The Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute has recently released its latest annual State of the Basin Snapshot report.
“It’s (the Snapshot report) an effort to monitor indicators of well being in the the Columbia Basin and to provide information for decision and policy makers,” said RDI coordinator and researcher Lauren Rethoret. “We’re recently been going beyond putting together the report and have gone to lengths to improve access to data.”
This year’s version of report was released at the end of 2014, in December, and is electronically linked to more trends analysis reports and to the RDI’s web-based data portal, the Digital Basin, which is packed with graphs, tables and maps of all the data the institute has gathered.
This year’s Snapshot highlighted several trends specific to the Upper Columbia Valley.
According to the report, what the institute calls the Kootenay Development Region (which includes Invermere) has the highest rate of job creation in the Columbia Basin, bolstered particularly by the trade (retail and wholesale) sector.
The Upper Columbia Valley, in the 2014 Snapshot, has the highest home prices anywhere in the basin, with median residential house prices greater than $400,000.
Regional District of East Kootenay Area F has the highest rate of post secondary educational attainment (61 per cent) in the basin, but what the institute classifies as the Windermere Health Area (which comprises part of the Upper Columbia Valley) is one of only two areas in the basin with a crime rate higher than the B.C. average, according to the report.
On a bright note, in the latest Snapshot the institute has classified the Upper Columbia Valley — Invermere specifically— as one of the basin’s cultural hub, owing to the town having at least seven major arts or cultural based festivals.
The Snapshot reports were initiated by the Columbia Basin Trust in 2008, and were taken over by the RDI when it was launched in 2011. Aside from the Snapshots, the RDI also does a long-analysis research project every five years and gives updates of its ongoing research. To compile the Snapshot reports, the institute uses information from government source and other local organizations in conjunction with a poll of basin residents that it conducts.
To see the full report check out www.cbrdi.ca.