TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents are
the happiest and most optimistic in the country about their personal
debt situations, according to a new RBC Debt Poll.
Between feeling the most comfortable (50 per cent) and having the lowest
levels of anxiety (30 per cent) about their personal debt situation,
respondents in Manitoba and Saskatchewan have the largest difference
(20 points) between these two opinions, across all provinces.
Nationally, 45 per cent are comfortable with their debt, while 32 per
cent are anxious about it. One-in-five respondents (20 per cent) have
no personal debt at all, slightly below the national average (22 per
"This survey tells us that debt management is a strong focus for Prairie
residents and that they have a high degree of confidence in being able
to manage it," said Richard Goyder, vice-president, Personal Lending,
RBC. "It's still important to plan ahead and assess your spending regularly
with the help of a financial advisor to ensure that you are on track to
meet your financial goals."
Highlighting the confidence around personal debt levels in the province,
Prairie residents outpace the national average in happiness about their
debt situation (62 per cent versus 58 per cent nationally), with 38 per
cent saying that they are unhappy about debt compared to the national
average of 42 per cent.
When it comes to changing their spending habits due to debt,
Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents are the least likely in the country
to have changed major plans within the last two years (66 per cent
overall versus the national average of 61 per cent). When asked to
compare their debt levels to friends and family, 77 per cent of
respondents said they are in better shape, while 23 per cent felt they
were worse off, fairly similar to the national averages (75 per cent
and 25 per cent respectively).
Highlights from across Canada:
British Columbia: Half of B.C. survey respondents (50 per cent compared to the national
average of 44 per cent) say saving and investing for the future is as
important as paying down debt, the highest rate in the country. Almost
two-fifths of B.C. residents (37 per cent) feel they are in "much
better" shape, when thinking about their non-mortgage debt, compared to
their friends and neighbours (compared to the national average of 34
Alberta: Alberta leads the country in feeling anxious about debt (36 per cent
versus the national average of 32 per cent). Albertans are also the
most likely to change their plans due to concerns about their debt
situation and are more likely to delay or cancel plans to take vacation
(28 per cent versus 24 per cent) and buy a new home (12 per cent versus
eight per cent).
Ontario: Responses from Ontario were similar to the national average across
most measures. Ontarians were more comfortable than anxious about their
current debt situation (43 per cent versus 33 per cent, respectively
compared to 45 per cent feeling comfortable versus 32 per cent anxious
nationally). Almost one-quarter (24 per cent) said they have no
personal debt as compared to the national average of 22 per cent.
Quebec: Quebecers are most likely to be concerned with paying down debt now
rather than saving for the future (54 per cent versus the national
average of 49 per cent). Over one-quarter of Quebecers (27 per cent)
believe that they are in worse shape than their friends and neighbours
for non-mortgage debt, tied with Alberta for the highest rate in the
country (compared to the national average of 25 per cent).
Atlantic Canada: Thinking about non-mortgage debt, Atlantic Canadians are the most
optimistic about their debt situations compared to their friends and
neighbours (82 per cent versus the national average of 75 per cent).
All Canadians can visit the RBC Advice Centre www.rbcadvicecentre.com for guidance on how to handle their debt. Interactive tools and
calculators provide customized information covering all facets of
saving and using credit. For RBC personal banking clients, a new online
financial management tool, myFinanceTracker, is available at no cost to create a set budget and track their
The RBC Debt Omnibus Study was conducted by Ipsos Reid. Data was
collected from August 18 to 23, 2011. The online survey is based on a
randomly selected representative sample of 2,011 adult Canadians that
was statistically weighted by region, age and gender composition
according to the Census data. The results are considered accurate to
within ±2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would
have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The
margin of error will be larger within regions and for other
sub-groupings of the survey population.
For further information:
Matt Gierasimczuk, RBC Communications, (416) 974-2124
Ka Yan Ng, RBC Communications, (416) 974-1794