Report finds the healthiest areas of Vancouver - and the worst

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Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health released a comprehensive analysis of community health indicators Tuesday, reporting a number of startling figures such as a 22 per cent rate of obesity.

The study surveyed residents in 28 communities in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and the South Coast, reaching as far east as Chilliwack, west as Powell River and north as Whistler. The numbers look at a number of factors relating to health, including wealth and education, drinking and smoking, physical activity, access to doctors, commute time and mode of transportation and connection to community.

Vancouver Coastal Health says the data will help local governments plan more effectively in regards to their community’s unique health needs. Powell River, for example, has a significantly higher obesity rate than Whistler, and many more people in Hope have high blood pressure compared to Squamish.

Some notable results from the survey indicate some serious issues worth addressing in certain communities. Whistler is far ahead of all other communities for binge drinking with 48 per cent of people reporting binge drinking at least once per month. In contrast, only 15 per cent of people in Richmond report engaging in the activity at the same frequency.

Overall, all regions surveyed reported a higher physical wellness score than the B.C. benchmark, meaning that while some areas could use improvement, the South Coast and Metro Vancouver are ahead of the curve.

Highlights

Interesting results from the My Heath My Community Survey show a diverse and somewhat unpredictable health status across communities. Port Moody, West Vancouver/Lions Bay, District of North Vancouver and Whistler were often ahead in the rankings while regions in the Fraser Valley and south east Metro Vancouver generally reported lower health levels.

  • The Coastal Rural region, including Whistler, Powell River, Gibsons and Bowen Island report the strongest sense of community belonging
  • Whistler reported the highest percentage of people with a high physical wellness score
  • City of Langley reported the lowest percentage of people with a high physical wellness score
  • Those living on Gibsons report the lowest stress levels
  • Those in Maple Ridge report the highest stress levels
  • Only 37 per cent of people in Richmond report getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week
  • Hope has that highest proportion of smokers at 24 per cent
  • 48 per cent of people in Whistler report binge drinking at least once per month
  • Binge drinking is lowest in Burnaby, the City of Langley and Richmond
  • The Fraser Valley region has the highest proportion of people reporting a mood or anxiety disorder diagnosed by a doctor
  • Surrey reported the highest percentage of people with diabetes at 12 per cent
  • Obesity is worst in the Fraser Valley and lowest in Whistler and Vancouver
  • The most people with university degrees reside on Bowen Island and in West Vancouver/Lions Bay and the District of North Vancouver

See the rankings

We have selected some of  the most interesting results below. To view the complete report, click here.

Jump to:

Municipal Health Report

*Red indicates a value lower than the B.C. benchmark

Regions by percentage of people with a university degree:

  1. Bowen Island (~52%)
  2. West Vancouver/Lions Bay
  3. Whistler
  4. Port Moody
  5. Vancouver
  6. District of North VancouverI
  7. City of North Vancouver
  8. Richmond
  9. Burnaby
  10. South Surrey/White Rock
  11. Coquitlam
  12. New Westminster
  13. Rural Sunshine Coast
  14. Gibsons
  15. Sechelt
  16. Delta
  17. Squamish
  18. Port Coquitlam
  19. Surrey
  20. Township of Langley
  21. Pitt Meadows
  22. Abbotsford
  23. Maple Ridge
  24. Powell River
  25. City of Langley
  26. Mission
  27. Hope
  28. Chilliwack (~10%)

Regions by percentage of people rating their physical health as good or excellent:

  1. West Vancouver/Lions Bay (~68%)
  2. Whistler
  3. Rural Sunshine Coast
  4. District of North Vancouver
  5. Port Moody
  6. Squamish
  7. Bowen Island
  8. City of North Vancouver
  9. South Surrey/White Rock
  10. Gibsons
  11. Sechelt
  12. Coquitlam
  13. Delta
  14. Township of Langley
  15. Vancouver
  16. Chilliwack
  17. Mission
  18. Abbotsford
  19. Hope
  20. Powell River
  21. Port Coquitlam
  22. Burnaby
  23. New Westminster
  24. Surrey
  25. Pitt Meadows
  26. Maple Ridge
  27. Richmond
  28. City of Langley (~41%)

Regions by percentage of people rating their mental health as good or excellent:

