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North Shore households among highest income earners in Metro Vancouver

Households in North Van and West Van have among the highest incomes in the Lower Mainland. But they also lead on scores measuring income inequality.

Households on the North Shore have among the highest incomes in Metro Vancouver, according to the latest census figures.

But the region also contains pockets of poverty, leading some of the highest scores on an index measuring income inequality.

Households in both the District of North Vancouver and the District of West Vancouver earned incomes well above the median for Metro Vancouver in 2020.

Households in District of North Van earn most on North Shore

Households in the District of North Vancouver earned the most on the North Shore, with a median household total income of $123,000, according to Statistics Canada, up from $113,000 in the last census in 2016.

Topping the list were the villages of Anmore (with a median household income of $162,000) and Lions Bay (with a median household income of $140,000).

Household incomes on Bowen Island were also substantially above the norm for Metro Vancouver, with a median of $111,000.

Households in West Vancouver had a median income of $104,000 in 2020, up from $97,000 in the 2016 census.

In the City of North Vancouver, median household income was $86,000 – close to the Metro Vancouver average of $90,000.

The information on income comes from this week’s release of census information on income and household makeup from Statistics Canada.

But while the North Shore remains a generally affluent community, there are still large gaps between the wealthiest residents and the least-advantaged, as measured by a “Gini index” comparing the highest earners with the lowest ones.

West Van tops 'inequality' index

According to that index, West Vancouver has the biggest gap between top and low income in Metro Vancouver.

In fact, West Vancouver has the second-highest measure of income inequality in the country, said Andy Yan, director of SFU’s City Program – second only to Montreal’s Westmount neighbourhood.

The census also examined the role of government support during the COVID-19 pandemic on incomes.

Canada-wide, over two-thirds of adults received income from some kind of pandemic relief program, and over a quarter of Canadians received CERB benefits, with a median amount of $8,000.

“Certainly some households were heavily affected by the pandemic,” Yan said.

North Shore residents received between $8K and $9K in CERB

On the North Shore, individuals received an average of between $8,000 and $9,000 in pandemic CERB benefits, according to StatsCan.

Statistics from the release this week also examined household makeup.

According to those figures, more Canadians than ever are living alone, and more diverse types of living arrangements are on the rise, including multi-generational households, multi-family households and adult children who live with their parents.

On the North Shore, the City of North Vancouver has the most people living solo, with singletons making up 37 per cent of households. In West Vancouver, one-person households made up 28 per cent of the total while in the District of North Vancouver, those living alone made up 21 per cent of households.

Adult children living with parents a common household type

Adult children living with their parents was also a common household type on the North Shore. The numbers of young adults aged 20 to 34 who live with at least one of their parents ranged from 27 per cent in the City of North Vancouver to 53.3 per cent in the District of North Vancouver and 66.8 per cent in the District of West Vancouver.

Married and common-law couples, both with and without children, remained the most common household type on the North Shore.

However, between 13 and 18 per cent of households were single-parent families. The lowest number of single-parent families live in the District of North Vancouver (13 per cent of households), while the highest number (18 per cent of households) live in the City of North Vancouver.

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