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The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is proud to unveil our signature public policy initiative: Greater Vancouver Economic Scorecard 2018.

Scorecard 2018 builds on the seminal work in our inaugural Scorecard 2016. Produced again in partnership with the Conference Board of Canada, the report is a benchmark to evaluate changes in our region since 2016:

  • Are we on the right track economically and socially?
  • Have we made progress on any of the easy — or the intractable — challenges facing Greater Vancouver?

Scorecard 2018 offers a comprehensive analysis of how Greater Vancouver performs among 20 international city-regions measured on 38 key economic and social indicators.

Again this year, the Conference Board uses a letter grade system to benchmark Greater Vancouver against our competitor city-regions.

Overall Ranking
  • Greater Vancouver earns a “B” grade in Scorecard 2018, up two spots from 2016 to rank 7th overall among 20 regions examined.
  • The good news: The region is culturally diverse, and boasts clean air, a robust gateway to the Asia-Pacific, and a safe, democratic setting.
  • But Greater Vancouver has unaffordable housing, relatively low after-tax incomes, high business tax rates on capital and a small market that must compete globally.
Economic Ranking
  • Greater Vancouver receives a “B” grade on Economic indicators in Scorecard 2018. We rank 7th of 20 regions measured, up from 9th in 2016.
  • Due to recent U.S. tax cuts, Greater Vancouver’s Marginal Effective Tax Rate (METR) on capital investment ranks lowest among our competitor city-regions.
  • We do well on indicators that measure growth, but less well on indicators that measure levels. We have comparatively low numbers of international visitors and conventions, but competitive office rent rates, a low unemployment rate and improved venture capital investment per capita.
  • Our region also plays a key role in our national economy, given its position as Canada’s Gateway to the Asia-Pacific.
Social Ranking
  • Greater Vancouver receives a “B” grade on Social indicators in Scorecard 2018. Our region ranks 8th of 20 regions measured, down one spot from 7th in 2016. Five new indicators were added to the Social benchmarks in 2018.
  • Our region’s air quality, diversity, homicide rate and democratic setting earn high grades, and our female workplace participation and income equality are relatively strong.
  • But Greater Vancouver’s climate is considered middling and our housing affordability and transit scope rank low against our 19 competitor city-regions.
Special Lens Regional Coordination and Governance
  • In Scorecard 2018, we added a “Special Lens” that analyzes an important aspect of life and business in Greater Vancouver — regional coordination and governance.
  • Our challenges with developing our economy, building more extensive public transit, creating more affordable housing and dealing with land constraints suggest the need for improved regional coordination and governance.
  • The Special Lens identifies a number of important conversations we need to engage in as a region, including directly electing Metro Vancouver’s Board, centralizing economic development and investment promotion, and promoting more inter-municpal cooperation agreements.
Conclusion and Next Steps
  • Our presently strong economy should not make us complacent. We need to shed our reputation as a low-salary tech market, find new sources of labour, and improve our ability to attract and retain talent. We cannot afford to become an international bedroom community too expensive to attract investment or talent.
  • The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade will focus our policy analysis and development on tax competitiveness, affordability, and further developing the Gateway to the Asia-Pacific.
  • The findings of Scorecard 2018 will inform and guide our advocacy and public policy initiatives for years to come.

Scorecard 2018 Overall Ranking

Ranking 2018 (2016) Metro Area
1 (1) Singapore
2 (4) Calgary
3 (5) Seattle
4 (8) San Francisco
5 (2) Copenhagen
6 (10) Toronto
7 (9) Greater Vancouver
8 (17) Manchester
9 (12) Seoul
10 (14) Montréal
11 (7) Sydney
12 (3) Hong Kong
13 (19) Los Angeles
14 (16) Halifax
15 (11) Portland
16 (15) Houston
17 (6) Barcelona
18 (18) Shanghai
19 (13) Rotterdam
20 (20) Miami

Greater Vancouver’s Economic Performance

Indicator Grade Ranking
2018 2016 2018 2016
KPMG’s total tax index A A 4/14 3/12
Office rents (US$ per square foot) A A 6/18 5/17
Unemployment rate B C 6/20 10/20
Port cargo tonnage per $1 million of GDP B B 3/19 3/19
Venture capital investment per $1 million of GDP B C 3/14 4/11
Labour productivity growth B B 4/20 7/20
Inbound airplane seat capacity per capita B C 8/20 10/20
Real GDP per capita growth C C 4/20 7/20
Port container traffic (TEUs) per $1 million GDP C C 5/19 5/19
Inbound airport cargo tonnage capacity C C 8/20 9/20
High-tech employment share C C 8/20 9/19
Number of cruise vessel calls C C 9/18 7/18
Employment growth C B 13/20 12/20
Labour productivity C C 13/20 12/20
Real GDP per capita C C 13/20 14/20
No. of flight destinations at major airport C 14/20
After-tax income growth C C 14/20 8/19
No. of participants at int’l association meetings D C 9/20 8/19
International visitors D C 12/18 11/18
After-tax income per capita D C 12/20 13/20
Market size D D 16/20 16/20
METR on capital investment for businesses D C17/1710/17

Greater Vancouver’s Social Performance

Indicator Grade Ranking
2018 2016 2018 2016
EIU democracy index A 2/20
Proportion of population that is foreign born A A 2/20 2/19
Air quality A A 4/20 1/20
Homicide rate A A 12/20 9/20
Female labour force participation rate B 5/19
Income inequality B C 8/20 11/20
Average travel time to and from work B C 9/19 10/19
Proportion of population aged 25–34 B D 9/19 7/19
Share of population employed in culture B B 11/20 10/20
Age dependency ratio C 7/20
Non-car commuting C C 8/18 8/17
Share of population with at least a bachelor’s degree C C 9/20 9/20
Housing affordability C D 12/15 15/17
Change in housing affordability C 12/15
Climate C B 12/20 12/20
Public transit railway network length D 14/20
The Big Picture 2018

Cities connected to Greater Vancouver via YVR


Tonnes of cargo traded through the Port of Vancouver every year


Cruise ship calls received by Greater Vancouver every year


International visitors arriving in Vancouver annually


Greater Vancouver’s workforce choosing to commute via public transit, bicycle, walking or another non-car method


Greater Vancouver’s ranking for Housing Affordability with a score of 12.6, compared to first place Halifax’s 3.4 and last place Hong Kong’s 19.4


Minutes, the average commute time to and from work for Greater Vancouver residents