Vancouver ranked as Canada's best city for youth to work: RBC study

May 11 2021, 10:54 am

Out of 27 Canadian urban areas evaluated for their ecosystem for youth work, Metro Vancouver came out as the top location in the country that allows young people to fulfill their professional and personal ambitions.

While the Vancouver region ranked almost dead last for cost of living (24th), it performed positively in nearly all other indicators considered for what makes an ideal city for young people to thrive, offsetting aspects driven by poor housing affordability.

According to the 2021 Urban Work Index, a partnership between Youthful Cities and RBC Future Launch, Vancouver is the only region to have ranked first overall in three categories, and most of the city’s indicator rankings have been within the top five positions.

Metro Vancouver came out at the top for public health, equity, and inclusion, and public transportation.

“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.

On public transit, Metro Vancouver has the highest public transit usage rate for youth and ranks second in the number of users who choose this mode of transportation.

Vancouver also ranked highly in good jobs for youth (5th), climate change (3rd), digital access (3rd), and city economy (6th), but it was weaker in income generation (10th), education and training (20th), and entrepreneurial spirit (12th).

Victoria and Kelowna ranked fourth and 12th, respectively, while Calgary came in at sixth — just behind Montreal at fifth, but behind Ottawa at seventh and Toronto and 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 total 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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