According to a report released by Statistics Canada, in the autumn of 2022, 35 per cent of Canadians said that it was difficult for them to meet the financial needs of their household in the past year. 

"When asked whether their household had the resources to cover an unexpected expense of $500, 26 per cent said that they would be unable to do so," the report stated.

Regionally, that percentage was higher in the prairie provinces, as 28 per cent of those living in the region said that their household could not cover an unexpected expense of $500 today. 

"While the vast majority of Canadians were concerned with rising gasoline and food prices, almost half (44 per cent) said they were very concerned with their household's ability to afford housing or rent," the report stated.

The report also underlined that those between the ages of 35 to 44 years old, were struggling more than their older counterparts (45 to 54 years old). 46 per cent of young adults said that they also found it difficult to meet their financial needs in the previous 12 months, which according to Statistics Canada, is the highest proportion of any other age group.

"People aged 65 years and older (25 per cent) were the least likely to report difficulty. Similarly, when asked whether their household could cover an unexpected expense of $500 today, more than one-third (35 per cent) of people aged 35 to 44 years said that they would be unable to do so."

Statistics Canada said that this generational disparity was particularly noticeable over concern with housing prices.

"When asked if they were concerned about their ability to afford housing or rent, 58 per cent of people aged 15 to 24 years reported being very concerned, followed by 56 per cent of those aged 25 to 34 years. People aged 65 years and older (27 per cent) reported the least concern."

When asked whether rising housing prices influenced their decision to move in the last six months, 44 per cent of people aged 25 to 34 years reported that, due to rising prices, they either wanted to purchase a home or move but did not, or they moved sooner than planned or chose a more affordable option (e.g., downsizing to a more affordable house or rental). In comparison, less than 15 per cent of Canadians aged 45 years and older gave this answer. 

Despite the anxiety of not being able to cover an unexpected expense, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel, as those who are aged 25 to 34 years old had some of the highest optimism regarding an improvement in their financial situation in one year. However, that optimism declined sharply among Canadians who are 65 or older, which may be because many seniors live on a fixed income or pension. 

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