(File photo)

Vancouver is a lonely place for young people: report

Participation in community events has dropped over the past five years

Almost one-third of young people in Metro Vancouver feel lonely, according to a report released Wednesday by the Vancouver Foundation.

In a survey of 3,800 Metro Vancouverites, the foundation found that the rate of loneliness among those 18-24-years-old was just over double the rate of the general population.

“The millennial generation in the Lower Mainland is now larger than the post-war boomers generation and this growing demographic represents our next generation of workers, families and community members,” said Rennie Group vice-president of marketing Andrew Ramlo.

“Ensuring both existing and new, younger and older residents have the opportunities to establish strong connections with their communities is essential to building stronger, healthier communities.”

Overall, 14 per cent of the city’s residents feel lonely either “almost always” or “often.”

That rate doesn’t just increase for young people. Income had a strong negative effect with 23 per cent of those with a household income of between $20,000-$40,000 feeling lonely and 38 per cent of those living in household making less than $20,000 often feeling alone.

The report notes that the biggest barriers to Vancouverites getting together with friends – work or school obligations, not having enough time, being too far away, finances and feeling overwhelmed – were more common among young people than people over the age of 24.

It wasn’t all bad news, however; the report found that 91 per cent of those surveyed said that they did have people they could depend on for help.

Vancouverites told the foundation that they would find it easier to make friends if there were more community or common spaces to connect at, if people were friendlier and more approachable and if they had more financial resources.

Welcome to the neighbourhood

Despite feelings of loneliness, approximately two-thirds of Metro Vancouverites feel welcome in their neighbourhoods.

Here there was still a split between older and younger residents; at 84 per cent, those 75 and older were 20 per cent more likely to feel like they belonged in their communities than the general population.

Less than half of people who have lived in Canada for 10 years or less and people between the ages of 18-24 felt welcome in their communities. That number increase slightly to 50-51 percent for those aged 25-24, those with a houshold income of less than $20,00 and those living in a suite in a house.

Almost half of those surveyed said that more neighbourhood social gatherings would help them get to know their neighbours better, while just under one-third said they would like to participate in a neighbourhood or community project.

“People are often just waiting to be asked or invited to take part in something – they have the skills, assets and desire, they just aren’t sure what to do,” said Asset Based Community Development Institute’s Joe Erpenbeck.

However, the report found that “participation in almost every community related activity has dropped since 2012.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Red Deer building permits on the rise

Building permit applications returned to a seasonal average after slowing in May,… Continue reading

Three patients dead: Edmonton hospital declares full COVID-19 outbreak

EDMONTON — A hospital in Edmonton is no longer admitting patients due… Continue reading

CMHC reports annual pace of housing starts in Canada increased in June

OTTAWA — Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of… Continue reading

Trump forgoes insults of past, calls Mexico cherished friend

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, who has denigrated Mexican migrants and threatened… Continue reading

Federal website advertising hundreds of non-existent student-volunteer positions

OTTAWA — The federal website advertising volunteer positions for students hoping to… Continue reading

Opinion: Restart our economic engine by supporting oil and gas

“The country isn’t going to recover unless the oil and gas sector… Continue reading

Opinion: COVID costs need restraining

Bill Morneau muttered it best himself on Wednesday as he tabled documents… Continue reading

UPDATE: Alberta RCMP Major Crimes Unit investigating suspicious death in Leduc

Death of Jacob Michael Chitze, 19, ruled a homicide; RCMP seek video of house party altercation.

Fateful meeting has Vancouver’s Stuart Macdonald on Korn Ferry Tour

Stuart Macdonald wasn’t quite sure what Golf Canada’s Derek Ingram wanted to… Continue reading

Oprah, Lionsgate to help adapt The 1619 Project for film, TV

Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate are partnering with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones… Continue reading

Sheriff: ‘Glee’ actor Naya Rivera missing in California lake

LOS ANGELES — A Southern California lake will be closed while they… Continue reading

Grizzly bears in the dark as they try to share living space with humans: study

Grizzly bears in the dark as they try to share living space with humans: study

Most Read