Health and Metro Vancouver millennials

Post Date


Vancouver B.C. (June 2018)


For a strong majority of Metro Vancouver Millennials, access to public healthcare is important (88% “need to have”). Access to mental health services is a priority for more than half of millennials (57%). Access to private and alternative healthcare is a priority for sizeable minorities (30% and 29%).

The study, conducted for public education purposes by Justason Market Intelligence in May, finds more millennial women than men prioritize mental health services (61% vs 51%). Regionally, millennials from the Tri-Cities/Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows region assign greater priority to all healthcare services including public, private, mental and alternative healthcare services than do those from other regions:

  • Access to public healthcare (97% to the 88% average for the region).
  • Access to mental health services (69% to the 57% average).
  • Access to private healthcare (40% to the 30% average).
  • Access to alternative healthcare (41% to the 29% average).


More than half of Metro Vancouver millennials highly prioritize mental healthcare—57 percent say it’s a “need to have” service. Moreover, over four-in-ten (43%) have experienced challenges with their mental health or with substance abuse.

  • 24 percent have a past history of mental health challenges.
  • 21 percent currently have a mental health challenge.
  • 9 percent have experienced substance abuse in the past.
  • 5 percent are abusing substances currently.

Mental Health trends

Women are significantly more likely than men to report a history of mental health problems (51% versus 34%). Moreover, three-in-ten millennial women say they are dealing with mental health problems currently (28% to 13% among men).

The region’s younger millennials (under 30 years) are more likely than their counterparts age 30-plus to struggle with mental health currently:

  • 18-24 years: 24 percent
  • 25-29 years: 25 percent
  • 30-34 years: 20 percent
  • 35-39 years: 12 percent

Education and income levels also predict ongoing or past mental health difficulty:

  • Millennials who have completed up to a high school or technical school are more likely than those with with university or college and post-graduate studies to report a history of mental health or substance abuse problems (53% and 67%). Even so, 40 percent and 30 percent with university or college and post-graduate educations have struggled with their mental health.
  • As incomes increase, ongoing and historical mental health challenges decrease. Half of millennials earning less than $50K report past mental health or substance abuse challenges. This decreases to 43 percent of $50K-100K earners, and 31 percent for those earning more than $100K.

Renters are more likely than homeowners to report a mental health or substance abuse (56% versus 33%). And millennials who have been touched by homelessness also are more likely to report mental health or substance abuse challenges (70% versus 36%).

In terms of employment, contract and freelance workers, those seeking employment, and students are more likely than their fully and part-time employed counterparts to report mental health or substance abuse problems:

  • Full-time: 38 percent
  • Part-time / casual: 42 percent
  • Contract / freelance: 61 percent
  • Seeking work: 57 percent
  • Student: 56 percent

Substance abuse trends

One-in-ten millennials in the region report a history of substance abuse (9%). These levels are highest among the following millennial groups:

  • Those of European background (15% to the 9% average).
  • Those earning less than $50K (14% to 8% and 5% among those earning $50K-100K and more than $100K).

Five percent of Metro Vancouver millennials surveyed tell us they are struggling with substance abuse right now. Among 18-24-year-olds, one-in-ten (9%) are currently abusing substances, compared to two to four percent of those aged 25 and older.

For more information contact:

Peter ter Weeme, Elevator Strategy
+1 250 616 9950 /

Barb Justason, Justason Market Intelligence
+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®.

View data tables here.

Research Notes

These are selected results of a Justason Market Intelligence online survey of Metro Vancouver millennials, age 18-39 years. The survey, released for public education purposes by Justason Market Intelligence and Elevator Strategy, was conducted in English May 10-14, 2018 among randomly selected pre-recruited panelists. The Justason Market Intelligence panel is recruited by random digit dialling (RDD) 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 actual gender, age, and regional distributions of the current census (2016). A probability sample of 500 carries a margin of error of +/-4.4 percentage points 95% of the time.

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