A recent report (pdf) shows that incomes have risen more slowly in British Columbia than in the rest of Canada in the past two decades. In one article, economists offer the usual suspects of low investment in productivity-raising equipment and a shift towards the low-paying service sector. But, citing a more laid-back “West Coast lifestyle”, they also suggests that some BC residents are deliberately choosing jobs that pay less in wages but more in satisfaction.

As an example, the article cites a Vancouver resident who switched to a lower paying job repairing bikes:

I enjoy what I do so I’m willing to settle for a lower wage to do something I enjoy,” John said. […] “All my friends make more money than I do,” he said. “[But] a lot of my friends don’t enjoy what they are doing. They do make more money but they seem to be more stressed.”

So lower growth in monetary income might not actually mean BC residents are falling behind the rest of Canada. If we measured overall happiness as regularly as we measure income and GDP, perhaps BC would be ahead of the curve.