According to a report published by Statistics Canada (StatCan) on Feb. 13, over 25 percent of Canadians would not be able to afford an unexpected expense of $500. The research was gathered from the “Canadian Social Survey on Quality of Life and Cost of Living,” which was conducted between Oct. 21 and Dec. 4, 2022. Questions posed to participants included, “Today, could your household cover an unexpected expense of $500 from your household’s resources?” and “In the past 12 months, how difficult or easy was it for your household to meet its financial needs in terms of transportation, housing, food, clothing and other necessary expenses?”
The report also stated that over one-third of Canadian households reported difficulty in meeting their financial needs over the past year and that the majority of individuals across the country are concerned with “increasing challenges of affordability.” Additionally, it was found that over 45 percent of young Canadians (aged 35-44 years) and 40 percent of Canadians aged 45-54 years had difficulty meeting their financial needs over the past 12 months. Furthermore, over 30 percent of each age group said they wouldn’t be able to cover an unexpected expense of $500.
The research also revealed that financial difficulties are higher in some areas of the country than others. Around 38 percent of Canadian households in the Atlantic and prairie regions reported financial struggles over the past year, while Quebec had the lowest proportion with 29 percent.
The report comes several months after the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada found in its own research that almost 40 percent of Canadians are borrowing money to cover the costs of everyday expenses like groceries and housing rent payments. Moreover, it was discovered that about 25 percent of Canadians regularly spend more than their monthly income.
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