The city has found the fountain of youth. Edmonton is getting younger, and better off. And the youth of today seem to be making better life choices. Those are the findings of a pair of social agencies who’ve released a report Tuesday on life in Canadian cities.
The median age of an Edmontonian is 36, the youngest in the country and four years younger than the Canadian median age.
“In terms of being a young city, it’s probably mostly tied to the fact that we have a lot of people moving here and we’ve been creating quite a bit of employment,” said John Kolkman with the Edmonton Social Planning Council.
He says surveys of our youth, both in high school and post secondary, show we’re optimistic about our futures, better educated and less likely to be involved in crime, and socially active.
“Sixty-eight per cent of youth said it was important for them to be involved in the community. Interestingly enough only seven per cent of participants of adults that we did thought that youth were involved in the community so there seemed to be a bit of disconnect there between how youth saw themselves compared to perhaps how their elders saw them.”
On the down side of the survey, that was also sponsored by the Edmonton Community Foundation, youth are still facing trouble in the work place with low wages, and high youth unemployment. “There are a lot of jobs out there but by the same token a lot of the jobs out there are low wage jobs and I think particularly that’s a challenge for youth sort of getting started in the work force,” Kolkman said.
Mayor Don Iveson says with Edmonton’s increasingly younger population, it should provide an opportunity for more political involvement at election time. He says we should not have lower than normal voting rates for young people.