Urban Indexes

Since 2013 YouthfulCities has been measuring cities from the perspective of youth (ages 15-30). Through two global indexes, three Canadian Indexes and two global surveys we’ve measured infrastructure, cost of living, quality of life, access to education and much in between. All of this has been done in order to understand how youth feel about the “youthfulness” of their cities, and which cities place the greatest emphasis on supporting young people and people who identify as “youthful”.



Young people live in a monthly deficit position in Canadian cities making urban centers unaffordable to the country’s future generations. On average young people are losing $750 per month by living in cities across the country. To break even young people would need to isolate themselves- no entertainment, no transportation, and no dining out. Is this the position we want young people to be in?



After two years of dialogue with youth across Canada and a global pandemic hitting youth economic and mental health outcomes very hard, we are back with the 2021 Urban Work Index. It is bigger—now 27 cities, and broader with the addition of 7 new categories. The 2021 report is now available!

Coventry City of Culture

This edition of our index ranks five global cities across 100+ indicators from a youth perspective.

Coventry City of Culture, 2021, is a city-wide programme of art and cultural events, from large-scale spectacles, music, dance, theatre and poetry to more intimate, celebratory cultural and heritage experiences. We are working with 5 cities: Coventry, Beirut, Detroit, Nairobi, and Bogatá. They were chosen because they are catalysts for change: they’re curious, explorative, and dynamic, with an activist spirit and civic innovation. The cities will connect to make a global programme for the City of Culture year.

Canadian Index 2019

2019 Canadian Index offers an expanded ranking of 22 cities and 21 attributes, collecting over 10,000+ data points for 123 indicators.

Urban Work Index 2019

Youthful Cities launched the first Urban Work Index, measuring 21 cities across Canada on their current capacities of urban work from a youth perspective. The index uses an expansive, youth-driven definition for work that includes four thematic areas: Education, Entrepreneurship, Affordability and Employment. The Index was a call for cities to seriously consider how to map out the future of work for youth.

The inaugural Urban Work Index was the first of its kind to look specifically at urban work in Canada. The Index, which was funded by RBC Future Launch, ranks 21 Canadian cities based on 48 urban work indicators.

Canadian Index 2018

Built on two successful international indexes, in 2018 we launched our first-ever Canada-wide YouthfulCities Index in 13 Canadian cities.

Global Index

We ran a Global Index in 2015 and 2014 to rank the best cities in the world for youth, measuring all aspects of urban living from employment, public space, transit, and education to diversity of food, nightlife, and entrepreneurship.