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Burnaby Demographics


Burnaby Population


Over the last thirty years, Burnaby’s population has grown by 60%, from 136,494 in 1981 to 223,218 in 2011.


Burnaby Aging Trends


Age Group (2006)


0 – 4      4.7%

5 – 19    16.3%

20 – 44   38.8%

45 – 64   26.3%

65 – 79   9.9%

80+        3.9%


Family Type and Size


In 2006, there were 56,035 census families in Burnaby, up from 52,155 in 2001 and 36,175 in 1981. The majority of families were headed by married couples (75%), 8% were headed by common-law couples, and 17% were headed by single parents in 2006.


There has been a steady increase in the percentage of single parent families since 1981. Of the 9,285 single parent families in 2006, 83% were headed by women, a rate which has largely remained unchanged since 1981.


Of Burnaby’s 56,035 families in 2006, 34% had no children living at home, 32% had one child at home, 25% had two or more children at home and 9% had three or more children. The average number of persons per family in Burnaby was 2.9.


Only 6% of children living at home in Burnaby were aged 25 and over in 1981. By 2006, this percentage had grown to 17%.


Burnaby Household Type and Size


The number of households 2 in Burnaby grew from 52,600 in 1981 to 78,025 in 2006, an increase of 48%. Family households represented over two-thirds (68%) of all households in Burnaby in 2006. Of these, 95% were one-family and 5% were multiple-family households. The remaining 32% of households were non-family.


Burnaby Dwellings


There has been a notable change in the type of dwellings occupied by Burnaby residents over the last 25 years. In 1981, single family houses represented over half (52%) of the city’s housing stock compared to only 28% in 2006. In contrast, apartments in buildings with 5 or more floors increased from 10% of the city’s housing stock in 1981 to 19% in 2006. Since 1991, home ownership rates have steadily increased.


In 2006, 61% of Burnaby households owned their dwellings.


Burnaby Cultural Diversity


Over the past 25 years, Burnaby’s population has become much more culturally diverse. In 2006, immigrants comprised over half (51%) of the city’s population, up from 28% in 1981. Of the 102,030 immigrants in Burnaby in 2006, the highest proportion (38% or 38,515) immigrated to Canada between 1991 and 2000.


In 2006, the largest group of Burnaby’s immigrants originated from China (21,465), accounting for 21% of the immigrant population, followed by immigrants from Hong Kong (11,120), Taiwan (8,630), Philippines (6,350) and South Korea (5,845).


Top 10 Places of Birth of Burnaby’s Recent Immigrants, 2001 to 2006


China 7,755 35.6%

South Korea 1,905 8.7%

Philippines 1,835 8.4%

Taiwan 1,385 6.4%

India 1,155 5.3%

Iran 615 2.8%

Russian Federation 605 2.8%

Afghanistan 535 2.5%

United States of America 370 1.7%

Hong Kong 335 1.5%

All other places of birth 5,295 24.3%



Burnaby Top Ten Mother Tongues - 2006


English 85,480 43.5%

Chinese (incl. Cantonese & Mandarin) 50,650 25.7%

Korean 7,035 3.6%

Tagalog 5,060 2.6%

Panjabi (Punjabi) 4,915 2.5%

Italian 4,285 2.2%

Spanish 3,060 1.6%

Persian (Farsi) 2,895 1.5%

Hindi 2,345 1.2%

Russian 1,980 1.0%

Vietnamese 1,945 1.0%



Burnaby Home Language


Similar to mother tongue, the number of people reporting a home language10 other than English has increased over the last two decades. In 1981, 89% of the population spoke English as their home language11. By 2006, 62% of residents with a single home language spoke English at home.


Burnaby Labour Force


The labour force refers to persons, 15 years of age and over, who were either employed or unemployed (i.e., persons without paid employment who had actively looked for paid work) during the week prior to Census Day. Over the twenty-five year period between 1981 and 2006, there has been a gradual decrease in the labour force participation rate (the percentage of population 15 years and older in the labour force) in Burnaby. In 1981, 68% of the population aged 15 and over were in the labour force. By 2006, the participation rate had dropped to 64%. During this time, the male labour force participation rate decreased from 80% in 1981 to 69% in 2006, while the female participation rate remained comparatively constant at around 60%.


Women In The Labour Force In Burnaby


In 2006, women accounted for almost half (48%) of Burnaby’s labour force, up from 44% in 1981. The participation rate for women with children at home is higher than the participation rate for the general female population aged 15 and over in Burnaby (see Figure 29). In 2006, 66% of women with children at home were in the labour force compared to 53% with no children at home. Women whose children were all under 6 years old had the highest participation rate (68%), followed by women whose children were 6 years old and over (66%) and then women with children both under 6 and 6 years and over (63%).


Burnaby Jobs to Labour Force Ratio


The jobs to labour force balance in a city is a measure of the opportunity for workers to hold a job in their home municipality. Often referred to as the jobs to labour ratio, this measure is calculated by dividing the total number of jobs in the city by the total number of employed city residents. In 2006, Burnaby had 115,010 fixed workplace jobs 15 and an employed labour force of 102,120 people, or 1.13 jobs for every employed Burnaby resident. In terms of the actual percentage of residents who work in their home city, 28% of employed Burnaby residents worked in Burnaby in 2006.


Burnaby Employment by Industry


In 2006, the retail trade industry employed the largest proportion of Burnaby’s labour force (12%), followed by professional, scientific and technical services (10%), health care and social service related industries (9%), manufacturing industries (8%), and accommodation and food service industries (8%).


Burnaby Labour Force by Industry  2006


Retail trade 12%

Professional, scientific and technical services 10%

Health care and social assistance 9%

Manufacturing 8%

Accommodation and food services 8%

Educational services 7%

Construction 6%

Wholesale trade 6%

Transportation and warehousing 5%

Finance and insurance 5%

Other 24%


Burnaby Employment by Gender and Industry


In terms of gender, the industries that employed the most women in Burnaby in 2006 were health care and social services (15%), retail trade (13%), accommodation and food service industries (10%), professional, scientific and technical services (9%) and educational services (8%). The industries that employed the most men in Burnaby were professional, scientific and technical services (11%), manufacturing (10%), retail trade (10%), construction (9%) and wholesale trade (7%).


Burnaby Unemployment


Over the last twenty-five years, Burnaby’s unemployment rate has fluctuated from 4.9% in 1981, to 10.9% in 1986, to 6.8% in 2006.


Burnaby Education


Educational attainment has steadily increased in Burnaby since 1981. The proportion of the population aged 15 and over with some form of post secondary education increased from 45% in 1981 to 57% in 2006 16 . Similarly, only 17% of the population aged 15 and over did not have high school graduation in 2006 compared to 42% in 1981.


The percentage of residents with university degrees increased from 8% in 1981 to 26% in 2006. Of residents aged 25 to 64 years with post secondary qualifications, the top fields of study in 2006 were: business management and public administration; architecture, engineering and related technologies; and health, parks, recreation and fitness.


Burnaby Average Income


In 2005 the average family income in Burnaby was $74,413.


Average income differs by family type. In Burnaby, economic families (including married and common-law couples) had an average before-tax income of $79,842 in 2005 compared to an average of $62,481 for male single-parent economic families and $46,228 for female single-parent economic families. The average before-tax income for non-family persons was $31,574.


Source: Statistics Canada, City of Burnaby


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BURNABY DEMOGRAPHICS