Abbotsford-Mission ranked as highest level of workers without a diploma

The National Household Survey looks at issues such as education, commuting and types of jobs.



Figures released from the 2011 National Household Survey indicate that in the Abbotsford-Mission Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) 15.3 per cent of the work force (age 25 to 64) have no certificate, diploma or degree.

That’s the highest percentage of any CMA in Canada. (A CMA is a region consisting of a populated urban core and less populated surrounding areas.)

The Brandford CMA was just behind Abbotsford at 15.2 per cent while Victoria had the best numbers with only 7.3 per cent of the work force having no diploma of any kind.

Abbotsford-Mission ranked last (55.2 per cent) for workers with higher than a high school education. Quebec City led the country with 73.6 per cent of the work force having a post-secondary education.

Finally, 29.5 per cent of workers in this CMA have a high school diploma as their highest form of education, second highest in Canada.

Marc Lachance, a spokesperson for the National Household Survey, said all three numbers must be considered together to see the whole picture.

While 15.3 per cent of the workforce doesn’t have a high school diploma, adding the other two statistics together reveals that 84.7 per cent have a high school diploma or higher.

Those stats are only for the workforce and don’t take into account people who may have retired or be in between jobs. It also does not factor in the population under the age of 25 that could currently be enrolled in post-secondary programs.

Vlad Dvoracek, associate vice-president of Institutional Research and Planning for the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), doesn’t think that Abbotsford or the Fraser Valley is the worst in Canada.

“Does the Fraser Valley have a low university participation rate? The answer is yes, so the trend is certainly there. And do they have a high high school drop-out rate? The answer is yes to that too,” said Dvoracek.

So while he said the specific data and rankings should be taken with “a grain of salt,” the general idea that this area has a high drop-out rate and low post-secondary participation, is true.

Dvoracek points to the “resource commodity” history of the Valley area as one possible factor, noting that in the past fishing, lumber and now agriculture were the major employers.

He said parents who went to university are “much more likely to have kids who go to university” and many current UFV students are “first generation” students.

Immigration could also impact the stats, but Dvoracek said it’s tricky to decipher because, different immigration groups have high or low post-secondary participation rates.

He said, in general, UFV has been vocal in the community, trying to encourage students to attend university.

And there is a demand. UFV has seen increasing participation in recent years, but accommodating the demand is more difficult.

“If we had more funding from the ministry we could provide more seats for students.”

He also noted that another factor could be that it was only in 2008 that the Fraser valley received its own university.

Until then he believes “it was the largest catchment that didn’t have one.”

Other stats:

The household survey also examined how and when people go to work.

Cars, trucks and vans are the most popular way, with 71 per cent of B.C. workers using them. In Abbotsford-Mission, that number increases to 85 per cent.

Public transit is used to get to work by 12 per cent of Canadians (12.6 per cent of B.C.ers), but by only 2.5 per cent of Abbotsford-Mission workers. Walking finished higher at 2.6 per cent. Biking was just 0.8 per cent.

“What’s interesting in Abbotsford is we also looked at the time it takes to go to work,” said Lachance.

Nation-wide, 17 per cent of Canadian commuter take more than 45 minutes to get to work. In B.C. that percentage drops to about 16.5.

In Abbotsford-Mission, 21 per cent o the commuters take longer than 45 minutes.

Lachance said that is likely due to a higher number of people heading to Vancouver and the surrounding area. It would also be an indication of why more people in this area use cars rather than public transit.

In Abbotsford-Mission, 10 per cent leave for work between 5 and 6 a.m. Across Canada, only six per cent leave that early.

Other information released in the study includes:

Top jobs:

The top job for males in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA is transport/truck driving at 6.4 per cent, followed by retail sales at three per cent. The top job for females is retail sales at five per cent and cashier at 4.2 per cent.

Top Industry:

Agriculture/farming is the top industry with 5.3 per cent of the work force, followed by elementary and secondary schools with 4.7 per cent and hospitals/health at 3.5 per cent.

Lachance said retail would be considered the top industry; however it is broken down into smaller categories (restaurants, clothing, automotive etc.)


English is the primary language used by the work force in the local CMA. About 93 per cent speak English followed by Punjabi at 4.2 per cent.





Just Posted

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read