How does Vancouver compare to 20 other cities?

Vancouver does well on clean air and low crime, but housing unafforability and high income inequality are negatives for the city

Vancouver, left, ranked ninth in an economic and social comparison with 20 cities. Singapore ranked first | Shutterstock, Shutterstock/Sean Pavone

Vancouver falls in the middle of the pack compared to 20 other cities in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.

A new report from the Conference Board of Canada and the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade ranks Vancouver ninth when it comes to economy and seventh for social factors. Singapore ranked first overall, followed by Copenhagen and Hong Kong.

On the economic side, Vancouver’s geography and trade-related infrastructure — its port and airport — were benefits, as were low office rents and competitive overall taxes. But Vancouver continues to have a low number of head offices for a city of its size, has low labour productivity and also scores low on after-tax income growth.

Vancouver scored high on social metrics like clean air, a large proportion of foreign-born residents and a low homicide rate. But housing affordability is a major issue for the city. The high cost of residential real estate, which spiked 25% over the course of 2015, could deter future workers from deciding to relocate to Vancouver.

Conference Board of Canada

Other negatives on the social side included Vancouver’s rate of income inequality, which is the highest in Canada, and a need for more transit to ease commuting times.

Read: Report on Vancouver's economy highlights threat of residential real estate disconnect

The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade says it will focus on lobbying for increased attention to transporation infrastructure, housing affordability, public transit, attracting talented workers and a regional economic development strategy.