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A third of B.C. residents are considering leaving the province: poll

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One-in-three British Columbians are seriously considering leaving the province for more affordable housing, according to a new survey.

Angus Reid Institute conducted the study and found that half of 18- to 34-year-olds and more than two-in-five 35- to 54-year-olds say they are seriously thinking of leaving the province because of the cost of housing.

The Angus Reid study found figure number plummeted for those over the age of 55, with 40 per cent of both men and women saying they are strongly opposed to leaving.

Vancouver, Burnaby, Victoria, and Kelowna all rank among the 12 most expensive cities to rent in Canada, while purchase prices follow a similar trend, according to the Angus Reid Institute.

Researchers found that 53 per cent of respondents say the BC NDP needs to focus more on taking steps to address housing needs. While 24 per cent are satisfied, and seven per cent say the focus has been too heavy.

The hard numbers provided show 54 per cent of respondents are not considering leaving B.C.

Angus Reid found that 42 per cent of respondents in the Lower Mainland and 41 per cent in the Interior are more likely to say they are seriously thinking of leaving the province than those in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island or North Coast.

Angus Reid said that 2023 was the first year in more than a decade that B.C. had a negative net interprovincial migration, which means the number of people who moved to B.C. from other provinces minus those who left for elsewhere in the country.

The report went on to say that the province’s population still grew, but residents leaving for other provinces could be a sign of the affordability challenges in B.C.

A study in November showed that B.C. had the highest cost of living of any province in Canada.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from May 24 to 30, 2024 among a representative randomized sample of 1,250 British Columbian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. 

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