Today in the city Quebec 29.09.2020

Half of Canadians say 2020 has been the worst year of their lives, with younger people more pessimistic: poll

The year 2020 has brought

a global pandemic,




violent race protests

, and we are barely three-quarters of the way through. 

So, it is not surprising that half — 50 per cent — of Canadians claim 2020 has been the worst year of their lives, according to a new poll conducted by Leger Marketing in partnership with the Association for Canadian Studies. 

Considering the unprecedented bad news this year, what’s surprising is that only half of Canadians feel that way.

“It’s a very high percentage. We need to take that to heart,” said Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies. “My immediate reaction was I felt very sad to see that.” 

The poll also found more Americans — 58 per cent — than Canadians said 2020 has been the worst year of their lives. Jedwab said he thinks this is because COVID-19 has been worse in the U.S. than Canada. 

Canada has experienced 121,000 cases of COVID-19 and 9,004 deaths. The U.S. has had 5.15 million cases of COVID-19 and 164,000 deaths. 

Canadians and Americans said death of a loved one — 41 per cent and 46 per cent, respectively — and personal problems such as stress, anxiety and uncertainty about the future — 41 per cent for both Canadians and Americans —  were the main reasons 2020 has been the worst year of their lives. 

People living in Ontario (54 per cent) were the most likely Canadians to say 2020 has been a terrible year. People in British Columbia (46 per cent) and Quebec (46 per cent) were the most optimistic about 2020. 

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Those living in the southern United States (62 per cent) were the most likely Americans to say 2020 has been the worst year of their lives. COVID-19 outbreaks have been especially devastating in the southern parts of the U.S.

Jedwab said the reasons for the differences in attitudes between regions are related to COVID-19 and how seriously they were impacted.  

There is also a difference in attitudes depending on people’s ages, with younger people more pessimistic. The poll found 56 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 34 years old said 2020 was the worst year of their lives, compared with 47 per cent of Canadians older than 55.

Younger Canadians were more likely to cite personal problems (64 per cent) as the main reason 2020 has been the worst year of their lives. Older Canadians were more likely to say death of a loved one (45 per cent) was the main reason. 

Jedwab said the poll should encourage people to look out for each other. 

“What we need to take away from this is the importance of being empathetic,” he said. “We have to be able to put ourselves in the situations of other people who are hurting this year and see how we can help each other.” 

The poll was conducted between Aug. 7-9. No margin of error can be associated with a nonprobability sample, which in this case was a web panel. For comparative purposes, a probability sample of 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans would have a respective margin of error of +/- 2.52 per cent 19 times out of 20 and +/- 3.19 per cent 19 times out of 20. 

the source:

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