Canadians’ optimism about their fortunes for the year ahead hits four-year low

by Angus Reid | August 5, 2014 11:16 pm

Manitobans are currently more buoyant about improvement to their standard of living in the year ahead than Canadians in other parts of the country; but a four-year trend shows an overall national decline.

Those are some of the findings of an Angus Reid Global (ARG) online survey of more than 6000 adult Canadians.

The survey asked respondents whether they thought their standard of living would be better or worse a year from now than it is today.


The Regional Picture:

When asked whether they thought their standard of living would be better or worse a year from now, respondents from Manitoba (24%), Saskatchewan (21%) and Alberta (19%) said their situation would be better. Each of these provinces showed the lowest difference between those who responded “better” versus those who responded with “worse”. (See tables at the end of this release).

In Ontario 17 per cent of respondents said their standard of living would be better in a year, followed by Quebec and BC (16%) and respondents in Atlantic Canada (12%). It should be noted that half of all respondents across the country, regardless of their region, said they don’t anticipate any change to their standard of living over the next year.

From March 2010 until March 2014, Albertans were consistently the most likely to be optimistic about their future prospects. However that optimism has also followed the national decline. The number of Albertans who responded “better” has halved over time – from 38 per cent at the beginning of 2010 – to 19 per cent in June 2014. Optimism in Manitoba was the same as in Alberta in the last quarter, ticking up to 24% in June of this year.

Trends Over Time:

ARG has asked this question of Canadians every three months since 2010. Looking back over the last four and a half years, we note a gradual decline in optimism among Canadians in regards to their future standard of living.

Until the second quarter of 2011, respondents who said they thought their “standard of living would be better a year from now” outnumbered those who said it would be worse. Results from ARG’s 2014 second-quarter survey showed the lowest ever Canadian average response (16%) on better standard of living a year from now.

Age and Gender Gap:

When it comes to prospects for the year ahead, 18-34-year-olds are more likely than older respondents to say that they believe their standard of living will be better in a year (29%), while those 55+ are least likely to say so (10%).


Click here for full report including table and methodology[3]

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