The numbers are in for the 2018 Vital Signs check in. The annual report is put together by the Victoria Foundation, and this year took the voices of 1,797 Greater Victoria citizens who produced over 11,000 comments. This input was combined with data from Statistics Canada and other institutional sources to create a detailed look at who makes up the region.
“This is the only report that looks all of those areas together, and presents a holistic snapshot of what it means to live in a community and thrive in a community,” said Robert Janus, director of communications at the Victoria Foundation. “This report couples that information with citizen survey results. You get both people’s opinions, juxtaposed with data and facts, and that’s a unique strength of the report.”
The Victoria Foundation also compared how report results compare with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, 17 steps developed by the international community to ensure the planet will look forward to a bright future.
For Janus, this resulted in a good look at both ongoing trends and new surprises.
“In terms of positive results, unemployment was a big one. It’s really been dropping overall, both in terms of its overall rate going down but, also youth unemployment and immigrant unemployment, as well as dropping crime rates,” Janus said.
“Negative ones include high housing costs, high rents, but also continuing trends which are negative, such as overdose deaths from illicit drugs which continues to climb.”
Janus added one of the more shocking numbers was that 29 per cent the 12,000 single-parent families in Victoria live in poverty.
The report explored what the region would look like if it were condensed into a 100-person village; in this case, 48 would be male and 52 female, with the average age being 45 and the average life expectancy being 83 years.
Nearly half of these people would be married, and living on average individual incomes of $37,481, which is $3,000 more than the national average. That being said, 12 people would live off of less than $10,000, while 20 would live off of $60,000 to $99,999.
Sixty-one of these villagers would be employed, 18 would be immigrants, five would be Aboriginal, and 14 others would be visible minorities.
Most people, 94, would speak English at home while 10 would have knowledge of both English and French.
Survey participants also assigned grades to different categories, including arts & culture, belonging and engagement, economy, environmental sustainability, health and wellness, housing, learning, safety, sports and recreation, standards of living and transportation.
Greater Victorians believe that creativity and recreational time are well-supported in the community, and assigned a high of B+ to arts and culture, and sports and recreation. They also believed housing and affordability are the worst parts of the region, and assigned a low C- grade to Housing, and C+ to standard of living and transportation.
To see the full report, head over to communityfoundations.ca/vitalsigns/