FORT ST. JOHN, British Columbia, July 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, northeast British Columbia added 292 residents in 2021, bringing the region’s population to 72,409 residents.
“Our region experienced a significant slowdown in population growth in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it is encouraging to see it recover in 2021,” said Ben Sander, FCPA, FCA, partner at Sander Rose Bone Grindle. “It is mainly the result that, for the first time in more than a decade, northeast British Columbia had more immigrants than emigrants from other provinces.
Northeast BC welcomed a net 255 residents from other provinces in 2021, compared to an average annual net outflow of 334 from 2010 to 2020. The region also continued to have strong growth natural, with the number of births exceeding deaths by 489 in 2021, and hosted a network of 211 international residents. Conversely, the region continued to see more residents moving to other parts of the province than arriving, with a net outflow of 663 residents.
“With a relatively young population, northeast British Columbia continues to have the highest birth rate in the province,” Sander continued. “It’s also promising that immigration rebounded last year, as many businesses in our region struggled to find enough workers to fill vacancies. This is all the more important as a growing proportion of our population approaches retirement age.
The average age in northeast British Columbia was 36.9 in 2021, nearly six years younger than the provincial average (42.8) and the youngest in the province. However, the average age has increased by 1.8 years since 2011, and the population aged 55 and over represented almost a quarter of the population (24.2%) compared to less than a fifth in 2011 (19 .1%).
“Unlike much of the province, inadequate housing supply is less of a concern for northeast British Columbia, and the region has seen a large number of housing completions in recent years,” Sander noted. “Overall, housing affordability is much better in our area than in the rest of the province.
Over the past five years, northeast British Columbia added 818 residents, while the number of housing completions in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek was 548. The average price of a home sold in the South Peace area was $261,775 in June 2022, down 1.6% from June 2021. For comparison, the average home sold across all of British Columbia was $947,216 in June 2022.
“Despite the rebound in 2021, our population growth is well below the BC average. To attract immigrants, we need to market northeast BC as a place that offers relatively affordable housing, a good lifestyle, and economic opportunity,” Sander concluded. “However, for this to resonate, we also need to ensure that residents benefit from investment activity in the area, for example from major major projects underway.”
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 candidates and 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.