Well-being data focused on racial identity released by the Children and Youth Planning Table

Posted on Wednesday January 04, 2023



Final Disaggregated Snapshot from the 2021 Waterloo Region Youth Impact Survey is now available.

Waterloo Region, January 4, 2023 Disaggregated data from the Youth Impact Survey (YIS) focused on the racial identity of the survey respondents provides a much-needed snapshot of the lives of many children and youth in our community over the last year.

The Children and Youth Planning Table’s (CYPT) vision of happy, healthy children and youth— today and tomorrow, applies to all children and youth in our community. Given the importance of centering equity, social inclusion, and anti-discrimination in our belonging-related work, the CYPT has now disaggregated the 2021 Youth Impact Survey across eight different demographic and identity-based dimensions. 

The CYPT, in partnership with UNICEF Canada, Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), KW Community Foundation and the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) at the University of Waterloo ran the Waterloo Region Youth Impact Survey for young people in our community through the Spring of 2021. The survey was an opportunity for young people in our community to speak to their own well-being. Data from the 1,074 young people in Waterloo Region who participated completed the survey was published in December of 2021.

The YIS asked questions across nine dimensions of well-being based on the Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being including belonging, mental and emotional health, connection to the environment and more. The ultimate goal of the disaggregated YIS Snapshot Briefs 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.

Fast Facts:

  • 1,074 youth from diverse backgrounds completed the Waterloo Region Waterloo Region Youth Impact Survey between April 30 and June 5, 2021.
  • YIS respondents were able to select which race(s) they identified with the most. Respondents had nine options to consider, and we share disaggregated data along eight different categories.
  • Aggregate data suggests that 64.1% of all YIS respondents said they felt a very strong or somewhat strong sense of belonging to their community.  After disaggregating our data, we see that there are differences between the racial identity subgroups ranging from South Asian youth with a stronger sense of belonging (71.0%) to Latino youth with a weaker sense of belonging (48.0%)
  • UNICEF Canada defines belonging as “feeling loved and supported and having mutually caring and respectful relationships.” This love and support can come from many sources including friends, family, teachers, pets, and people in the community. Locally, when we think about belonging for children and youth, we recognize the importance of equity, relationships and attachment, and feeling valued, heard and included.

Next Steps:

  • The CYPT has now disaggregated data among eight subpopulations of young people.
  • Data in Action, released in November, is a living document that highlights 63 actions developed by young people in Waterloo Region based on the data from the Youth Impact Survey.  The CYPT will continue to track and update the community on the work happening with these actions. 
  • In May of 2023, a NEW Youth Impact Survey will launch for youth in our community aged nine-18.  We’ll be able to collect and continue to act on new well-being data. 

Quotes from Respondents:

“Be more inclusive, care about us (racialized individuals), bring justice to those who need it. I don't wanna be discriminated against and the discriminator has no consequence.”

—2021 YIS Respondent 

“[There is] a lot we can each individually do that will make a huge collective difference – we need to first address our biases and realize what we need to do to improve.”

—2021 YIS Respondent

Making Sense of these Findings:

"Youth across the Region have their own unique experiences and challenges when it comes to belonging and breaking down data based on race can help us notice potential patterns and gaps in support of various youth. The Racial Identity snapshot serves as a good reminder of the amazing diversity within the Waterloo Region, and it is important to make sure that we provide youth with inclusive and anti-racist spaces throughout the community. The CYPT has done an amazing job at amplifying youth voices, and we hope everyone takes this as an opportunity to learn and help build a stronger community for all youth.”

Maria Akhtar 
Let's Talk Program Coordinator 
Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre  

About the CYPT:

The Children and Youth Planning Table (CYPT) is a member-driven partnership with over 60 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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