Young Canadians want homes and pets over weddings and kids: survey

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61% of Generation Z respondents would prefer pets to children

Published 08 June 2024Last updated 1 day ago2 minutes reading time

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According to a recent survey, 61 percent of Canadian Generation Z respondents would prefer pets to children.According to a recent survey, 61 percent of Canadian Generation Z respondents would prefer pets to children. Photo by Daily Gleaner Archives

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With the high cost of living impacting nearly every aspect of Canadian life, a new report suggests that younger Canadians are more likely to value home ownership and pets than marriage and children.

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According to a recent survey, 61 percent of Canadian Generation Z respondents would prefer pets to children.

“After Baby Boomers and subsequent generations stayed in the same place for decades, Generation Z wants to adopt a lifestyle that allows for more flexibility and fewer long-term commitments,” the report said.

According to a 2023 Statistics Canada report, it costs a middle-class family with two children about $293,000 to raise a child from birth to age 17, an average of $17,235 per year.

Meanwhile, a report from Rover found that owning a dog can cost up to $4,020 a year, with costs varying depending on the dog's breed, age and lifestyle.

Statistia, on the other hand, estimates that the average cost of owning a cat is $2,800 per year.

Houses instead of weddings?

In decades past, Canadian couples could afford the home and wedding of their dreams, but today more couples have to choose.

The survey found that 73 percent of Generation Z Canadians view owning a home as their most important life goal, but 61 percent of respondents are unsure if they can afford it.

Meanwhile, 42 percent of respondents believe that marriage is an important life goal, while 41 percent consider it necessary.

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“Although for Generation Z, realizing the dream of owning a home is more important than getting married, the likelihood of this happening is uncertain for many,” the report says.

“High property prices, particularly in urban areas and their outskirts, and a general increase in the cost of living are common hurdles faced by both groups, which are undoubtedly exacerbated by a general sense of financial instability.”

According to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average cost of a home in Canada was $703,446 in April, but in Ontario and British Columbia that amount rises to $900,161 and $1,008,497, respectively.

The average home in Canada would therefore require a down payment of $45,345, while the average cost of a wedding is, according to most estimates, around $30,000.

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Other important financial goals for Canadian Generation Z include travel, education and building an emergency fund, even if saving that money is difficult.

“Ambitious, altruistic and pragmatic Generation Z faces significant financial barriers in both Canada and the United States, perhaps more than any other generation,” the report said.

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