After two years of a global pandemic (and counting), Canadians are choosing optimism as they enter the new year after months of mental and financial strain. It’s a surprisingly positive outlook considering it comes on the tails of a steep spike in the cost of living, food price surges, unemployment and overall inflation. Leave it to us resilient Canucks to find the silver lining in any situation.
According to a recent poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Global News, 67 per cent of Canadians say they are “generally optimistic” about 2022. The survey also found that 46 per cent of Canadians admitted they felt 2021 turned out better than they expected (for various reasons) while 54 per cent disagreed.
Canadians are looking to improve their finances in 2022
When it comes to money matters, the poll revealed that four in 10 (41 per cent) of Canadians plan to make a New Year’s resolution about their finances. In addition to that, 48 per cent said they plan to pay off their debts in 2022, although another 48 per cent believe surging prices in various sectors will hinder their feelings of financial security.
Although two-thirds of those surveyed believe they are currently in a good financial situation, only 14 per cent of Canadians are feeling financially secure compared to this time last year. This is likely due to the fact that, back in October, inflation hit its highest levels since 2003, and was largely driven by high gas prices, surging food prices and soaring housing costs.
Canadians are prioritizing physical and mental health in 2022
Money matters aren’t the only things that are front of mind for Canadians looking ahead to 2022. In addition to setting new financial goals, 48 per cent are looking to prioritize their physical health while another 37 per cent want to improve their mental and emotional well-being after another tough year of rising COVID case counts.
To break it down even further, this commitment to health and well-being is more prevalent in younger generations: those in the 18 to 34 demographic are at 59 per cent, while the 35 to 54 group sits at 50 per cent. Compare those numbers to only 39 per cent for those over the age of 55 who are prioritizing health and wellness.
As Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos public affairs, told Global News, “[Canadians are] learning to live with [the pandemic] to a certain extent. They’re figuring out that it goes through cycles.” As a result, compared to 2020, Canadians are feeling “less emotionally urgent” about COVID-19.
Read the entire Ipsos poll here.