Known as Canada's Pacific gateway, Metro Vancouver is one of the nation's largest economic areas, with a labour force of over 1.2 million people it contributes to more than 55% of British Columbia's GDP. The economy of the region keeps on maturing by ways of growth in population, land development, and other economic sectors such as manufacturing, retail trade, business services and transportation.

Vancouver city is an important financial and industrial center as well as a focus for transportation since it is located on the southwest coast of British Columbia, within the Lower Fraser Basin.
Population Density 2001

Over the years, the province’s population and its cities have changed rapidly, so too has the provincial economy. Various new types of good and services have been made available to meet the needs of an increasing multicultural population. Technological and cultural changes have had a big effect on the way companies do business.

BC’s economy has been maturing into a more diverse, less resource-dependent structure. Forestry, mining, fishing and agriculture are still important, but they are no longer the dominant force in BC’s economy. Since the 1990’s, it has been recorded that there are fewer people working in these industries than in other types of goods production.

Source: Statistics Canada

Major industries can be divided into services sector or goods sector. The service sector includes a wide range of industries that provide services to individuals, businesses and governments. In this sector, industries such as transportation, communication, education, health and public administration are included. Whereas the goods sector includes the industries that harvest, extracts or transforms raw materials into a product that can be handled. In this sector, industries such as agriculture, fishing, forestry, mining, manufacturing and construction are included.

In British Columbia, manufacturing is the largest industry and construction is the second largest one within the goods sector. Resource extraction and harvesting, including agriculture, logging, mining and fishing account for one in six jobs within the goods sector.

Although the goods sector has a higher labour productivity than in the services sector, the services industries create more employment within BC. There are four British Columbians who have jobs in services industries for every person who is employed in the goods sector.

Source: Statistics Canada

Today’s BC economy is also growing towards a new trend also called the new economy. The new economy includes industries such as tourism and high technology. Trends in these two sectors are seen as current and future economical growth. Some of the fastest-growing industries in the economy are included in this group.

Metro Vancouver’s base makes up about 30% or 87,500 hectares of urban land. Approximately two-thirds of this has residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, transportation and communications or utilities uses. The reminder is vacant. Non-urban land includes forested areas, agricultural land, watersheds, parks and open space. Agricultural land occupies about 46,500 hectares.

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