Financial anxiety index: report 2024

April 30, 2024 •  By Cristina Roque
Mère qui se tient la tête avec découragement avec son enfant qui saute sur le divan

48% of Quebeckers are dealing with high levels of financial anxiety 

Vulnerable populations are impacted in particular

Montreal, April 30, 2024 – The fourth survey of the financial anxiety index carried out by Centraide of Greater Montreal in collaboration with Leger has revealed that half of Quebeckers (48%) are feeling significant (moderate to extreme) levels of financial stress. This is a notable increase, as the rate recorded from the first survey in November 2022 was 42%. The average financial anxiety index score also increased from 38.8 to 40.5. A significant majority of Quebeckers, or 86%, are therefore experiencing financial anxiety to varying degrees. 

Since the first survey 18 months ago, financial anxiety at high levels has risen particularly among vulnerable populations and certain groups: people who are unemployed (75% vs. 55%), people with functional limitations (71% vs. 62%) or low incomes (65% vs. 49%), young people aged 18 to 34 (65% vs. 55%), parents (63% vs. 42%), and women (55% vs. 47%).  

The study respondents who reported a poor financial situation are also at a greater risk of experiencing symptoms that could affect their mental health. For example, nearly 80% struggle to sleep because of their finances, and 64% said that they have trouble concentrating at work or school. More than half (56%) said that their financial situation has caused family conflicts or tension among household members.  

“The goal of the financial anxiety index is to identify people’s concerns about their financial health and track changes in these concerns over time. The rise in this index shows that financial anxiety has persisted for a large number of Quebeckers,” said Christian Bourque, Executive Vice President at Leger. “So many people are walking a tightrope, and this constant balancing act, in which every expense risks knocking them over, not only compromises their quality of life but also impacts their mental health.” 

“This survey shows that some population groups are more affected by financial anxiety than others. The results are consistent with what we are seeing in the field, which is continued concern about everyday expenses that can affect mental health,” said Claude Pinard, President and Executive Director of Centraide of Greater Montreal. “High financial stress is more likely to hit people who live on a low income as well as specific population groups. This data once again emphasizes the importance of providing ongoing support to community agencies to help people who are going through difficult situations.” 

Food and housing costs continue to top the list of people’s concerns. Half of the respondents said that they are worried about their food expenses (56%) and the cost of housing (48%). Apprehensions about food and housing are particularly pronounced among single-parent families and people with functional limitations. One tenant in four fears being evicted from their home. This situation mainly affects parents, racialized people, people experiencing food insecurity, and people with poor financial health.   

In relation to people’s future financial prospects, more than half of 18- to 34-year-olds (60%) fear they will never have enough money to own their own home. One respondent in two (48%) is worried about a major unexpected expense, a rate that rises to 96% among people experiencing extreme anxiety. 

Agencies in Centraide’s network provide services in a variety of areas, including mental health (listening, support and referral services), food security (food donations, group purchases, collective kitchens, collective gardens), housing (tenant advocacy, support to solve problems), and financial literacy (workshops on budgeting, consumer habits, debt and credit management). 

To consult the study, click here.   

About Centraide of Greater Montreal      

 A true agent of change, Centraide of Greater Montreal is a public foundation whose mission is to bring people together and take action for an inclusive and poverty-free Greater Montreal. To achieve this goal, it supports a network of 375 community agencies and projects in Laval, in Montreal and on the South Shore that improve the living conditions of vulnerable people. Centraide works with the Greater Montreal population and with communities, businesses, institutions and philanthropic organizations. Its history dates back 50 years, when five charities merged into one entity. In 2023, Centraide invested $61.8 million in the community, which represents over 86% of the money raised. Every year, nearly 800,000 people benefit from the help of the agencies that it supports.

About Leger   

Leger is the largest Canadian-owned market research and analytics company, with more than 600 employees in eight Canadian and US offices. Leger has been working with prestigious clients since 1986. For more information: