Each year through the "Vital Signs" program, 49 Canadian community foundations produce local and national "Vital Signs" reports. This 2012 #GenerationFlux study concentrated on youth issues.
Today's young people are growing up in an era of complexity and uncertainty. Changes have delayed, or even destroyed, the landmarks that once signaled a transition from one phase of life to another. Topics include: economic uncertainty; unemployment; economic disadvantage; tuition increases; developments in aboriginal youth communities; and physical and metal health issues. The values of young people, and the new skills that they're implementing, are explored.
- The lag time between high school and post-secondary is increasing.
- 1 out of 3 25-to-29-year-olds with a post-secondary diploma moved into low-skilled occupations after graduation.
- 3.2 million Canadian 12- to 19-year-olds are at risk for developing depression. Yet 3 out of 4 children and youth who need specialized treatment services do not receive them.
- In the 1960s, about 70% of the members of a new cohort would vote in the first election in which they were eligible to participate; by 2004 it was only slightly over 30%.
- Despite big challenges in key domains, today's youth are also nimble and passionate. They are comfortable with rapidly changing technology and quickly plug into emerging global issues. More than 8 in 10 teens say trust and honesty are "very important" to them and 75% of 12- to 19-year-olds report the highest level of attachment to community.