We have to say that we’ve gotten this vibe for a while, so it’s almost reassuring to see it so clearly laid out. A new report from the organization Youthful Cities has unveiled a tough stat- from coast to coast, young people can’t afford to live in Canadian cities. Here’s how they got to that claim.
Working alongside RBC, Youthful Cities used the Real Affordability Index, which wraps up a number of factors into a pretty clear cut conclusion. Basically, the index takes the average wage ($20.96/hr) of a young person (15-29) in Canada, and weighs that against a complex “cost of living per city” bundle that includes everything from housing to transportation to dining out.
In this year’s report, Youthful Cities found that all 27 of the cities they looked at, ranging from Lethbridge to Yellowknife to Toronto, ran deficits on average for young people. Of course, these deficits varied widely, from just a few dollars a month ($34.92 in Lethbridge) to well over a thousand ($1,290.74 in Halifax).
Once again, these are averages. In fact, things get worse when accounting for part-time workers, gender gaps, and respective minimum wages. And while some cities do offer surpluses when working full-time, that number is still less than half of the total.
Things like dining out may seem unnecessary to some, sure. But Youthful Cities (and us, by the way) recognizes not only the importance of basic services and amenities, but also the value, both personally and in the context of the community, of leisure activities that contribute to the local economy. Not to mention the mental wellbeing of the population.
And, as spokesperson Claire Patterson puts it- “Today’s young people are still working to afford the toast. Avocados seem a long way off.” For more info on what Youthful Cities uncovered, as well as how they’re trying to fix the situation, you can check out the report in full right here.