Incomes have fallen while cost of living has risen, leaving young families in BC worse off than any other province.
Since 1976, household incomes for couples aged 25 to 34 in B.C. have dropped by six per cent after adjusting for inflation, said the study by Paul Kershaw of the University of B.C.’s Human Early Learning Partnership.
This is especially significant given that the proportion of young women who contribute to household income increased by 42 per cent over the same time period, while the number of men in the workforce remained relatively constant.
B.C. is the only province in Canada to report a drop in average income for this age group, the study found.
At the same time, housing prices have skyrocketed across Canada, and nowhere more so than in B.C. Real estate prices have risen 149 per cent in this province since 1976, when housing costs accounted for less than three times the average household income for young couples. Today, it is seven times as much.
The bottom line?
“B.C. is now the hardest province in which to raise a family,” study author Kershaw said in an interview. “And that’s because we’re the only jurisdiction in the country where household income for young couples has actually fallen behind where it was a generation ago.”
This reality is setting the stage for “a silent generational crisis occurring in homes across Canada,” he said.