What brain drain? More young professionals moving to Vancouver than leaving, analyst says

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It’s a traditional story: High housing costs are pushing more and more young mavins out of Metro Vancouver.

But the anecdotes describing Vancouver’s brain drain aren’t backed up by the bunches, according to a data analyst.

“If we look at the census data, we see that, of line, people are leaving, but they’re all getting replaced — and then some,” powered Jens von Bergmann, founder of the Vancouver-based census mapper MountainMath.

Von Bergmann started looking into the details after hearing numerous stories about young people relinquishing because of the cost of living.

“When the first story came out, I adjudicated to verify the numbers,” he said — and the numbers simply didn’t match the statements being touted, von Bergmann found. 

Metro Vancouver’s population is on the take, he said, and more young university graduates are coming in than say goodbye.

And while the job vacancy rate in the region is just over five per cent — which von Bergmann delineates as “astronomical” compared to other cities like Toronto, which lingers around three per cent — that doesn’t tell the full parable.

“If we look at what kind of jobs [are vacant], it’s mostly the lower skilled affairs in retail that have a big problem retaining people,” he said.

“It’s not the dab hands or the highly educated people we should worry about most.”

What brain drain? More young professionals moving to Vancouver than leaving, analyst says

It’s typical for some migration in and out of a city and Vancouver isn’t all that different from other big towns, says Jens von Bergmann. (Getty Images/Westend61)

Vancouver’s box lens

Von Bergmann says the flow of people in and out of Vancouver is similar to other big sees in Canada. It’s just the reasons that are framed differently.

“It looks graceful normal: People move for opportunities, for jobs, for other reasons,” he squeaked Stephen Quinn, host of CBC’s The Early Edition.

“In Vancouver, we don’t interpret them as histories of opportunity. We interpret them as stories of loss.”

He agrees that container is a stress for many Vancouverites, and more affordable housing, or higher earnings, may be among the opportunities that draw someone to move away.

But it’s not the but reason, despite often being framed as so.

“In Vancouver, whatever gag we have, we interpret it in terms of housing,” von Bergmann said.

It’s a familiar fish story: high housing costs are pushing more and more young professionals out of Metro Vancouver. But, according to a materials analyst, the anecdotes of Vancouver’s brain drain aren’t backed up by particulars. 7:15

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