Perceived life stress, 2014

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Stress carries several negative health consequences, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, as well as immune and circulatory complications.Note 1 Exposure to stress can also contribute to behaviours such as smoking, over-consumption of alcohol, and less-healthy eating habits.Note 2

In 2014, 23.0% of Canadians aged 15 and older (6.7 million people) reported that most days were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely stressful’. Since 2003, females were more likely than males to report that most days were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely stressful’. In 2014, the rate for females was 23.7%, while for males the rate was 22.3% (Chart 1).

Chart 1

Description for chart 1

The rate of daily stress was higher for females than males in all age groups except for those aged 35 to 64. In particular, 24.0% of females aged 15 to 19 reported stress in their daily lives, compared with 15.5% of males in that age group (Chart 2).

Daily stress rates were highest in the core working ages (35 to 54), peaking at about 30% in the 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 age groups. People in these age groups are most likely to be managing multiple responsibilities with their career and family. Reported stress decreased at older ages, with seniors the least likely to find their days stressful (10.0% of males and 12.3% of females aged 65 or older).

Chart 2

Description for chart 2

An impact of high levels of daily stress was a lower rate of life satisfaction. Among those who reported that their days were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely stressful’, 84.1% said that they were satisfied or very satisfied with life, compared with 96.0% of those who did not find their days very stressful.

The proportion of residents who reported that their days were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely’ stressful was lower than the national average (23.0%) in:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador (16.1%)
  • Prince Edward Island (16.2%)
  • Nova Scotia (19.0%)
  • New Brunswick (20.5%)
  • Saskatchewan (20.3%)

The proportion of residents who reported that their days were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely’ stressful was higher than the national average in Quebec (26.2%).

Residents of the other provinces and territories reported rates that were about the same as the national average.



Heart and Stroke Foundation. “Heart Disease.” Health Information. Last updated April 2010. (accessed May 11, 2010).

Orpana, Heather, Lemyre, Louise, Gravel, Ronald. 2009. “Income and psychological distress: The role of the social environment.” Health Reports. Vol. 20, no. 1. March. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. (May 11, 2010).

Shields, Margot. 2006. “Stress and depression in the employed population.” Health Reports. Vol. 17. no. 4. October. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 11–29.

Shields, Margot. 2004. “Stress, health and the benefit of social support.” Health Reports. Vol. 15, no. 1. January. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 9–38.

Statistics Canada. 2001. “Stress and well–being.” Health Reports. Vol. 12, no. 3. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 22.


Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0501.

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