCBC) partnered with the Centre for the Study of Livings Standards (CSLS) to produce the 2024 B.C. Prosperity Index.

The study compares B.C. to 20 peers: advanced national and sub-national jurisdictions, like Australia and California.

Countries in the comparison list are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the UK, and U.S. Sub-national comparisons included all 10 Canadian provinces and three Pacific U.S. states: Washington, Oregon and California.

Overall, B.C. landed smack dab in the middle – 11th place out of 21 jurisdictions. That’s the same ranking it attained in 2019.

B.C. scores comparatively higher on things like educational attainment, household income, employment, clean air and societal well being.

But, unsurprisingly, it scores dead last on housing affordability, and also scores relatively low in economic well being.

B.C. scored particularly well on socio-economic measurements like poverty. B.C. ranked fourth out of 21 in terms of the population living below the poverty rate, and seventh in terms of household income, after taxes.


But it’s economic well-being was found to be below average – 15th out of 21.

“B.C.’s economic performance in recent years, particularly in respect of business investment and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, has been boosted by four “mega” capital projects: Trans Mountain, Site C, LNG Canada and Coastal Gas Link,” the report notes.

“Without the engineering construction activity associated with these mega projects, B.C.’s economic performance likely would have been less impressive and like the rest of Canada.

“The imminent completion and winding down of these projects raise the question as to what will drive provincial prosperity in future years.”

Despite the comparatively low ranking for general economic well-being, B.C. ranked above-average in terms of investment, which is defined as “capital placed by the public and private  sectors in machinery, equipment, technology, and infrastructure, excluding residential investment.”

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