Financial Recovery Elusive for Two-in-Five British Columbians

More than four-in-five British Columbians say the price of groceries is now higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vancouver, BC [January 10, 2023] – A significant proportion of British Columbians acknowledge that their economic status is not as good as it was three years ago, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 45% of British Columbians say their household’s financial situation is worse now than before the COVID-19 pandemic, up 12 points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in March 2022.

“Two-in-five British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (40%) say their household’s finances are not at the level they were in February 2020,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportions are higher among those aged 35-to-54 (47%) and aged 55 and over (46%).”

Almost half of British Columbians (48%, +5) say it is currently difficult to pay for necessities or “make ends meet”—a proportion that rises to 54% among women and 58% among residents of the Fraser Valley.

The increases are more pronounced on two other categories, with more than seven-in-ten British Columbians (71%, +7) saying they are finding it difficult to save money for retirement or a “rainy day” and two thirds (66%, +10) saying it is currently difficult to have money for leisure, such as dining out and entertainment.

Sizeable majorities of British Columbians report that two household expenses are higher now than before the COVID-19 pandemic: groceries (83%, +8) and transportation (73%, +19).

About half of British Columbians are also paying more than in February 2019 for housing (such as rent or mortgage) (49%, +5) and electronic entertainment (48%, +2).

Fewer British Columbians say they are paying more now for books (21%, +2), newspapers and magazines (16%, +1) and board games (13%, -3).


Results are based on an online study conducted on December 27 to December 29, 2022, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and here, and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]