Chilliwack households took in $7,600 more a year in 2015 than a decade before, but local income earners are still below the B.C. average.
Statistics Canada released 2016 census data on income on Sept. 13, which showed the median income for households in the city was $67,800, up 12.6 per cent from $60,200 in 2005.
The median total income of Canadian households rose from $63,457 in 2005 to $70,336 in 2015, a 10.8 per cent increase. For B.C., the median household income was $69,995 in 2015, seventh among the provinces and territories, down from sixth in 2005.
Provincewide, median incomes increased 12.2 per cent from 2005, 1.4 percentage points above the Canadian average, making British Columbia the eighth-fastest growing region over the decade.
Statistics Canada said fewer manufacturing and agricultural jobs coincided with employment increases in utilities, health care and social assistance, and forestry and construction sectors.
Chilliwack’s median of $67,800 ranks the city 57th out of 98 B.C. communities with population more than 5,000.
To compare to Chilliwack’s neighbours, Abbotsford was 44th at $72,511 (up 13.6 per cent over 2005), the District of Kent was 75th at $62,272 (up 15.9 per cent), and Hope was near the bottom, 95th out of 98, at $51,226 (up 4.2 per cent).
The two Langleys showed a huge income disparity, with the Township of Langley ranking 12th in B.C. with a median household income of $90,594 compared to the City of Langley at 79th and $59,452.
Every metropolitan area in British Columbia experienced some growth in their median income between 2005 and 2015.
Top spot in the Lower Mainland was the District of North Vancouver at $103,981, but that was second in the province far behind the number one spot: Peace River Regional District Area C at $123,648.
But it was the approximately 25,000 households in Wood Buffalo, Alberta, that took in the most income in 2015 in Canada. They had a median of $195,570 up 34.9 per cent over the decade.
At the bottom end of B.C. in 98th spot was Greater Vancouver Area A at $46,322. The regional district area is a large geographical stretch with just 6,100 households to the north of West Vancouver, North Vancouver and Coquitlam.
As for the sparsely-populated Fraser Valley Regional District areas, there was a large disparity. Topping the list was Area D (Popkum-Bridal Falls) where the 525 households had a median income of $92,160. At the bottom was Area A (Boston Bar-North Bend-Canyon Alpine) whose 235 households took in $31,552.