British Columbia gets top marks on health report card

OTTAWA, Feb. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - British Columbia is the only province to receive an "A"  grade and ranks behind only Switzerland and Sweden in The Conference Board of Canada's first How Canada Performs: Health report card that compares Canada, its 10 provinces and three territories, and 15 peer countries.

"British Columbia is among the top performers in the world when it comes to health," said Gabriela Prada, Director, Health Innovation, Policy and Evaluation. "The province has one of the highest life expectancies in the world as well as one of the lowest mortality rates due to cancer – the number one killer in Canada. It is also among the provinces with the lowest shares of deaths due to heart disease and stroke and respiratory diseases."


  • B.C. earns the country's only "A" grade and ranks third overall, after Switzerland and Sweden.
  • Life expectancy in B.C. is among the highest in the world.
  • Lifestyle-related factors play a big role in the provinces' top marks on health.


The How Canada Performs: Health report card assesses performance on 11 health status indicators.

B.C. scores "A"s on four indicators. At 82.2 years, life expectancy in B.C. is among the highest in the world. The province also gets "A"s for premature mortality, mortality due to cancer, and self-reported health status (a measure of how people feel about their own health).

B.C. receives "B" grades on six indicators, including mortality due to nervous system diseases, respiratory diseases, and heart disease and stroke. The province earns its lowest grade, a "C," on mortality due to diabetes, but it has the lowest diabetes prevalence rate in Canada with only 4.3 per cent of the population known to be living with the disease between 2011 and 2013.

The province is blessed with the best health outcomes in Canada in large part because its residents lead healthier lifestyles. B.C. has the lowest share of daily smokers and heavy drinkers as well as the most physically active population in the country. The province also has the lowest obesity rate in Canada.

How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance. Six performance domains are assessed: Economy, Education and Skills, Innovation, Environment, Health, and Society.

Released today, and building on previous How Canada Performs analyses, the Health report card is the third of six to be produced on Canadian and provincial socio-economic performance. The Economy and Education and Skills report cards were published in 2014. The remaining report cards will follow over the year.

This is the first year that provincial and territorial rankings are included in the report cards. Further details, including information on data sources and the methodology behind the rankings, can be found on the How Canada Performs website.

Watch a video commentary by Gabriela Prada, Director, Health Innovation, Policy and Evaluation.

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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

For further information: Juline Ranger, Associate Director of Communications, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 431, E-mail:; or Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221, E-mail:

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