  1. West Vancouver/Lions Bay (~71%)
  2. South Surrey/White Rock
  3. Sechelt
  4. Gibsons
  5. District of North Vancouver
  6. Hope
  7. Port Moody
  8. Rural Sunshine Coast
  9. Township of Langley
  10. Powell River
  11. Bowen Island
  12. Whistler
  13. Chilliwack
  14. Delta
  15. Squamish
  16. Abbotsford
  17. Surrey
  18. Coquitlam
  19. City of North Vancouver
  20. Port Coquitlam
  21. Mission
  22. New Westminster
  23. City of Langley
  24. Burnaby
  25. Richmond
  26. Vancouver
  27. Maple Ridge
  28. Pitt Meadows (~47%)

Regions with the highest obesity rates (30kg/m2 +):

  1. Powell River (~38%)
  2. Chilliwack
  3. City of Langley
  4. Mission
  5. Maple Ridge
  6. Abbotsford
  7. Hope
  8. Sechelt
  9. Port Coquitlam
  10. Pitt Meadows
  11. Township of Langley
  12. Rural Sunshine Coast
  13. Surrey
  14. New Westminster
  15. Delta
  16. Bowen Island
  17. Gibsons
  18. South Surrey/White Rock
  19. City of North Vancouver
  20. Squamish
  21. Coquitlam
  22. District of North Vancouver
  23. Burnaby
  24. West Vancouver/Lions Bay
  25. Port Moody
  26. Richmond
  27. Vancouver
  28. Whistler (~14%)

Regions by percentage of people binge drinking one or more times per month:

  1. Whistler (~48%)
  2. Squamish
  3. Bowen Island
  4. Gibsons
  5. City of North Vancouver
  6. Vancouver
  7. New Westminster
  8. District of North Vancouver
  9. Mission
  10. Maple Ridge
  11. Sechelt
  12. Port Coquitlam
  13. Port Moody
  14. Chilliwack
  15. Coquitlam
  16. Township of Langley
  17. Delta
  18. Rural Sunshine Coast
  19. Pitt Meadows
  20. South Surrey/White Rock
  21. Surrey
  22. West Vancouver/Lions Bay
  23. Abbotsford
  24. Hope
  25. Powell River
  26. Burnaby
  27. City of Langley
  28. Richmond (~15%)

Regions by percentage of people who smoke daily or occasionally:

  1. Hope (~22%)
  2. City of Langley
  3. New Westminster
  4. Maple Ridge
  5. Mission
  6. City of North Vancouver
  7. Chilliwack
  8. Vancouver
  9. Gibsons
  10. Coquitlam
  11. Powell River
  12. Surrey
  13. Bowen Island
  14. Port Coquitlam
  15. Squamish
  16. Burnaby
  17. Delta
  18. Sechelt
  19. Abbotsford
  20. Township of Langley
  21. Pitt Meadows
  22. Richmond
  23. District of North Vancouver
  24. Whistler
  25. West Vancouver/Lions Bay
  26. South Surrey/White Rock
  27. Rural Sunshine Coast
  28. Port Moody (~3%)

Regions by percentage of people who do at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week:

  1. Whistler (~70%)
  2. Squamish
  3. West Vancouver/Lions Bay
  4. Bowen Island
  5. Port Moody
  6. District of North Vancouver
  7. Gibsons
  8. Rural Sunshine Coast
  9. Powell River
  10. Sechelt
  11. City of North Vancouver
  12. Township of Langley
  13. South Surrey/White Rock
  14. Port Coquitlam
  15. Maple Ridge
  16. Abbotsford
  17. Delta
  18. Vancouver
  19. Mission
  20. New Westminster
  21. Chilliwack
  22. Pitt Meadows
  23. Surrey
  24. City of Langley
  25. Burnaby
  26. Hope
  27. Coquitlam
  28. Richmond (~38%)

Regions by percentage of people with a high physical wellness score:

  1. Whistler (~56%)
  2. Squamish
  3. West Vancouver/Lions Bay
  4. District of North Vancouver
  5. Port Moody
  6. Bowen Island
  7. Vancouver
  8. Rural Sunshine Coast
  9. Sechelt
  10. New Westminster
  11. Gibsons
  12. City of North Vancouver
  13. Abbotsford
  14. Hope
  15. South Surrey/White Rock
  16. Chilliwack
  17. Mission
  18. Richmond
  19. Pitt Meadows
  20. Burnaby
  21. Surrey
  22. Township of Langley
  23. Port Coquitlam
  24. Delta
  25. Maple Ridge
  26. Coquitlam
  27. Powell River
  28. City of Langely (~28%)

Regions by percentage of people who commute using a private car, truck or van:

