Skip to content

Youth Impact Survey focuses on experiences of youth not born in Canada

The survey asks questions in nine areas of well-being, including belonging, mental and emotional health, connection to the environment, participation in the community among others
Stock image

The Children and Youth Planning Table (CYPT) of Waterloo Region has released new disaggregated snapshot data from the 2023 Youth Impact Survey (YIS). The Immigrant Snapshot is the third of eight snapshots with data focusing on different subpopulations of young people in Waterloo Region. The results are available here.

“The voices of young newcomers are critical in guiding our community towards a future that is inclusive and respectful of everyone’s unique background. Their input helps us understand the diverse tapestry of our community and reminds us to act with compassion and openness,” said Karen Redman, Chair of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. “We’re grateful to have heard from so many diverse young people who call Waterloo Region home.”

In partnership with UNICEF Canada, Waterloo Region Community Foundation, United Way Waterloo Region Communities, and the FamilyPsycle Lab at the University of Waterloo, the Children and Youth Planning Table ran the Youth Impact Survey through the Spring of 2023. The survey was an opportunity for young people in our community to share their experiences related to their well-being. Data from 1,867 young people who completed the survey was published in January 2024.

The Youth Impact Survey is based on the Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being. It asks questions across nine dimensions of well-being, including belonging, mental and emotional health, connection to the environment, participation in the community, and more. The ultimate goal of the disaggregated YIS Data Snapshots is to provide members of our community with equity-focused insights that take into account the needs and interests of different groups of children and youth.

In June, the Children and Youth Planning Table will release two data snapshots: one focused on Sexual Orientation and one focused on Gender Identity.

Fast facts

  • 1,876 youth from diverse backgrounds completed the Waterloo Region Youth Impact Survey between April 30 and June 9, 2023. This is a 77 per cent increase in responses from the last Youth Impact Survey in 2021. The Survey was open to young people ages nine to 18.
  • From the 1,876 Youth Impact Survey Responses, 344 youth identified as immigrants.The Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership defines immigrant as anyone born outside Canada who is now living, working, or studying in this community (including permanent residents, Canadian citizens, refugees, temporary residents, refugee claimants, and international students.)
  • 2023 data shows that 48 per cent of Canadian-born youth and 53% of Immigrant youth felt like they are a valued member of their community.
  • Between 2021 and 2023, Immigrant youth’s sense of belonging increased. In 2021, 67 per cent of Immigrant young people felt a strong sense of belonging. In 2023, 73 per cent felt a strong sense of belonging.

Quotes from Respondents

“I like that they had questions that were about me and it made me feel like people care about my opinion and what is important to me.” - 2023 Youth Impact Survey Respondent

“What I liked best about the Youth Impact Survey was getting a chance to know myself even better and more. Some of the questions actually challenged me to be honest with myself and answer them, which was exactly what I wanted. They helped me to realize about some parts of my life that I should be happy about and ones that I should improve.” -2023 Youth Impact Survey Respondent

Making Sense of the Data

“The [CYPT’s] latest snapshot sheds light on the unique experiences of immigrant youth while also highlighting some nuanced differences in regards to factors like discrimination and health care. The Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre works closely with newcomer youth in the region and hopes to use the information shared in this snapshot to more effectively support our clients. We encourage other organizations to take a look at the data as we work towards building more equitable and culturally responsive spaces for all young people, regardless of their background or immigration status.” - Maria Akhtarr, Let's Talk Program Coordinator, Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre

“Most of the new residents that will bring Waterloo Region to a population of 1 million will be immigrants. Listening to the specific experiences of immigrants and other youth provide critical insights into how to build our community for the future. This and other snapshots from the Youth Impact Survey are crucial planning tools for organizations across the Region.” - Tara Bedard, Executive Director, Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership

About the Children and Youth Planning Table

The Children and Youth Planning Table (CYPT) is a member-driven partnership with over 65 Voting Member Organizations across Waterloo Region. The CYPT works to improve the well-being of children and youth through a system of coordinated and effective services that are supported by capacity building initiatives. Recognizing the complex challenges and issues related to the well-being of children and youth, the CYPT operates through a collective impact model seeking to promote the shared vision of “Happy, healthy children and youth — today and tomorrow.”