Vancouver is world’s 10th-best city for millennials: study

A colourful sunset is reflected in English Bay by the high-rise buildings of Vancouver's West End district, January 5, 2014.
A colourful sunset is reflected in English Bay by the high-rise buildings of Vancouver's West End district, January 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Bayne Stanley

Vancouver is the world’s 10th-best city for millenials if you ask Nestpick, a website for apartment hunters.

The German-based online housing platform ranked cities around the world based on 16 different factors, ranging from their startup scenes to their access to contraception.

“We studied thousands of cities to hand-pick 100 places considered to be millennial dream destinations. We then ranked them by relevant factors to compile the Ultimate Millennial City Ranking,” the website said.

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Ömer Kücükdere, managing director at Nestpick, notes the importance of millenials to cities in maintaining a healthy economy.

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“With aging populations, cities must cater to the millennial demographic in order to sustain a thriving economy,” Kücükdere said.

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The study, titled “Ultimate Millennial City Ranking,” also took factors such as Internet speeds and whether cities had Apple stores into account.

“While Apple is not the most widely used technology brand, iconically, it is one of the brands millennials most associate with,” the study notes.

While Vancouver ranked highly in the Startup and Apple categories as well as tolerance for newcomers and its festival rankings, it would surprise no one to see it dinged for its housing score, as it ranked 86th out of the top 100 cities.

But even this ranking likely doesn’t capture the magnitude of the housing affordability challenges that young people face in Vancouver.

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It now takes 23 years for a person in Metro Vancouver to save for a 20-per-cent down payment on a home; that’s up from 5.9 years from 1976 to 1980, said a 2016 report by Generation Squeeze, a Vancouver-based group that advocates on behalf of younger generations.

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Vancouver would likely drop a few spots in the rankings if housing costs were weighted more heavily.

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The city’s nightlife was also questioned as it scored a 1 out of 10 in that category.

Other Canadian cities to finish in the top-100 included Montreal (No. 15), Toronto (No. 24) and Ottawa (No. 36).

The study may have a slight bias as three of the top five cities in the world are in Germany, including Berlin, Munich and Cologne, although the top spot went to nearby Amsterdam.