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Diversity of disability
Anyone can have a disability, and a disability can occur at any point in a person’s life. However, disabilities are more common among adults 65 years of age and older.
- 20.5% of British Columbians between the ages of 15 and 64 live with a disability
- 70% of people with disabilities report more than one disability
- 41.7% of British Columbians over the age of 65 live with a disability
- In 2018, nearly 913,000 British Columbians were aged 65 years or older and over 115,000 British Columbians were aged 85 years or older
- By 2031, almost one in four people in B.C. (more than 1.3 million people) will be over the age of 65
- Canadian Survey on Disability, 2017
- Persons with and without disabilities aged 15 years and over, by age group and sex, Canada, provinces and territories
- Population estimates on July 1st, by age and sex
- We live and work on the traditional territories of more than 200 distinct Nations across the province. Each with their own unique cultures, traditions and history
- There are approximately 200,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in B.C.
- We welcome nearly 40,000 new immigrants to the province every year
- Almost 30 percent of British Columbians immigrated to B.C. from another country
- Residents of B.C. trace their origins to more than 200 countries or regions
Languages in B.C.
- There are 34 First Nations languages with seven distinct, unrelated language families in B.C. There are over 93 dialects within these languages
- More than 50% of Canada's First Nations Languages are in B.C.
- After English, the most common languages spoken at home are Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi, German, Tagalog, French, Korean, Spanish, and Farsi
- In 2016, around 1 in 3 (29.6%) British Columbians spoke a language other than English or French as their first language
Literacy is measured across six levels. People with Level 1 or below are considered to have very low literacy skills, while Level 3 is considered the minimum required for coping with everyday life. Of British Columbians aged between 16 and 65 years:
- 45.9% are reading at a Level 2 or below (a very low level)
- 38.7% at Level 3
- 15.4% at Level 4 to 5 (the highest level)
Use the Plain Language Guide to create content that people can read and understand.
- First Peoples’ Cultural Council’s 2018 Report on the Status of B.C. First Nations Languages (PDF, 282 KB)
- Proportion of mother tongue responses for various regions in Canada, 2016 Census
- AMSSA – Migration Matters (PDF, 443 KB)
- Stats Canada: Literacy – Comparative distributions of proficiency levels of population aged 16 to 65, countries, provinces and territories, 2012
Talking about diversity
Learn more about using inclusive language and terms.