Metro Vancouver, a lonely place for young people: report

Finding the time and money to stay socially connected is tough for people under 24, according to the report -- particularly if they're not earning much. File photo/Pixabay

Metro Vancouver is a lonely place for young people.

That’s the conclusion in the Vancouver Foundation’s latest Connect and Engage report, which surveyed nearly 3,800 people living in the region.

While just 14 per cent of the region’s residents overall reported frequent feelings of loneliness, the number more than doubled to 30 per cent when looking at people aged 18 to 24 years old.

“Young people… they spend more time alone than they would like, and they experience loneliness ‘almost always’ or ‘often,'” said Vancouver Foundation president Kevin McCort.

Among that same group of young people, the number feeling isolated jumped even higher when income was factored in.

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For people earning under $20,000 per year, 38 per cent reported regular feelings of loneliness.

“The reasons that people aren’t participating are largely related to time and money,” said McCort.

The report, a repeat of a 2012 study, also showed some positive results.

It found that nine out of 10 people in the region have someone they can depend on, and that nearly the same number had close relationships that provided them with a sense of emotional security and well-being.

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It also found that about half of people in the region would be likely to go out to a neighbourhood social gathering.

But it also backed up recent concerns about residents leaving the region for reasons of affordability.

Half of respondents said they plan to move in the next five years and about 38 per cent said they know friends or family who are moving neighborhoods because of the cost of housing.

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