Toronto, 24.11.2015

Money, Self-Pressure are Leading Causes of Stress for Canadians



  • Health worries among Canadians rank higher than global average
  • Jobs also factor, with 19% of Canadians saying they are stressed by work expectations
  • Parents, children and spouses become major causes of stress at different life stages

With the pressure of Christmas shopping already under way, GfK has found Canadians are most stressed out by their financial situations. Findings from a 22-country survey that looked into the major causes of stress in people’s daily lives found money, self-pressure, and lack of sleep are the top three major causes of stress for Canadians. These results align with how the rest of the world feels.

The online study asked over 27,000 consumers to identify major causes of stress from a given list. Overall, almost three in 10 (29%) people cite the amount of money that they have to live on, making this the leading major cause of stress internationally. This is followed by the pressure that people put upon themselves (27%), not getting enough sleep (23%), and not having time for the things they want to (22%). The amount of work people have to get done in the day (cited by 19%) completes the top five most common major causes of stress internationally.

​Japan, Germany relatively free of major stress
The good news is that, overall, three in 10 (30%) people worldwide are relatively stress-free, saying none of the listed issues are major causes of stress for them (although many rate these challenges as minor causes of stress). This “lower-stress” pattern is led by Japan, where nearly half (48%) of respondents say none of the items is a major cause of stress. Germany (44%) and The Netherlands and Hong Kong (37%) ranked second and third on this list of lower-stress regions. The other end of the scale is held by Turkey, where only one in ten (10%) cited no no major causes of stress, followed by Argentina (12%) and Mexico (13%).​

Top five major causes of stress change with age
When looking at different age groups, Canadians aged between 15 and 29 register the pressure they put on themselves as the biggest stress factor in their lives, while Canadians ages 30 and up worry about money. For boomers, health jumps to second on the list.

Family also factors in as a major cause of stress for some age groups. For Canadian teens (15 to 19), their parents are the fifth major cause of stress; Canadians in their thirties (30 to 39) cite their children; and Canadians 60 and up consider their spouses stressful.

For more information on GfK’s international research into people’s attitudes and behavior, please contact press(at)

About the study
GfK conducted an online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 22 markets. Fieldwork was carried out over the summer 2015 and the data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. The markets included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.

About GfK
GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit or follow GfK on Twitter​.


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