When it comes to median salaries, many Northern Ontario communities fall below the provincial average.

There are exceptions, like Sudbury and the Rainy River District.

Nipissing falls just below the provincial average.

That’s one of the stories about 100 delegates in North Bay heard on Wednesday at the State of the North conference.

The Northern Policy Institute, based in Thunder Bay, is hosting the event.

It’s CEO and President Charles Cirtwill says falling below the provincial average isn’t a bad thing primarily because people’s salaries in the north go further.

“You’re housing is cheaper, food is similar, extra-curricular activities like soccer and hockey are cheaper than in the GTA,” Cirtwill told Moose News.

Cirtwill says Sudbury and the Rainy River District are enjoying median salaries above the average because in Sudbury’s case, it has many highly-paid mine managers and a large number of post-secondary educators who are also well paid.

Rainy River District surged above the provincial average because it has producing gold mines and it’s seen a recent rise in agricultural activity.

Cirtwill says Nipissing falls just below the provincial threshold because it’s smaller.

“Its educational institutions are smaller, there are a lot of entrepreneurial operators with one, two or three people so the salary tends to be a little lower and that pushes it down,” Cirtwill said.