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Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody only because and only when, they are created for everybody.” -Jane Jacobs

Why are the costs of joy never included in data about affordability?

We think that conversations about affordability need to include more than the bare minimum necessary to survive.

That’s why we created a data index that recognizes our shared humanity by including costs that enrich your life, such as access to cultural events or an occasional meal at your favourite restaurant. The good stuff.

In this series, we explore the personal stories from responses we received from the Real Affordability Index while taking a closer look at 4 of the 27 cities examined in the data.

This week we dive into discrepancies in wages among genders as a major theme across Canadian cities and Lethbridge in particular.

Lethbridge is the most affordable city in Canada, but for who?

Lethbridge has the smallest average youth deficit out of the examined cities at $32.92. But a small deficit is still a deficit and for the residents of Lethbridge, some are in a greater deficit than others…


Lethbridge has the largest gender wage gap in relation to affordability at 20%, meaning that on average men make 20% more than women.

In Lethbridge, 36% of men work in trades, but only 3% of women. Within the trades industry, the average monthly surplus is $1,180.92.

Lethbridge isn’t unique to this gender wage gap. Alberta, as a whole, has the largest gender wage gap of any province.

And our findings show that young men continue to make more than young women in every city examined across Canada, big or small.

Across Canada between 36% and 56% of young women are working in the sales and service industry. This high percentage is contributing to the gender wage gap as more men are engaged in trade jobs that pay more but are traditionally not inclusive, such as lack of toilet facilities on work sites.

This wage disparity is setting up a future generation of women to have less financial freedom than men. This means that women will have less access to opportunities that require a financial investment, such as furthering their education.

“To educate a woman is to educate a nation.”

So what does that mean for the future of our shared nation?

There is a gender wage gap for young women in every city examined across Canada, big or small…

Examine the gender gap in your city at the link below.

Learn more about real affordability for youth across Canada here.

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Join us as we continue this national conversation about youth affordability. Send this article to a friend, a young person, an Albertan, a Lethbridge resident, or a decision maker.

Send us a message, we’d love to talk.

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