April 26, 2000
Canadians more secure than they were one year ago
OTTAWA - An innovative annual measure from the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) shows that compared to 1998, Canadians were more confident in 1999 about their economic well-being. They experienced improvements in both their health and physical safety, but their confidence in these areas showed little change.
The Council today released the second annual edition of the Personal Security Index. This tool measures some basic aspects of Canadians' security. It combines hard data about Canadians' economic and physical well-being with custom polling data on people's perceptions of their job security, access to health care and exposure to crime, among other issues.
The Index reveals that Canadians' overall personal security increased over the last year, although their perceptions of their security did not improve as much as did their actual circumstances. A closer look at the hard data reveals that Canadians' economic security actually dropped in 1999, although people's confidence in their economic security improved. Conversely, while health and personal safety outcomes improved considerably, people felt no more confident in these areas than one year earlier.
"This report reflects some good news for Canadians after a hard decade, but many indicators are worrisome. For example, at a time when they report having little confidence in government supports in the event of losing their jobs, Canadians' average household debt stands at 102% of annual household disposable income. That's up from 56% in 1984, and up 3% from last year's Index," says CCSD research director David P. Ross.
"And not all Canadians feel equally secure. Three groups consistently rate their security lower than do others: those with lower incomes, those with lower levels of education, and lone-parents. While we can take pride that security among Canadians has improved, more attention must be paid to make sure that these improvements are extended to all Canadians," adds Ross.
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Personal Security Index 2000 - Related Material
Canadian Council on Social Development,
190 O'Connor Street, Suite 100,
Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2R3
Tel: (613) 236-8977, Fax: (613) 236-2750, Web: www.ccsd.ca, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org