1 in 4 Canadians face money problems: Angus Reid survey

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On one hand the economy is running smoothly, employment isn’t notably high and given that reality, interest rates are rising to curb inflation. Now an Angus Reid survey reveals than a quarter of Canadians are starting to face serious financial hardship.

According to the report from the Angus Reid Institute, 21 per cent of respondents said they can’t afford to go for dental care, while one quarter reported they have recently had to borrow money to buy groceries.

Angus Reid says it sought to go beyond the usual income-based measures of poverty with this study. Instead, the organization said it asked respondents about their personal experiences to paint a picture of the ability of Canadians to make ends meet.

Respondents were asked about 12 money-related situations, including whether they’ve used a pay day loan-type service, if they’ve used a food bank, if they’ve not been able to pay a utility bill and if they can afford to go for dental care.

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Based on the results of those questions, Angus Reid categorized them into four groups.

Those in the “struggling” group — roughly 16 per cent of the population — have faced at least four of the 12 situations, and roughly 77 per cent of them are experiencing at least one on an ongoing basis.

In its report, Angus Reid pointed out that household income is highly correlated with the four segments, but maybe not as highly as might be expected. The research group pointed out that more than one in five people in the “struggling” group, have household incomes between $50,000 and $100,000. However, based on their survey responses, those people are facing financial difficulty, which might be due to debt, the cost of living in their area or the expense of child-rearing.

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Asked if they view their personal financial situation as better, worse or the same as their parents at the same stage of life, 67 per cent of those “struggling” replied they were worse off, while 54 per cent of those “on the edge” thought they were doing worse than their parents. Among the “always comfortable” group, only 16 per cent thought they were worse off. -CINEWS

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