British Columbia’s population is older but has experienced growth in household income and is more linguistically diverse

It is important to ensure that working-aged immigrants are properly integrated into the labour market to offset the demographic changes associated with an aging population. The average age of British Columbia’s population has been steadily increasing since 1971 with the 2021 Census recording an average age of 43.1 years old. Additionally, according to the 2021 Census, over a fifth of B.C.’s population is over 65, an increase from 18.3% in 2016.

Between 2015 and 2020, households in Vancouver recorded a 16.1% increase in income. This is the highest increase in household income among major metropolitan regions across Canada during this time period. The high-paying jobs in Vancouver’s tech sector could be one of the factors leading to rising incomes in the city. According to data from CBRE, out of 50 cities in North America, Vancouver had the highest percentage growth in tech employees, with the city’s tech workforce growing by 63% between 2016 to 2021.

Compared to the rest of the population, British Columbians are more likely to speak a language that is not one of Canada’s official languages. 17.1% of British Columbians have a mother tongue that is neither English nor French, higher than the Canadian average of 12.7%. The diversity in languages spoken is even more noticeable in B.C.’s cities. In Vancouver, 27.6% of the population predominantly spoke a non-official language at home, the highest percentage among Canadian cities and in Abbotsford-Mission, 20.9% of the population spoke a language other than English or French at home. The most common non-official languages spoken in British Columbia are Punjabi, Mandarin, and Cantonese. These three languages account for the mother tongue of 703,520 British Columbians or 14.2% of the population.

Other IEC-BC Infographics you might be interested in checking out:
IEC-BC’s Visual Impact Story
Over A Million Jobs to Be Added to BC’s Economy
The Future of Immigrant Talent in BC’s Labour Market
BC Leading the Country in Employment and New Business Growth
Choosing BC as a New Home
Newcomers and Employment in Essential Sectors
Innovation and Expansion of IEC-BC’s Program to Prepare Newcomers for the Future of Work

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