Canadian millennials believe they have it tougher than past generations: poll

Canadian millennials believe they have it tougher than past generations: poll

An ever-increasing number of young people are living with their parents into their 20s and even 30s. But are more millennials living at home for longer ultimately good or bad for society?

That’s one of the questions looked at in a new public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute. It found that more Canadians say young people living at home is a “net negative for society” rather than a positive.

READ MORE: Millennials’ income growth shrinks while seniors take home more: report

At the same time, most Canadians surveyed – including roughly half the baby boomer generation – believe young people starting out today have it harder than past generations.

READ MORE: Canadian millennials hit hardest by mental health woes: poll

In contrast, the poll found 58 per cent of Canadians between ages 36 and 54 said today’s young people are “soft.”

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What does it mean to be an adult?

Of those surveyed, the poll found that 53 per cent believe that in order to be considered an adult, you should “achieve financial independence.”

The poll also suggests in terms of income stability, the millennial generation really does have it harder than people their age did decades ago. However, there are still some positives, according to the poll:

  • Higher education is more expensive, but it’s also more attainable.
  • House prices are much higher, but interest rates are much lower.

“The real cost of home ownership in Canada has increased significantly since the time when baby boomers and Generation X were purchasing their first homes,” a 2014 BMO report stated.

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And, unfortunately, incomes haven’t kept pace.

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Research from Goldman Sachs this year showed that, in the U.S., 93 per cent of 18- to 34-year-old renters plan to buy a home some day, but more choose to live at home with their parents than ever before.


WATCH: Serious disconnect with millennials and inheritance expectations

Millennials hope to cash in on inheritances: poll
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Views across Canada

The poll found the Prairie provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba take a “much dimmer view of the challenges facing today’s young adults.”

Sixty-six per cent of respondents in Saskatchewan and 70 per cent of Manitobans said young people are soft. Meanwhile, less than half of respondents in Quebec and British Columbia said the same.

Living with parents

According to Statistics Canada, in 2011 the number of 18- to – 34-year-olds living at home was higher than any other living arrangement that year.


When respondents were asked whether “living with parents” was good, bad or neutral for society:

  • 43 per cent saw it as neutral.
  • 36 per cent saw it as bad.
  • 21 per cent saw it as good.
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RELATED: Millennials shaking up traditional order of love, marriage then kids

The poll found Canadians of all ages are more likely to say people living with their parents into their mid-20s is a bad thing than to say it’s good. However, there were differences according to gender (see graph below).


Between July 4 and 6, 1,527 Canadian adults were interviewed for the survey, which has a margin error of 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 had all Canadians been polled.

— With files from Patricia Kozicka