Age Data Snapshot from the 2023 Waterloo Region Youth Impact Survey now available

Posted on Thursday April 11, 2024

Waterloo Region – The Children and Youth Planning Table (CYPT) of Waterloo Region has released age-focused disaggregated snapshot data from the 2023 Youth Impact Survey (YIS). The Age Snapshot is the second of eight snapshots with data focusing on different subpopulations of young people in Waterloo Region. The results are available here.

“The insights of young people from all walks of life are invaluable. With their help, our decision-making is more forward-looking and inclusive,” said Karen Redman, Chair of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. “Together, we can ensure that every young person feels valued, heard, and supported – paving the way for a community that grows stronger and more vibrant with each generation.”

In partnership with UNICEF Canada, Waterloo Region Community Foundation, United Way Waterloo Region Communities, and the FamilyPsycle Lab at the University of Waterloo, the Children and Youth Planning Table ran the Youth Impact Survey through the Spring of 2023. The survey was an opportunity for young people in our community to share their experiences related to their well-being. Data from 1,867 young people who completed the survey was published in January 2024.

The Youth Impact Survey is based on the Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being. It asks questions across nine dimensions of well-being, including belonging, mental and emotional health, connection to the environment, participation in the community, and more. The ultimate goal of the disaggregated YIS Data Snapshots is to provide members of our community with equity-focused insights that take into account the needs and interests of different groups of children and youth.

In May, the Children and Youth Planning Table will release the next Snapshot, focused on the experiences of youth not born in Canada and those born in Canada.

Fast facts

  • 1,876 youth from diverse backgrounds completed the Waterloo Region Youth Impact Survey between April 30 and June 9, 2023. This is a 77% increase in responses from the last Youth Impact Survey in 2021.
  • The Youth Impact Survey was open to young people ages nine to 18.
  • Aggregate survey data suggests that 71% of survey respondents said they felt a very strong or somewhat strong sense of belonging to their community. Disaggregating the data revealed that the following percentage of survey respondents felt a very strong or somewhat strong sense of belonging: 82% of young people aged 9-12, 68% of young people aged 13-15, and 64% of young people aged 16-18.
  • Sense of Belonging in youth aged 16-18 increased by 13% between 2021 and 2023.

Quotes from Respondents

“This survey has really got me to think about things in my life, and I feel like it was a perfect reflection for me, and I loved it. These questions made me feel heard, and I just really enjoyed having the opportunity to share my own opinion/knowledge/information.”

—2023 Youth Impact Survey Respondent

“I want to see the community become better with feedback and improvements such as can be found from surveys like these.”

—2023 Youth Impact Survey Respondent


Making Sense of the Data

“We observe important trends in the data as a function of age. The relatively lower levels of belonging among the older respondents might imply that the social context of youth (vs. childhood) contributes to greater isolation. Or it could be that developmental trends in factors like anxiety and depression contribute to a lower sense of perceived connection. Further analysis of these data will help us unpack what is the driving force in why teens seem relatively more vulnerable in terms of belonging.”

Dr. Dillon Browne, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Child and Family Clinical Psychology at the University of Waterloo, and Founder of the FamilyPsycle Lab


About the Children and Youth Planning Table

The Children and Youth Planning Table (CYPT) is a member-driven partnership with over 65 Voting Member Organizations across Waterloo Region. The CYPT works to improve the well-being of children and youth through a system of coordinated and effective services that are supported by capacity building initiatives. Recognizing the complex challenges and issues related to the well-being of children and youth, the CYPT operates through a collective impact model seeking to promote the shared vision of “Happy, healthy children and youth — today and tomorrow.”

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