Calgary named one of Canada’s best cities for youth to work: RBC study

May 11 2021, 3:01 pm

Out of 27 Canadian urban areas evaluated for their ecosystem for youth work, Calgary came in sixth in the country for allowing young people to fulfill their professional and personal ambitions.

While Calgary ranked almost dead last for youth employment rates (23rd), it performed positively in many other indicators considered for what makes an ideal city for young people to thrive, offsetting aspects driven by a lack of good youth jobs.

According to the 2021 Urban Work Index, a partnership between Youthful Cities and RBC Future Launch, Albertan cities place in the top half of the “Education and Training” category thanks to their low tuition costs. “Despite Edmonton and Calgary placing first and second respectively in Cost of Living,” reads the report, “they also have some of the highest rates of youth unemployment.”

Calgary came in near the top for income generation, digital access, and city economy. It also garnered high scores for entrepreneurial spirit.

“Cities with workplace and social efforts to ensure inclusivity are appealing and foster a more diverse population. This means that they offer a welcoming and safe environment that is representative of the diversity of cultures of those who live there and provide public services to meet the needs of different people,” reads the study.

Calgary ranked highly in cost of living (second), income generation (second), education and training (fourth), and digital access (second), but it was weaker in public health (20th), climate change (19th), and equity and inclusion (eighth).

Calgary scored second for city economy, and fifth for entrepreneurial spirit. On public transit, Calgary ranks seventh in the number of users who choose this mode of transportation.

Edmonton and Lethbridge ranked third and 17th overall, respectively, while Vancouver came in first. Montreal was at fifth, behind Calgary but just ahead of Ottawa at seventh and Toronto at eighth.

The study, launched in March 2020, hired 1,200 young people in the analyzed Canadian cities as urban researchers to collect public data, and perform surveys and interviews with over 3,000 youth between the ages of 15 and 29. In total, there were nearly 16,000 points of data contributing to the 2021 rankings.

Canada’s best urban areas for youth in 2021 (total score)

  1. Vancouver (623.66)
  2. Hamilton (541.23)
  3. Edmonton (538.96)
  4. Victoria (538.38)
  5. Montreal (532.22)
  6. Calgary (530.47)
  7. Ottawa/Gatineau (530.40)
  8. Toronto (525.91)
  9. Quebec City (503.92)
  10. Mississauga (501.05)
  11. Halifax (496.42)
  12. Kelowna (494.48)
  13. Winnipeg (486.21)
  14. Kitchener-Waterloo (485.481)
  15. Sudbury (481.03)
  16. Saskatoon (479.36)
  17. Lethbridge (474.13)
  18. Brampton (468.84)
  19. Laval (466.55)
  20. Yellowknife (461.87)
  21. Oshawa (460.16)
  22. Regina (458.57)
  23. Charlottetown (446.22)
  24. St. John’s (434.91)
  25. London (434.16)
  26. Moncton (411.74)
  27. Fredericton (395.27)
2021 urban work index youthful cities rbc

Indicator rankings of Canadian urban areas in the 2021 Urban Work Index. Click on the image for an enlarged version. (Youthful Cities/RBC)

2021 urban work index youthful cities rbc

Indicator rankings of Canadian urban areas in the 2021 Urban Work Index. Click on the image for an enlarged version. (Youthful Cities/RBC)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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