Young Canadians remain optimistic about the future and are heavily focused on financial stability, working hard and helping others. Top among their concerns, meanwhile, are the plight of Indigenous Canadians, the impact of technology and levels of stress.
That’s according to a wide-ranging study of young Canadians commissioned by the Horatio Alger Association of Canada. The first-of-its-kind survey polled more than 2,000 Canadians aged 14 to 23. The results challenge much of the conventional wisdom about young Canadians and sheds light on the world view of Generation Z, the group of people born in the mid- to late-1990s after the millennials.
- Hard work is more important than luck in achieving a successful life. Financial stability and helping others are the two most important factors for achieving a successful life.
- Though generally satisfied with the government in Canada, youth believe it can improve its approach in areas such as increasing access to affordable housing and addressing homelessness and poverty.
- 61 per cent of high school students and 63 per cent of graduates feel all Canadians are responsible for the Calls to Action put forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
- 74 per cent of high school students and 76 per cent of graduates believe technology has helped their ability to research and find information; 27 per cent of high school students and 32 per cent of graduates feel technology has a “somewhat negative” or “very negative” impact on their life skills.
- The main pressure for high school students is to do well in school, while graduates feel their top pressure is to have their lives figured out. Financial independence is a key concern.
- 70 per cent of high school students and 75 per cent of graduates do not feel compelled to use drugs.
The results were part of a report unveiled at an Ottawa press conference on Sept. 18 featuring Gov. Gen. David Johnston and Michelle Pidgeon, associate professor at B.C.’s Simon Fraser University and director of The Centre for the Study of Educational Leadership and Policy.