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Environics Institute


“Canada’s Millennial Generation Social Values Study”

2015-2017



The Environics Institute for Survey Research reveals a bold portrait of Canada’s Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1995), that for the first time presents the social values of this generation, and the distinct segments that help make sense of the different and often contradictory stereotypes that so frequently are applied to today’s young adults.

 

The results show that Millennials cannot be lumped into a single group defined by their age, or by other demographic characteristics such as gender, region or socio-economic status. They are a diverse part of the Canadian society, made up of six social values “tribes”, each reflecting a distinct worldview and approach to life. While Millennials may share some common experiences and aspirations as befits their stage in life, there are notable differences in outlook and life path across these tribes, be they “Engaged Idealists,” “Bros and Brittanys,” or “Lone Wolves.”

 

The study built on the foundation of Environics’ Research leading-edge social values research to better understand how Millennials are taking their place in society through the lens of their social values, with a focus on their life goals and what it means to be an adult, career aspirations and work experience, and political and social engagement.

 

Key findings from the survey include the following:

 

  • What Millennials most want out of work and career is a good balance between work and their personal life, followed by financial security, wealth generation, and flexibility on the job. Making an important contribution to society is of strong importance to some Millennials and not so much to others, based on their social values.
  • Millennials with a post-secondary degree were asked, if they could do it over again, what would they would do. Just under half say they would have completed the same post-secondary education. But a slightly higher proportion indicate they would have followed a different path, either pursuing a different type of post-secondary education or done something else instead of getting a degree.
  • One in four Millennials has been actively engaged in a cause or issue in the past year, mostly involving social justice, the environment, politics or health care. Such involvement is linked to education as well as social values. Members of this generation tend to get involved through online channels, but a significant proportion also seek to participate in person at events or group meetings.

                                                                                                                                               
The study was conducted by the Environics Institute for Survey Research, in partnership with The Counselling Foundation of Canada, RBC, the McConnell Family Foundation and Apathy is Boring.  The survey is based on interviews conducted online with a representative sample of 2,072 Canadians aged 21 to 36 across the country between July 6 and August 31, 2016.

 

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The Environics Institute for Survey Research is a non-profit public interest organization that conducts relevant and original public opinion and social research related to issues of public policy and social change. The Institute’s primary mission is to survey those not usually heard from, using questions not usually asked.

 
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