Prince George families enjoy higher incomes and lower housing costs than their counterparts across the province and the nation, according to the National Household Survey results released by Statistics Canada earlier this month.
In this city, the median after-tax income for a couple family is $76,545, compared to $73,063 for B.C. and $72,356 for Canada, although outcomes are less favourable once other types of families are accounted for.
The median for lone parent families is $38,379 in Prince George, compared to $40,646 for B.C. and $42,401 for Canada. Likewise, the median for other economic families is $52,640, compared to $56,638 for B.C. and $55,484 for Canada.
For all types combined, the median is $68,675 for Prince George, which is still higher than $67,915 for B.C. and $67,044 for Canada.
Findings on the housing side were more consistently in Prince George's favour.
The average monthly housing cost for a homeowner is $1,011 in Prince George, compared to $1,228 for B.C. and $1,141 for Canada. For renters, it is $785 in Prince George, $989 in B.C. and $848 in Canada.
Homeowners spending more than 30 per cent of their income on housing is 14.6 per cent, much lower than the 23.8 per cent for B.C. and 18.5 for Canada. For renters, the rate was 43.8 per cent in Prince George, which was lower than the 45.3 per cent for B.C. but higher than the 40.1 per cent for Canada.
Initiatives Prince George chief executive officer Heather Oland said the combination reinforces the message it has been using to promote the city.
"It speaks to people's ability to make a life for themselves [in Prince George] and be successful," she said.
Oland thought the numbers on education were particularly interesting, noting that the younger the age cohort the higher the education. Among those age 65 and older, 37 per cent has no trades certificate, college diploma or university degree, and the proportion drops to 17 per cent for those age 45 to 65, and then to 12 per cent for those 25 to 45.
"That trend shows that access and proximity of quality education like we have in Prince George is making a significant impact," Oland said in reference to UNBC and CNC.
Top industries in Prince George are health care/social assistance and retail trade, each employing 12.7 per cent of the workforce, followed by manufacturing at 8.5 per cent.
"That demonstrates a diverse Prince George economy, which we certainly talk about a lot," Oland said.
The numbers are based on responses to the 2011 long-form census, which has been controversial because returning that version is no longer mandatory. A significant decline in the number of respondents has been noticed as a result.