West Vancouver‘s demographics are diverse. It has the second highest percentage of senior citizens in BC. The top five professions in the city are professional science and technical services, health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. The median age of residents is 40. There are roughly 39,000 people living in the city.
Average household size
The average household size in West Vancouver is 2.5 people. This is higher than the average for other Canadian cities. There are 16,935 households in West Vancouver. Seventy-four per cent of these are owner-occupied. Twenty-five per cent are renter-occupied. In West Vancouver, the average household has 2.5 people, and the largest share of the market is households with two people. The next-largest share is households with one person. Forty-two per cent of households in West Vancouver are maintained by people over 65.
West Vancouver is undergoing significant demographic change. It has a rapidly aging population. The city also has low density development patterns, limited transit, and high levels of traffic. Moreover, most schoolchildren drive to school. This increases traffic, especially in areas such as West Vancouver, Squamish, and Whistler.
West Vancouver’s population is aging and affordable housing is an increasing problem. The average cost of renting a two-bedroom unit in the city is $2,400, while a three-bedroom unit costs $3,620. In addition, about 70 per cent of the city’s workforce and 90 per cent of its municipal employees are from other regions. As a result, fewer West Vancouver residents are working and their employment rate has decreased by 10 percent over the past five years.
West Vancouver is a district municipality in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is a suburb of the city of Vancouver and is located on the north shore of Burrard Inlet. A quarter of the population of the city lives in West Vancouver, and the other third lives in North Vancouver. The mayor of West Vancouver, Mary-Ann Booth, has worked in the municipal sector for over a decade and brings that experience to the new role as mayor of the city.
In August, employment in the province fell by 0.5% month-over-month, but was up 1.1% year-over-year. The decline was most noticeable in the services-producing sector, which decreased by 1,400 jobs. Job growth in construction and real estate offset losses in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and education and health services.
West Vancouver has a low unemployment rate, at 5.5%. Its largest industry sector is management, while the second largest is business, finance, and administration. Sales and service make up the third largest portion of the local workforce. This makes it an attractive place to live and work. However, it is important to note that there are a number of seasonal factors that can influence employment statistics.
Employment rates in west Vancouver have remained stable over the last six months. The province’s unemployment rate fell to five percent in April, a tad lower than the national rate. The unemployment rate dropped in most sectors, except for the oil and gas sector. The unemployment rate in the Vancouver CMA remained unchanged from March and was also lower than that in the Abbotsford-Mission region and Kelowna.
In July, the province’s unemployment rate was almost unchanged from June. The positive news is that the number of full-time workers in the province rose by 0.7 percent. There are also signs of rising wages. Bryan Yu, chief economist of Central 1 Credit Union, said that the high number of full-time employees is a good sign. Employment has increased in the construction industry, which has high demand due to low housing supply. Further, jobs in the health and education sector and in the manufacturing industry have increased.
West Vancouver is home to forty-four thousand residents. Eighty-four percent of the population is owner-occupied, while twenty-one percent is renter-occupied. The average household has 2.5 people. Households with two or more people comprise the biggest segment of the market, while households with one or two people comprise the second largest sector. More than half of the population is married, while four percent are common law.
Visible minorities in West Vancouver
West Vancouver is home to a diverse population. Its visible minority population is growing. The city’s largest groups of residents are Chinese, Filipinos, and West Asians, and the percentage of residents who identify as visible minorities is higher than the average. The city also has a low unemployment rate and a high percentage of immigrants, making it a good place to live for immigrants and newcomers.
While East Vancouver has long been considered a multicultural working-class community, it is losing its diversity, and the west side of Vancouver is home to a growing number of visible minorities, including Indigenous people of colour. The largest decrease in visible minority population occurred in Mount Pleasant, where the percentage dropped by 15 to 20 percent.
West Vancouver has the highest proportion of newcomers on the North Shore, accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the city’s population. Visible minorities make up 36 per cent of the population, a significant increase from the 28 per cent seen three years ago. The majority of West Vancouver residents speak English, with English being the first language in 62 per cent of households.
West Vancouver’s housing crisis is compounded by a lack of affordable housing. In 2018, the average rent for a two-bedroom unit in the city was $2,400, while a three-bedroom unit cost about $3,620. Furthermore, almost 70 per cent of the city’s workforce, as well as ninety per cent of municipal workers, are from outside the city. The city’s workforce has been declining since the last census, with just slightly more than half of its residents in the labor force.
West Vancouver has a large immigrant population and has one of the highest percentages of visible minorities in Canada. Those of Chinese descent, South Asians, and Asians make up forty-five per cent of the city’s population, with only the black community making up two-per-cent.
Balance of power in Vancouver City Council
The balance of power in Vancouver City Council is in flux as there are five NPA councilors and three centre-left parties. Although this is a crowded field, the NPA has supported Stewart, a former NDP MP, as its candidate. The council must determine how best to govern in the public interest.
The current city council lacks diversity and understanding of the concerns of the residents. The current council has three single-issue candidates and would benefit from a balanced approach. There is also a split vote amongst voters that reflects disillusionment and frustration with city government. The new council will have to work together to find solutions.
While there were no new candidates this election, two of the three candidates were former councillors. Both were endorsed by the city’s business community. However, their support was not enough to make a difference in the outcome of the city election. Those who want a more progressive future for the city must mobilize disengaged moderates.
There is no clear majority, but the Green Party has a strong presence. In fact, in the last election, they elected all of their candidates. In the next election, they will not run a mayoral candidate, but will only field four council candidates. Besides their four council candidates, the Greens will also field Nick Poppell for the school board and Tom Digby for the park board.
The Vision amendment is the most controversial motion this election. It would have asked voters whether they want whales or dolphins in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium, and whether they want to see oil tankers anchored in Vancouver’s waters. As a result, Carr’s motion did not pass.
The Vision party won the first majority in 2008. This group is known for setting the pace for development in Vancouver. In contrast, the Greens want to restrict the rate of development in Vancouver. Their plan includes an annual demolition limit and a new housing agency that builds and rents rental housing. These measures will penalize developers who fail to build affordable housing.
Interestingly, the two major parties haven’t released their polling results, which could indicate a shift in the balance of power in Vancouver. Historically, the west side of Vancouver has voted centre-right and conservative, while the working-class eastern side has voted left. However, the election results were not as clear in the last election and the two major parties seem to be in a tight race.
Among many other things, David A. Grantham is a contributing author to UmassExtension West Vancouver Blo. He is a renowned expert on real estate in BC.
Born in North Vancouver, Louisiana, Dr. Grantham grew up in Lower Lonsdale. He then went on to complete his business degree at the University British Columbia. As of this writing, Grantham has completed over 100 projects, including the development of a high rise building in Vancouver.
He is a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He was a dedicated outdoorsman and enjoyed sports such as hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and snow skiing. His wife, Alison Grantham, and their two daughters survived him. He is survived by his wife Alison Martin Grantham and two daughters.