Young British Columbians Lose Faith on Staying in the Province

Only 19% of British Columbians believe the province would be better off as its own country.

Vancouver, BC [August 30, 2022] – Young adults who reside in British Columbia are having a hard time envisioning the possibility of growing old in the province, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 72% of British Columbians believe they will stay in the province for the rest of their lives, down three points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in 2021.

“Only 56% of British Columbians aged 18-to-34 expect to stay in the province for the rest of their lives,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportions are significantly higher among their counterparts aged 35-to-54 (70%) and aged 55 and over (84%).”

More than four-in-five British Columbians (82%, -2) say they are very proud of the province that they live in and just under three-in-five (59%, +2) consider their views as different from the rest of the country.

More than three-in-five British Columbians (62%, +3) believe they have more in common with the people of Seattle and Portland than with those in Toronto or Montreal.

Residents of the Fraser Valley are more likely to express an affinity towards the people of Seattle and Portland (64%), followed by those who live in Metro Vancouver (63%), Vancouver Island (62%), Northern BC (61%) and Southern BC (55%).

Just under one-in-five British Columbians (19%, +1) think British Columbia would be better off as its own country—a proportion that rises to 23% among those aged 18-to-34.

More than three-in-five respondents (63%, +2) claim to consider themselves “Canadians first, and British Columbians second”, while 22% (=) acknowledge being “British Columbians first, and Canadians second.”

Three-in-ten British Columbians (30%, +1) think that John Horgan has been the province’s best premier since 1986, followed by Christy Clark (7%, -2), Gordon Campbell (also 7%, +1) and Mike Harcourt (6%, =).

Just under one-in-five British Columbians (19%, -2) believe Clark is the worst recent head of government, followed by Campbell (10%, -1) and Horgan (also 10%, +2).

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from August 20 to August 22, 2022, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]