How much does each Fraser Valley community make?
It may be taboo to talk about how much money you make at a dinner party—but thanks to new information from the 2021 census, we won’t have to ask you.
In 2020, Fraser Valley residents made an average of $36,500 a year after tax—mostly from employment income, but also from COVID benefits, pensions, investments, and other sources. Residents in some communities, however, made significantly more than others.
The two Langleys, for example, had the highest after-tax incomes in the region. Abbotsford, on the other hand, had one of the lowest.
In the Fraser Valley, Langley Township residents went home with the highest median after-tax income. Langley City residents weren’t far behind.
One likely factor is those communities’ proximity to Vancouver—and the higher paying jobs the city tends to offer. Langley Township and Langley City residents also took home the most money in the region in 2015, when the last census was conducted. Their income increased significantly in the last five years, with the median Langley City income rising 22%.
Incomes in Abbotsford have consistently been lower, though they have also risen at a rate comparable to Langley City. Despite that, Abbotsford incomes were among the lowest, with a median income of $34,800 in 2020 (the same as Harrison Hot Springs). Only Hope was lower, at $32,800. (The median income means half of all people earned more than that sum and half earned less.) Historically, Abbotsford has had among the lowest take-home incomes of any Fraser Valley city, and that did not change in 2020.
In Hope, roughly 15% of residents made less than $10,000 that year. That is the most out of any community in the valley—the rest only had about one-in-10 residents over the age of 15 making less than $10,000 a year.
Both Hope and Harrison have some of the oldest populations in the Fraser Valley, meaning many incomes are based on pensions and not employment earnings.
Of course, 2020 wasn’t a normal year for people’s income—despite the ranking of each community’s income remaining more or less consistent with what we saw five years earlier.
Abbotsford had the highest percentage of residents receiving COVID-related emergency funds in 2020, and was also tied with the City of Langley for having the highest proportion of residents receiving employment insurance.
Watch our newsletter for a future story on how COVID-related grants changed local cash flow, and what that meant for low-income residents in 2020.