Following a study last week that said coffee drinkers were likely to live longer, another report released Friday showed B.C. holds the highest life expectancy among Canadian provinces. On average, British Columbians can expect to live to the ripe age of 82.4 years.
It’s a figure that has slowly been on the rise since 2000, increasing from 80.5 years.
The province was also ranked first for educational attainment with most British Columbians achieving an average of 12.7 years of education, the highest throughout Canada.
While the report, which examines socio-economic well-being across the country, reveals nothing surprising about the west coast, it does confirm we’re on the right track when it comes to quality of life
“(B.C.) already has a high reputation within Canada as a great place to live . . . so the results just fit into that overall perspective,” said Andrew Sharpe, executive director of the Centre for the Study of Living Standards which conducted the study.
“It’s useful for looking at how provinces have done over time.”
Sharpe said the results not only confirm B.C.’s reputation but when compared to results from 2000 and 2005, are also a testament to the west coast’s health and education systems.
“Even back in 2000, it had good health relative to other provinces and a strong post-secondary education system,” Sharpe said of the results that have remained relatively unchanged in the last 10 years.
Where the study proves most beneficial, however, is when examining provinces that have performed poorly. Sharpe noted the report was helpful in drawing attention to places requiring more work such as Nunavut where life expectancy and educational achievement has remained low over the last decade.
The northeast territory, despite experiencing rapid growth in life expectancy over the last decade, still trailed behind other provinces at an average of 73 years — 4.6 years behind the next lowest expectancy.
Lance Essihos, who was enjoying a coffee at a downtown cafe Friday, wasn’t surprised by the study’s results.
“It doesn’t surprise me that people in B.C. live longer,” the 28-year-old said. “It’s definitely one of the healthiest places around and I’ve lived all over Canada.”
He said the likelihood for coffee drinkers to live longer was an added bonus but even so, Essihos said he still preferred organic coffee.
The study, released Friday, calculates the human development index — an interntionally recognized measure of socio-economic well-being — for Canadian provinces and territories by examining life expectancy, education and income. Compared with 187 countries, B.C. ranked sixth in life expectancy, fifth in educational attainment and 22nd in gross national income.