Toronto, ON, November 24, 2021 – With inflation in Canada reaching highs not seen for decades, it’s perhaps no surprise that a recently-released Ipsos poll for Global News shows that affordability is the top priority that Canadians have given our political leaders to address. The poll has also revealed that four in five (78%) Canadians are concerned (36% very/42% somewhat) that inflation will make everyday things less affordable, while relatively few (22%) are not concerned (6% not at all/17% not very). Concern runs higher among women (80%) than men (75%), and among those aged 35-54 (82%) compared to those older (75%) or younger (75%).
Regionally, concern is a little higher in Alberta (81%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (81%), and Ontario (81%), and slightly lower in Atlantic Canada (76%), British Columbia (73%) and Quebec (73%). Interestingly, household income is not a determining factor in one’s level of concern about inflation.
Perhaps as a result of this inflation and other financial pressures, four in ten (44%) would go so far as to say that they are concerned (19% strongly/25% somewhat) that they might not have enough money to feed their family, rising to 59% (29% very concerned) among those with kids under 18 in the household. A majority of those aged 18-34 (55%) and 35-54 (53%) express concern over being able to feed their family, while significantly fewer aged 55+ have similar concerns (28%). Concern is highest among families earning less than $40K a year (58%), dropping steadily to 31% among those whose household income is $100K or more.
Regionally, a majority of Albertans (54%) are concerned about being able to feed their family, while a minority of those living in Quebec (49%), Atlantic Canada (48%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (44%), Ontario (40%) and British Columbia (38%) are concerned.
Reacting to the rising cost of household necessities such as food, clothing, transportation, and shelter, one in four (24%) Canadians says they are already completely out of money, and that there is no way they can pay more for household necessities. They are disproportionately more likely to be living in Alberta (33%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (32%) and Atlantic Canada (29%) than Quebec (24%), Ontario (21%) and British Columbia (19%). Those aged 35-54 are most likely (30%) to say they’re already at the brink and can’t absorb higher costs along with young adults aged 18-34 (27%), while those aged 55+ are much less likely (16%) to say so.
The remaining three-quarters of Canadians are split up into three camps:
- Just 13% say they can easily absorb increased costs, rising to 25% among households with at least $100K in income.
- One in three (35%) say that, with some adjustments to how they spend their money, they can absorb the increased costs.
- Three in ten (28%) say that with some major changes to how they spend their money, they will find a way to pay for increased costs.
In total, roughly half (52%) of Canadians are already on the brink or close to it, and say they can ill afford the rapid rate of inflation presently afflicting Canada. The other half (48%) of Canadian households are more easily able to adjust to higher costs with only minor tweaking to the budget required.
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between November 12 and 15, 2021, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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