  1. Rural Sunshine Coast (~92%)
  2. Sechelt
  3. Powell River
  4. Chilliwack
  5. Abbotsford
  6. Township of Langley
  7. South Surrey/White Rock
  8. Squamish
  9. Gibsons
  10. Maple Ridge
  11. Port Moody
  12. Hope
  13. Mission
  14. Pitt Meadows
  15. Delta
  16. Whistler
  17. Bowen Island
  18. Port Coquitlam
  19. West Vancouver/Lions Bay
  20. Coquitlam
  21. District of North Vancouver
  22. Surrey
  23. City of Langley
  24. Richmond
  25. Burnaby
  26. City of North Vancouver
  27. New Westminster
  28. Vancouver (~33%)

Regions by percentage of people who commute by walking, cycling or public transit:

  1. Vancouver (~66%)
  2. New Westminster
  3. Burnaby
  4. City of North Vancouver
  5. Richmond
  6. District of North Vancouver
  7. Surrey
  8. Coquitlam
  9. City of Langley
  10. Whistler
  11. Bowen Island
  12. West Vancouver/Lions Bay
  13. Port Coquitlam
  14. Pitt Meadows
  15. Delta
  16. Maple Ridge
  17. Port Moody
  18. Gibsons
  19. Mission
  20. Hope
  21. South Surrey/White Rock
  22. Squamish
  23. Chilliwack
  24. Township of Langley
  25. Abbotsford
  26. Sechelt
  27. Powell River
  28. Rural Sunshine Coast (~10%)

Regions by percentage of people with a commute time exceeding 30 minutes:

  1. Coquitlam (~68%)
  2. Burnaby
  3. Port Coquitlam
  4. Port Moody
  5. South Surrey/White Rock
  6. Surrey
  7. New Westminster
  8. Delta
  9. City of Langley
  10. City of North Vancouver
  11. Maple Ridge
  12. Township of Langley
  13. Vancouver
  14. West Vancouver/Lions Bay
  15. District of North Vancouver
  16. Richmond
  17. Bowen Island
  18. Pitt Meadows
  19. Mission
  20. Squamish
  21. Chilliwack
  22. Abbotsford
  23. Hope
  24. Rural Sunshine Coast
  25. Gibsons
  26. Powell River
  27. Sechelt
  28. Whistler (~10%)

Regions by percentage of people who walk or cycle as primary mode to run errands:

  1. Vancouver (~38%)
  2. New Westminster
  3. City of North Vancouver
  4. City of Langley
  5. West Vancouver/Lions Bay
  6. Maple Ridge
  7. Burnaby
  8. Hope
  9. Sechelt
  10. South Surrey/White Rock
  11. Whistler
  12. RIchmond
  13. Delta
  14. Surrey
  15. Squamish
  16. District of North Vancouver
  17. Port Moody
  18. Gibsons
  19. Port Coquitlam
  20. Bowen Island
  21. Powell River
  22. Pitt Meadows
  23. Chilliwack
  24. Township of Langley
  25. Coquitlam
  26. Mission
  27. Abbotsford
  28. Rural Sunshine Coast (~4%)

Regions by percentage of people exposed to second hand smoke every day in public places:

  1. New Westminster (~34%)
  2. Vancouver
  3. Burnaby
  4. City of Langley
  5. City of North Vancouver
  6. Richmond
  7. Surrey
  8. Coquitlam
  9. Port Coquitlam
  10. Maple Ridge
  11. Mission
  12. Port Moody
  13. Pitt Meadows
  14. Delta
  15. District of North Vancouver
  16. Abbotsford
  17. Township of Langley
  18. Chilliwack
  19. Squamish
  20. Sechelt
  21. West Vancouver/Lions Bay
  22. South Surrey/White Rock
  23. Gibsons
  24. Powell River
  25. Rural Sunshine Coast
  26. Whistler
  27. Bowen Island
  28. Hope (~8%)

Regions by percentage of people with a strong or somewhat strong sense of community belonging:

  1. Whistler (~84%)
  2. Bowen Island
  3. Powell River
  4. Gibsons
  5. West Vancouver/Lions Bay
  6. Rural Sunshine Coast
  7. Sechelt
  8. Hope
  9. Squamish
  10. Delta
  11. District of North Vancouver
  12. Mission
  13. Pitt Meadows
  14. City of North Vancouver
  15. South Surrey/White Rock
  16. Port Moody
  17. New Westminster
  18. Abbotsford
  19. Chilliwack
  20. Township of Langley
  21. Maple Ridge
  22. Richmond
  23. Port Coquitlam
  24. City of Langley
  25. Vancouver
  26. Surrey
  27. Coquitlam
  28. Burnaby (~49%)

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About the author

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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at jill@vancitybuzz.com
@jillslattery

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