StatsCan Report Links Income to Life Expectancy

A new StatsCan report finds a clear relationship between income and health in Canada, with Canadians in the highest income quintile having the lowest risk of dying from multiple causes

A new report on the state of health in Canada by Statistics Canada finds a strong link between between life expectancy and income in the country.

The report uses data collected from 1991 to 2006 in a Canadian census study on mortality, and measures the age-standardized mortality rates (ASMRs) of Canadians in five income groups.

It found that individuals in the highest income quintile had the lowest risk of dying, and the risk increased progressively with each move down an income quintile.

The major causes of death that saw big differences between individuals with different levels of income were ischemic heart disease, cancers of the trachea, bronchus and lung, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

This suggests that a greater tendency among those in the lower income quintiles to engage high-risk behavior, in particular smoking, is a major cause of the differences in health outcomes.

A large difference was also seen in rate of death due to communicable diseases, with individuals in the lowest income quintile being 3.5 times more likely to die from HIV/AIDS than those in the highest.

Healthy immigrant effect

The link between income and health outcomes could explain the ‘healthy immigrant effect’, which is an observed phenomenon in which immigrants tend to arrive in Canada in a state of health that is better than members of the general population, but see a deterioration in their health in the years following their arrival.

As the income gap between recent immigrants and the general Canadian population has steadily increased since 1980, one result could be that the income-related health effects of immigration on new Canadians could have grown.

Income and population centres

The relevance of income to health is also worth considering when deciding where one should live in Canada.

Canadian census reports show that there is a sizeable personal income gap between rural and urban Canada, with urban areas having per capita incomes that are more than one fifth higher than rural districts.

The income gap between rural and urban Canada is paralleled by a life expectancy gap, with city-dwellers and those living within commuting distance of cities living longer than their rural counterparts.

Among Canadian cities, those with the highest median household income are Ottawa, the country’s capital, where it is $94,700, the Albertan metropolises of Calgary ($89,490) and Edmonton ($87,930), the capital city of Saskatchewan, Regina ($84,890), and Oshawa, Ontario ($82,270).

Capital City Ottawa Voted as Canada’s Most Boring City

Downtown Ottawa. Canada’s capital city was voted as the country’s most boring in last week’s “Boring Awards”

(Via Global BC) Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, beat out five other nominees to be voted as the country’s most boring city in the annual “Boring Awards” ceremony held last Tuesday.

Other cities nominated for the most boring title were: Laval (Quebec), Lethbridge (Alberta), Abbotsford (British Columbia), and Brampton (Ontario).

Despite being the most boring, Ottawa is also the “richest” large city in Canada according to a 2010 study by Statistics Canada, which found that it had the highest median gross family income of the major metropolitan areas in the country.

Lucrative jobs in and close to government provide the city with a steady source of consumer spending that supports a range of industries and helps it maintain an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent – below the 7.2 percent national average.

Combined with relatively affordable housing, the city was found to provide the best quality of life by the Money Sense ‘Canada’s Best Places to Live – 2012’ index.

Vancouver 5th Place in Global Quality of Life Ranking

Vancouver once again ranked at the top among Canadian cities in a global quality of life index thanks to its temperate climate and the quality of its infrastructure

The Mercer 2012 Quality of Life Ranking has again placed Vancouver as the top spot to live in Canada and the Americas. Beating out the West Coast city globally were Vienna, Austria (1st), Zurich, Switzerland (2nd), Auckland, New Zealand (3rd), and Munich, Germany (4th).

Other Canadian cities lost points to Vancouver because of their colder climates which according to the index affects quality of life. Calgary (32nd), which has experienced an economic boom over the last two decades thanks to Alberta’s expanding oil production, also lost points to Vancouver, and other Canadian cities, due to a lack of an international airport.

The Mercer index also ranked cities by the quality of their infrastructure, an area where Vancouver also ranked well in, placing 9th worldwide and first in the Americas. The top spot for infrastructure went to the South East Asian free market bastion of Singapore, followed by the Northern European metropolises of Frankfurt (tied 2nd), Munich (tied 2nd), Copenhagen (4th), Düsseldorf (5th) and London (tied 6th).

Three other Canadian cities ranked in the top five in the Americas in the quality of life rankings: at second Ottawa (14th), at third Toronto (15th), and placing fourth Montreal (23rd). Honolulu, Hawaii (28th) rounded out the top 5 in the Americas.

Five Immigrants Receive Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards

Five individuals received Ottawa Local Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards yesterday in the first annual Ottawa Immigration Forum, organized by the Ottawa Local Immigrant Partnership (Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

Five Canadian immigrants received awards for their entrepreneurship at the first annual Ottawa Immigration Forum yesterday.

The Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneur Award ceremomy is organized by the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP) and given to individuals judged to have made valuable contributions to the local economy.

Yesterday’s recipients were:

Valery Tolstikhin, founder of OneChip Photonics Inc, who won in the Fast-growth enterprises category. OneChip Photonics manufactures high performance optical transceivers for broadband applications.

Dr. Dipak Roy, founder of D-TA Systems Inc, the winner of the award in the Innovation-oriented enterprises category. D-TA Systems provides sonar and radar signal processors for the defence, aerospace and wireless industries.

Vinod Rajasekaran, creator of HUB Ottawa, won in the Social enterprises category. HUB Ottawa is an innovation incubator that provides collaborative office space and networking events to members.

Dr. Supriya Mishra, founder of visionTech4u, the winner of the Women entrepreneurs category award. VisionTech4U provides IT consultancy in the Ottawa area.

Obaid Ahmed, founder of OAK Computing, won in the under 35 Youth business entrepreneurs category. OAK Computing is a software development company that manages several start-ups.

OLIP is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) as part of the federal government’s campaign to boost the integration of immigrants into the Canadian economy.

Data emerging over the last few years, showing a growing income gap between recent immigrants and other Canadians, has spurred the federal and several provincial governments to fund initiatives by local immigrant serving organizations like OLIP to reverse the situation.

Study: Vancouver is North America’s Second Most Congested City

TomTom, a provider of automotive navigation products and services, has released its first quarterly congestion index, and it puts Vancouver in second place behind Los Angeles in a ranking of North American cities by their level of traffic congestion.

The next most congested Canadian cities, Toronto and Ottawa, place ninth and tenth, with vehicle commutes taking 47 percent and 55 percent longer during the morning peak period than non-congested, or free-flow, periods, respectively. Commutes in both cities take an average of 22 percent longer due to congestion during all hours than during free-flow periods.

In contrast, vehicle commutes in Vancouver and Los Angeles take 30 and 33 percent longer at all hours due to congestion, respectively.

Commuting times in Vancouver are on average 30 percent longer due to traffic according to TomTom's congestion index report (MagnusL3D)

As the final destination for nearly 14 percent of Canadian immigrants, Vancouver has seen rapid population growth in recent years, which has increased congestion on its roads and highways. Many natural choke points, due to geography inundated by coast line, has also contributed to long traffic delays.