media release

Survey finds British Columbians concerned about economy, personal finances

October 02, 2013

Shauna Sylvester, SFU Public Square, 778.782.7895,
Janet Webber, SFU Public Square, 778.782.9479,
Daniel Savas, 604.812.3878,
Scott McLean, PAMR, 778.782.3929,

British Columbians are concerned about the current state of the provincial economy, are struggling to get ahead financially, and feel that they are in worse financial shape relative to their parents generation, according to a new survey commissioned by SFU Public Square and conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion.

Over half of those surveyed (54 per cent) stated that they do not feel very positive about their current personal financial situation relative to that of their parents generation, while 58 per cent of respondents feel that the next generation will be worse off financially than they are currently. Most British Columbians (54 per cent) believe the BC economy is in only average shape, while another quarter (26 per cent) give it a poor rating.

The survey also found that British Columbians are not that knowledgeable regarding the dominant industry sectors in the province relative to which sectors contribute most to GDP or employment. However, when looking towards the future, most British Columbians (44 per cent) are optimistic about the economy over the next 5-to-10 years.

“These results indicate that British Columbians are still feeling that remnants of the 2008 economic downturn that took the wind out of their personal and BC’s economic sails,” says Daniel Savas, an adjunct professor in SFU’s School of Public Policy who helped design the survey.

“Many are struggling to make ends meet and feel they’re not doing as well as their parents. Nonetheless, they express some hope and optimism about the future of the province.”

The survey, which sampled 600 BC residents between June 28 and July 3, 2013, was weighted to reflect the actual distribution of BC based on region, age and gender, and designed to assist in the preparation for SFU Public Square’s community summit Charting BC’s Economic Future. For the full survey results, please contact Janet Webber ( 

Originating from the consultation process that produced SFU’s strategic vision as “The Engaged University,” SFU Public Square is designed to put SFU’s physical, intellectual and virtual capacities to work to support public engagement and deliberation on issues of public concern.

Last fall, the inaugural SFU Public Square Community Summit, Alone Together – Connecting in the City, brought together over 10,000 community participants to tackle the issue of isolation and disconnection in the urban environment.

For more information on the 2013 SFU Public Square Community Summit, which runs from Sept. 28 until Oct. 4, please visit:

Simon Fraser University is Canada's top-ranked comprehensive university and one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries. 


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.


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