Vital Signs report profiles quality of life in the region

Keremeos, Princeton top list for affordable housing


The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan presented its second|Vital Signs® report in early November.

This year’s report was expanded to reflect all the communities in the South Okanagan and Similkameen area.

The report consists of statistical information regarding a number of categories designed to measure the vitality of the area’s communities, identifiying issues and trends, with citizen’s assessments in a range of areas critical to quality of life.

Vital Signs had a number of interesting statistics to reveal about Keremeos, which statistically varied somewhat in comparison to other regional communities.

For instance, in the Health and Wellness category, which scored a “B+” overall,  it was noted that Keremeos residents were eight per cent below the regional average for suffering depression and anxiety, at 26 per cent.

In the “Belonging and Leadership” category, Keremeos scored highest – at 50 per cent – in the region for voter turnout. However, students in School  District 53 reported the highest rate of bullying, at 11 per cent, one per cent more than School District 58 and two per cent more than School District 67. Regionally, the category rated an “A-”.

Safety – which scored an “A” regionally – revealed statistics that indicated a rate of violent crime for Keremeos at 22 per thousand, slightly lower than Penticton ( at 24 per cent) but nonetheless one of the highest rates among regional communities. At 46 property crimes per thousand, Keremeos ranked slightly higher than other smaller communities, but much less than Penticton, at 71 per thousand.

Keremeos was also second highest in the number of citizens served per police officer (at 965) Summerland was highest at 1216  per thousand, and Penticton the lowest at 736 per thousand.

Regionally, housing scored a “C”, with Keremeos and Princeton tying for the number of affordable housing units per 1,000 residents, at 20.

In the category “Gap Between Rich and Poor”, which scored a “D” regionally, Keremeos was noted to have the lowest average income in the region.Women, however, earned on average 69 per cent of a man’s wage in the Lower Similkameen, five per cent more than the region on average.