British Columbia’s population growth continued to slow in 2021,

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — According to BC report: livean annual report from the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) on demographic and affordability trends in the province, British Columbia’s population growth has continued to decline through 2021.

“The migration disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic has continued through the first half of 2021,” said Lori Mathison, FCPA, FCGA, LLB, President and CEO of CPABC. “The population gain in 2021 was nearly 30,000 less than in 2019, and the lowest in a decade.”

From July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021, British Columbia added just over 56,000 residents, well below the annual average of over 68,400 from 2010 to 2019. This was the result of a slowdown in the international immigration, as a growing number of residents arrived from other provinces.

For the first time in the past decade, BC’s net interprovincial migration (+34,277 new residents) contributed more to population growth than international migration (+21,607). However, there was a slight increase in the population growth rate in the second half of 2021.

“As immigration channels normalized, it was encouraging to see population growth resume in the second half of 2021,” Mathison noted. “New residents are essential to help offset our aging population and record labor shortages. About one in five British Columbians were over the age of 65 in 2021, compared to nearly one in seven in 2011.

The province’s average age was 42.8 in 2021, up from 40.8 in 2011. Over the past decade, the proportion of British Columbians aged 65 and older has increased the most of all groups, reaching 19.7% of the population in 2021 compared to 15.3 years. % in 2011.

“A major deterrent for many would-be immigrants or those looking to start a family is that income growth has been much slower than housing price growth over the past decade, the gap does not expected to widen as residential real estate prices rise rapidly in 2021 and into 2022,” Mathison continued. “And while housing construction has been robust, we still need more supply, especially of mid-sized units.”

In May 2022, the average home in British Columbia sold for $980,324, up 8.6% from May 2021 and 38.0% from May 2020. The Lower Mainland has the highest prices high, with the average single-family home price hitting $1.88 million in May 2022 from $1.26 million in May 2020.

In 2021, 39,163 dwellings were completed, or about 0.7 per new inhabitant. That was well above the 0.4 units per new resident in 2019 and 0.3 at the low point in 2016. Nearly four-fifths of completions in 2021 were attached units, like condos and apartments, compared to 65 % in 2016. Over the past decade, BC’s population grew by 749,259 compared to 330,537 housing completions.

“While the gap between housing supply and population has closed in 2021, as population growth returns to pre-pandemic levels, the gap will widen again. Over the past decade, supply has drastically fallen short of population, and housing has become smaller despite the greatest demand for housing with more space,” concluded Mathison. “To improve affordability, we need to create policies that significantly boost housing supply and focus on ways to increase our province’s productivity and the income of residents.

Learn more about the BC Check-Up: live report.

About CPA British Columbia
The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) is the education, governance and regulatory body for more than 38,000 CPA members and 6,000 CPA students. The CPABC fulfills its primary mission of protecting the public by applying the highest professional and ethical standards and by contributing to the advancement of public policy. CPAs are internationally recognized for bringing superior financial expertise, strategic thinking, business vision and leadership to organizations.