Clouds of uncertainty or silver linings: Metro Vancouver millennials speak out on what matters to them

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Elevate Millennials survey sponsored by Elevator Strategy captures a broad range of millennials’ thoughts on housing, mental health and personal finance

Vancouver, B.C. – June 11, 2018 – Homes. Health. Happiness. These three key elements of personal success and community wellbeing are just a sampling of what’s on the minds of Metro Vancouver millennials every day.

According to Elevate Millennials, a recent survey of millennials – those 18 to 39 years of age – conducted by Justason Market Intelligence and sponsored by Elevator Strategy, a strong majority of survey respondents (84%) identified access to housing as a basic need. Fifty-seven percent indicated that “readily available mental healthcare” is also a priority, calling it a “need to have” service. Over half (52%) of participating millennials said their goal for success is focused on a “hat trick” of personal connections, career growth and financial security. And, despite dealing with housing, social and economic challenges, 73% of survey participants said they are optimistic “about my future.”

The findings of this comprehensive survey will add to the conversations now underway about the future of Metro Vancouver communities and the role millennials, now the largest demographic group in Canada, will play in shaping their own lives and the communities where they live, in the coming decades.

“By capturing and sharing a fact-based profile of this important demographic group, we want to promote active exchanges among businesses, communities and policymakers that will generate positive change,” explains Peter ter Weeme, EVP, Purpose and Brand Citizenship at Elevator Strategy, a purpose-driven communications firm, located in Vancouver. He adds, “We believe this rich trove of timely information will inspire people and start discussions on how to improve the future of individuals and communities across Metro Vancouver and beyond.”

The Elevate Millennials survey aims to provide important insights on a range of topics, such as mental health, political engagement and democracy, housing, career satisfaction, personal finances, values alignments and the planet’s future.

“The more information we can share with one another about what’s important, the better the decisions we can make together about the future of our communities,” explains Barb Justason, principal researcher, Justason Market Intelligence. “We don’t want to just answer questions, we want to generate them as well, because the fullest, most successful dialogues examine as many points of view as possible, within a framework of transparency, accuracy and openness.”

Full results of the Elevate Millennials survey are included in the attached backgrounder. Here are some of the key findings:

  • The vast majority (99%) of millennials surveyed have a roof over their head, while 1% are homeless. Six-in-ten (61%) have a home (not their parents’) where they live by themselves (26%) or share with a partner (24%) or roommates (12%).
  • Living with parents is most common among 18-24 year olds (62%) and decreases with age. Even so, nearly one-in-five (18%) of 35-39 year olds live with their parents. Whether millennials live with their parents also varies with education, with technical school graduates being least likely to do so (18%).
  • Many millennials highly prioritize mental healthcare; 57% say it’s a “need to have” service and four-in-ten (43%) have experienced challenges with their mental health or substance abuse.
    • 24% have a past history of mental health challenges.
    • 21% currently have a mental health challenge.
    • 9% have experienced substance abuse in the past.
    • 5% are abusing substances currently.
  • Women are significantly more likely than men to report a history of mental health or substance abuse problems (51% versus 34%).
  • Most (79%) believe they can, at least in theory, make a difference to the issues facing society and the planet. However, just 31% say they can “absolutely” make a difference.
  • The vast majority (87%) say it’s important to them to live in a country that is democratically governed, including 64% who deem democratic governance “very” important.
  • Two-thirds (64%) of Metro Vancouver millennials include “like-minded friends” among their personal priorities.
  • A romantic partner is important to just over half (53%).
  • Having children is a need-to-have priority for just one-third (36%) of Metro Vancouver millennials.
  • Just 30% of millennials could be described as thriving financially, able to cover basic needs and save or invest. This level is highest among:
    • Men (36%).
    • North Shore (including Bowen Island) and Richmond residents (39% and 38%).
    • Those of East Asian and South Asian ancestry (42%).
    • Home owners (44% vs. renters at 22%).

View data tables here.

About the survey

These are selected results of a Justason Market Intelligence online survey of Metro Vancouver millennials, age 18 to 39 years. The survey, sponsored by Elevator Strategy and conducted by Justason Market Intelligence was conducted in English May 10 to 14, 2018 among randomly selected pre-recruited panelists. The Justason Market Intelligence panel is recruited primarily by random digit dialling (RDD) of landlines and mobile phones and secondarily by river sampling.

The research design oversampled some groups to permit independent analysis. This unweighted non-probability sample of 648 was weighted to 500 and normalized to the actual gender, age, and regional distributions of the current census (2016). The variance of weights is 0.5102 to 1.2526. View the unweighted and unadjusted tables here. A probability sample of 500 carries a margin of error of +/-4.4 percentage points 95% of the time. The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) regulates the survey and polling industry in Canada. View MRIA standards for public release of survey research here.

For more information contact:
Peter ter Weeme, Elevator Strategy
+1 250 616 9950 / /
Barb Justason, Justason Market Intelligence Inc.
+1 604 783 4165 / /


About Elevator Strategy

Elevator Strategy is a full-service, Canadian-owned, purpose-driven communications firm at the epicentre of Vancouver’s thriving, digital technology hub. Elevator uses proven communication and training techniques along with emerging technologies to cultivate and propel the higher purpose of clients.



About Justason Market Intelligence Inc.

Justason Market Intelligence Inc. is a Vancouver-based market and social research firm asking the right people the right questions and delivering epiphanies. Justason offers the complete range of survey research and qualitative methodologies, all with personal service only possible with a boutique firm. The firm owns and operates Vancouver Focus®.


1055 W Georgia St, Suite 2429
Vancouver, BC Canada
V6E 3P3

Phone: +1 604 783 4165