Regional Profile

The Metro Vancouver region is home to more than 50% of British Columbia’s population and economic activity. It is a growing region and a desirable place to live, work and play.

Definition of the Region

Metro Vancouver comprises 21 municipalities, one treaty First Nation and one electoral area. Members include: Village of Anmore, Village of Belcarra, Bowen Island Municipality, City of Burnaby, City of Coquitlam, Corporation of Delta, City of Langley, Township of Langley, Village of Lions Bay, City of Maple Ridge, City of New Westminster, City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, City of Pitt Meadows, City of Port Coquitlam, City of Port Moody, City of Richmond, City of Surrey, Tsawwassen First Nation, City of Vancouver, District of West Vancouver, City of White Rock and the unincorporated Electoral Area A (witch includes the University of British Columbia and the University Endowment Lands).

Within the region, there are 10 First Nations: Katzie, Kwantlaen, Kwikwetlem, Matsqui, Musqueam, Qayqayt, Semiahmoo, Squamish, Tsawwassen and Tsleil-Waututh with overlapping land claims.

Climate

Situated on the Pacific Coast, Metro Vancouver residents experience moderate temperatures year round. However, the sea breezes and mountainous terrain make Metro Vancouver a region of microclimates, with local variations in weather sometimes being more exaggerated than those experienced in other coastal areas. For instance, the general rule of thumb is that for every rise of 100 meters in elevation within the region, there is an additional 100 mm in annual precipitation.

  • Median temperature: 10.1º C 
  • Average high temperature: 13.7º C
  • Average low temperature: 6.5º C
  • Average rainfall: 1,199.0 mm

Regional Land Area

  • Total Area: 2,865 sq. kilometres
  • General Urban areas: 903 sq. kilometres

Despite being an urbanized area with a population of over 2.3 million (and growing), the Metro Vancouver Region is characterized by diverse land cover. Less than a third of the land base is designated for general urban which includes residential, commercial and industrial uses. The remaining two-thirds of the land base is a diverse network of forests, alpine and riparian areas, streams and rivers, wetlands, intertidal marshes, estuaries and agricultural lands.

With the adoption of Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping our Future, member municipalities agreed to establish a regional Urban Containment Boundary. The intention of an Urban Containment Boundary is to establish a stable, long-term defined area for urban development; it will reinforce the protection of agricultural, conservation and rural areas, and provide predictability for locating urban uses as well as the efficient delivery of core services and transit in the region.