VANCOUVER -- This may be hard for many to believe, but Vancouver has been ranked the best Canadian city to work in for young people.

The 2021 Urban Work Index ranked 27 Canadian cities using 76 “work indicators” within the following 11 topics.

  • City Economy
  • Climate Change
  • Cost of Living
  • Digital Access
  • Education and Training
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Good Youth Jobs
  • Income Generation
  • Public Heath
  • Public Transportation

Vancouver scored number one in three categories, the most for any city: public health, equity and inclusion and public transportation. That was enough to make it number one.

Other B.C. cities were also ranked. Kelowna rated number one in income generation and Victoria rated number two in good youth jobs.

In the study “Vancouver” was comprised of 14 municipalities in Metro Vancouver, stretching from West Vancouver to White Rock and from Vancouver to Maple Ridge.

Not surprisingly, Vancouver ranked near the bottom for cost of living: 24th out of 27 cities. Vancouver also didn’t score well on income generation. In that category, study authors compared minimum, livable and student wages and how much income is generated by youth across all cities.

Within the equity and inclusion section, Vancouver ranked number one for the largest number of cinemas that show non-English movies, with 15. That’s four more than Toronto.

Vancouver also had the highest public transit user rate and ranked second in the number of users that choose to use public transport.

Couples without kids earned $132,000 in Vancouver, higher than the other cities on the list.

In overall rankings, Hamilton came in second of 27 and Edmonton came in third. Victoria was fourth. Montreal rounded out the top five.

Fredericton, N.B., came in last, overall, scoring last in cost of living, entrepreneurial spirit, public transportation and climate change. But it is ranked second in city economy with a large amount of business improvement per capita and a low downtown vacancy rate.

The Youthful Cities ranking process started in 2013 to assess and identify strengths and areas of improvement in 75 cities around the world. In 2021, the list of Canadian cities was expanded from 21 to 27.

The latest data collection was done using Pivot Hub, which was launched as a collaboration between Simon Fraser University Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Youthful Cities and Canada Council for Youth Prosperity. It was funded by the Government of Canada.

The Youthful Cities website says this year’s index used 20,000 minutes of interviews with young people about cities during the pandemic and a survey of 3,000 young people about their experiences before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.