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Are millennials fleeing Vancouver?

Blog by steve shields | June 15th, 2016

Are millennials fleeing Vancouver?


Are millennials fleeing Metro Vancouver because of high housing costs? 

That seems to be the case according to many recent news reports, including:

But how accurate is this claim?

Cameron Muir, British Columbia Real Estate Association chief economist, decided to get the facts by searching through BC Stats data. This is what he uncovered.

Millennials aren't leaving Metro Vancouver. Instead, their numbers have significantly increased.

Metro Vancouver

  • Between 2005 and 2015, more than 86,000 millennials were added to the population, an increase of 18 per cent.
  • There are currently 569,000 millennials residing in Metro Vancouver.


  • Millennials are now the most populous age group in Vancouver.
  • Between 2005 and 2015 more than 15,800 millennials were added to the population, an increase of 9.5 per cent.
  • The millennial population grew twice as fast in Vancouver as in Metro Vancouver.
  • There are currently 181,000 millennials residing in Vancouver.

“Growth in this age group over the past 10 years has been so strong that they're now the most populous age cohort in the city by a wide margin,” said Muir.

Vancouver leads Canada in the number of millennials, according to the Greater Vancouver Economic Scorecard, a new report from the Conference Board of Canada. Vancouver also ranks seventh in the world when it comes to the number of millennials.  

Home ownership

Are millennials buying homes?

"The home ownership rate was much higher than in previous decades," said Muir, who analyzed Statistics Canada data for the last two census periods (2006 and 2011).

"Millennials are being attracted to the City of Vancouver and the region, not retreating from it," Muir said.

Read Muir’s study, Myth of the Retreating Millennial study.