The 2019 Canadian Index offers an expanded ranking of cities across Canada since our 2018 index, with 22 cities and 21 attributes. For this year's version, we also worked to expand the indicator list to further capture the elements that youth care about in their city, collecting over 10,000+ data points for 123 indicators.
We hope for youth, policymakers and city officials across Canada to use this Index in meaningful ways. It gives a snapshot of where cities are at and highlights where cities can improve in the future. The addition of new cities gives youth the opportunity to compare more cities across Canada when choosing where they want to live, work and play. We hope that the Index can be used as a starting conversation piece to discuss where cities excel, as well as to put a spotlight on youth in cities. In order to attract and retain youth, Canadian cities should listen to youth voices and build cities with their needs in mind.
Our top three finishers again this year, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, perform strongly in our three themes of Live, Work and Play. These cities offer a holistic sample of what youth are looking for in a city. However, Toronto and Vancouver struggle in Affordability measures, leaving room for the other cities to be an attractive alternative for youth. In fact, our top three cities’ overall scores still have room for improvement. Each city had the potential to score 1713 points, meaning that even our top-scoring cities have gaps to fill.
What about the other 19 cities on the list? Each city has a unique area they excel in, meaning if you are a dedicated foodie, outdoor adventurer or looking to find a city with an affordable price point, our Index has the city for you.
Understanding what youth want in their city is no easy task. Since 2013, we have asked over 30,000 youth around the world to tell us what they think makes a city youthful. This has resulted in the creation of our Live, Work and Play wheel, which holistically captures all of the elements of a city that youth care about.
We asked youth to tell us how important each attribute on the wheel is, on a scale of 1-10. For the 2019 Index, YouthfulCities surveyed over 300 youth across Canada, and asked them to rank these elements in their city. From there, we calculate the average level of importance for each attribute. For each attribute, we collect data on various indicators that holistically make up that attribute and can be measured empirically.