YouthfulCities is excited to launch our first-ever Canada-wide YouthfulCities Index in 13 Canadian cities. It is the first public national comparable urban index, measuring 121 indicators spanning all 20 youthful infrastructure areas. And the data has all been collected by youth across the country. It’s their data too.

This Index creates credible data for decision-makers, provide inspiration for urban innovation efforts, launches a network of young urban decoders, and creates national exposure for Canadian cities.

Canadian Index 2018

Our top three finishers are Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The story of the top three is that they're all holistic pictures of youthfulness. They don't just do well in one or two areas, they do well across the overwhelming majority of our indicators.


So, what about the other ten cities? How can they improve? Most of them are doing one or two things well, but that's not enough to get them to the top of our Index. Still, small improvements in individual attributes do incrementally add up to increase the overall youthfulness for cities. Halifax, Hamilton and Winnipeg, for example, would simply need to create youth advisory boards connected to their city councils to dramatically
increase their scores in Civic Engagement. This simple commitment would have a tangible effect on the youth in each city.

Overall Ranking

Index methodology

Our methodology is made up of three key steps:


1. Determining what to measure in cities We used our Urban Attitudes Survey, a quantitative survey of 30,000 youth living in cities around the world that asks what is important to youth about their cities. This led us to establish 20 Urban Attributes for measurement across all our cities.


2. Recruiting a team of Urban Decoders All YouthfulCities data is collected by our teams of local youth researchers, who we call our “Urban Decoders”. They’re 15-29 years old, are connected, engaged, curious and inventive. They include students, entrepreneurs and employees of government and private enterprise. All of them exist as the driving force behind the youth-led regeneration in each of the cities we work in. We recruit, train, support and connect all of our Urban Decoders through the data collection process, and we continue to provide support with networking after project responsibilities are completed.


3. Collecting data to measure important attributes of cities YouthfulCities Index: A massive global database that measures, compares and ranks the cities in our Index across 20 Urban Attributes using a total of 121 indicators. The indicators consist of primary and secondary data that Urban Decoders - our globally dispersed team of young urban researchers - collect locally and submit using collaborative, cloud-based research workbooks.