Analyzing young Canadians- who are they really?

October 29, 2019

Lazy. Entitled. Hedonistic. Anxious. Passionate about avocado toast. The “ME” generation.

What do these words and phrases have in common?

If you were thinking that all of them are stereotypes associated with the millennial generation, you’re correct. According to Statistics Canada, millennials make up the largest generation of Canadians (27% of the Canadian population) as of 2019.

There is no shortage of stereotypes about millennials and the younger generation that follows: Generation Z. But how can we know what the members of these generations are really thinking?

Simple – go to the source and ask them. And that’s exactly what we did.

The Youth Study: a way to understand young Canadians

2019 marks the second year of Leger’s Youth Study, the only study of its kind in Canada that provides a comprehensive portrait of Canada’s generations of young people: millennials and Generation Z. From August 13 – September 1, 2019, we surveyed 3,003 Canadians aged 13-37 to analyze what motivates them, what influences them, their moods, their behaviours, their purchasing habits and their values. We also explored who they think the coolest influencers and companies in Canada are.

We discovered that within the two generations (millennials and Generation Z), there are three distinct age groups with different perspectives: the carefree (13-19 years old), the turbulent (20-29 years old), and the stable (30-37 years old).

Our Youth Study is an excellent tool to understand the perspectives of young Canadians: it analyzes their perceptions and behaviours more specifically than in traditional analysis, which divides young people into only two groups: millennials and Generation Z.

Who are the carefree, the turbulent, and the stable?

The carefree (13-19 years old) are the optimists and dreamers of the three groups. They are less stressed, and say they are creative. The carefree are also ambitious: they have big dreams and think they can successfully achieve them.

The turbulent (20-29 years old) are more stressed and anxious. They are worried about the community and their finances. Feeling out of place in their lives, they are less proud and happy, fear failure, and are anxious about what others think of them. In addition, they’re overwhelmed by what is going on around them, and have the impression that others are having more fun and are more successful than they are. They are also thinking about leaving their jobs to find better ones.

The stable (30-37 years old) have fewer dreams of grandeur. They are less afraid of failure and less anxious. They are less worried about money, even if they have already had financial problems. The stable group is more solitary. They feel a sense of success with respect to their life, although they feel they don’t receive enough recognition for the things they do. They are not looking for a better job, because they feel the one they have is suitable.

Understanding what young Canadians are looking for (and why) puts companies in a better position to respond to the needs and interests of their younger consumers, and to speak to them in a way that resonates with how they see the world.

Want to know more about the perspectives of these three groups?

Click the button at the bottom of this page to contact us for more information about how you can remain relevant among your younger audiences!


About this Study

The 2019 Youth Study (Canada) was conducted online by Leger from August 13 to September 1, 2019, among 3,003 Canadians aged 13 to 37, randomly recruited from Leger Opinion’s online panel. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of 3,003 respondents would have a margin of error of ±1.8%, 19 times out of 20.


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