Nearly Half of British Columbia’s Youth Have Contemplated Leaving For Another Province

A recent poll of 750 BC residents reveals that 33% – fully one-third of residents – have entertained the idea of relocating to another province, with Alberta and Ontario standing out as the most popular destinations among those considering a move.

Younger residents – those 18-34 years of age – are the most likely age cohort to have contemplated leaving, with nearly one-half having at some point considered moving to another province (46% compared with 33% of those 35-54 and 24% of those 55+).

Residents living in municipalities of Metro Vancouver outside the City of Vancouver and those in other parts of BC outside of Metro Vancouver are the most likely to have considered moving elsewhere.

Not surprisingly, the most common reason for contemplating a move to another province is the cost of living and affordability issues, mentioned by nearly one-half of residents (45%), with those aged 35 to 54 being the most likely to cite this reason (55%).

Other reasons include a change of lifestyle/location, and employment opportunities, each noted by about 15%, the latter most often by 18–54-year-olds.

Older residents are more likely to be motivated by paying lower taxes, having family ties in other provinces, and dissatisfaction with the current provincial government.

The survey findings further reveal that one-in-five residents (19%) have resorted to desperate measures to pay for groceries, including using coupons, purchasing fewer groceries, buying lower-quality foods, cutting back on other expenses, and using savings and/or borrowed money. Some surveyed have even considered skipping meals.

Households earning less than $80K per year are three times more likely than those earning more than $80K to have taken drastic steps to afford groceries (31% versus 11% among households earning $80K or more).




About this survey:

  • 750 online interviews conducted with a sample of British Columbia residents, 18 years of age and older.
  • Mustel Group’s Giving Opinions panel used (100% randomly recruited) supplemented by a panel partner to ensure the sample is representative of the population.
  • Minor weighting was applied to match the sample to Statistics Canada census data on the basis of age, gender and region.
  • Margin of error on sample: +/-5% at 95% level of confidence. Please note that margin of error only applies to random samples.
  • Data collection: February 12 to 25, 2024
  • Please see data tables here