B.C. excels in societal well-being, lacks in economic prosperity: report

Meanwhile, Canada as a whole placed 15th overall while California placed first

B.C. may be one of the leaders when it comes to overall societal well-being when compared to a number of first-world regions, but a new report suggests that much improvement to the province’s business and economic environment is needed.

According to the Business Council of B.C.’s annual prosperity index report, released Tuesday, B.C. ranks 11th overall among a total of 21 jurisdictions, including California, Alberta and Japan.

Canada as a whole placed 15th overall while California placed first.

B.C.’s mediocre score is due to a below-average ranking of 15 out of 21 when it comes to the province’s productivity and innovation, as well as the amount of business investments, the report reads.

READ MORE: Victoria seventh most youth-friendly Canadian city, national index says

Meanwhile, the province placed 10th in economic well-being, which compared the average household disposable income, unemployment rates and housing affordability.

B.C. did excel for life expectancy, the state of natural environment and income inequality, the report reads, placing seventh overall for its societal well-being.

So what is the takeaway of B.C.’s progress? Business Council CEO Greg D’Avignon said its that the province’s quality of life can be improved if it becomes a more attractive place for investment, in turn spurring innovation and boosting productivity.

“The data shows that we have room to improve in several areas. However, this ranking is not indicative of our potential,” he said. “B.C has advantages that we should be leveraging, including our highly educated and diverse population and rich base of natural resources.”

The B.C. Prosperity Index is a data-driven study based on research by Dr. Andrew Sharpe and his colleagues at the Centre for the Study of Living Standards in Ottawa. This year’s rankings were based on data obtained from 2017, the most recent statistics available publicly.


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