Area residents are feeling a little more positive about their standard of living and their sense of belonging and engagement than last year, but they’re not quite as upbeat about local transportation.
These are just some of the interesting results revealed Tuesday (Oct. 6) at the launch of Victoria’s Vital Signs, the annual community report card produced by the Victoria Foundation and sponsored by Island Savings Credit Union.
Unique to the region, Vital Signs combines public opinion with statistics and relevant facts to provide a snapshot of the livability and wellbeing of the community. 2015 marks the 10-year anniversary of the popular report, which included a number of added features to mark the achievement.
“We’re very excited to release our 10th anniversary edition of Victoria’s Vital Signs,” said Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson. “In addition to our usual collection of statistics and public survey results, we’ve included commentary from a number of sector leaders in our community as well as a look back at the milestones and impacts from the last decade. I think it’s our best Vital Signs yet.”
Most of the letter grades given to the 12 issues discussed in the report remained the same as last year, but Standard of Living and Sense of Belonging have gone up slightly.
Transportation was the only issue to get a lower grade, with the average coming in at a B-minus versus C-plus in 2014. Respondents to this year’s survey generally consider themselves happy and satisfied with many aspects of their lives, but some are struggling with issues such as the high cost of living, housing, employment, food security and other financial stresses.
While some issues are improving, others are staying the same or falling behind. For example, crime rates have declined, median household incomes have increased and high school completion rates are improving.
Meanwhile, youth physical activity levels have dropped, poverty rates for vulnerable populations have remained relatively high, and the rental vacancy rate has decreased sharply, despite a net increase in rental units
Victoria’s Vital Signs report, as well as all source information, is available at victoriafoundation.ca.