COVID-19 Impacting Consumer Finances Similarly Around the World with Millennials Facing the Greatest Challenge; In Canada, Gen Z Reporting Even Greater Hardship

New TransUnion research assesses pandemic’s impact on consumer finances in seven global markets

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing similar financial hardship for consumers around the world, but new research indicates that Millennials (ages 26-40) are being challenged the most. A just-released TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) global report including seven regions on five continents found that three in four Millennials (76%) indicated their household incomes have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. This compares to 64% for all other generations globally.

In Canada, Millennials also face great challenges with 70% saying their household incomes have been negatively impacted, compared to 55% for other generations. While Millennials are still among the largest groups impacted by COVID-19, Canadian Gen Z (ages 18-25) consumers face even greater challenges with 75% who report being impacted.

In the weeks since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic on March 11, TransUnion has polled thousands of consumers in Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S. to determine the impact of the pandemic on their finances. Research for the global report was conducted in mid-April and observed how COVID-19 has impacted millions of global consumers differently based on employer size, generational differences, government interventions and income dynamics.

“Similar to the rest of the world, COVID-19 has brought about unprecedented financial challenges to people and businesses across Canada,” said Matt Fabian, director of financial services research and consulting for TransUnion Canada. “But we are starting to see some encouraging data that suggests the combination of financial relief measures and more time to plan are starting to ease Canadians’ financial concerns, with a slight decline from 63% to 59% reporting they have been negatively impacted financially in the last week alone. While Gen Zs currently indicate they are facing even greater hardships than Millennials in Canada, it may be that we see a positive shift in the coming weeks with the implementation of the new student relief measures.”

A clear outcome from the research is that many consumers are feeling financial pain, but the Millennial generation is under the most stress overall globally. In the seven regions featured in the study, 22% of Millennials globally (29% in Canada) with household incomes negatively impacted have lost their job due to COVID-19 compared to 16% for all other generations (24% in Canada). Just under half (45%) of Millennials globally with incomes negatively impacted have seen their work hours reduced (36% in Canada) compared to 35% for the rest of the group (28% in Canada).

Millennials Facing Greatest Challenge from COVID-19 Pandemic



Percent indicating their household
incomes have
been negatively impacted

Percent indicating they have lost their
job due to COVID-19 (of those
with negatively impacted incomes)

Percent who have seen their work
hours reduced (of those with
negatively impacted incomes)







World Composite*














*World composite includes U.S.,Canada,Colombia, Hong Kong, India,South Africa and U.K.

This stress is compounded by the fact that globally 61% of Millennials said they have dependent children living at home – a much greater rate than the 39% noted for other generations. In Canada, 43% of Millennials in the survey have dependent children living at home compared to 35% for other generations.

Millennials who have seen their household incomes negatively impacted also are having more pronounced problems with certain debt obligations. For instance, globally 63% with negatively impacted incomes report they will not be able to make their rent or mortgage payment compared to 54% for other generations. In Canada, 72% of impacted Millennials are unable to pay for shelter compared to 56% for other generations.

Where do we go from here?

While the global report makes it clear that consumers are struggling financially, the research suggests that they are coping relatively well. For instance, five in six (85%) global respondents said they have a plan to deal with their financial gap regardless of generation. In Canada, 82% said they have a plan.

“The biggest question on everyone’s mind is how long this global pandemic will last – and what will be the impact on the economy. Unfortunately, there is no crystal ball to predict this. We continue to live in an unpreceded reality,” said Fabian. “The good news is the research shows that people are resilient, and most Canadians have a plan for how they will manage their finances until economies re-open and employment opportunities return.”

Additional Canadian details from the report as well as resources for consumers looking to minimize the potential negative impact of the pandemic on their credit can be found on TransUnion Canada’s COVID-19 website.

About the Global Report

TransUnion surveyed 9,215 consumers in the U.S., Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, South Africa and the U.K during the week of April 13. In addition to generational information, the global report provides insight on the impact of the financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on other key factors such as employer size, income dynamics and government interventions. This report is part of TransUnion’s effort to make trust possible between businesses and consumers by providing information and insights so that people can transact confidently.

About TransUnion

TransUnion is a global information and insights company that makes trust possible in the modern economy. We do this by providing a comprehensive picture of each person so they can be reliably and safely represented in the marketplace. As a result, businesses and consumers can transact with confidence and achieve great things. We call this Information for Good® TransUnion provides solutions that help create economic opportunity, great experiences and personal empowerment for hundreds of millions of people in more than 30 countries. Our customers in Canada comprise some of the nation’s largest banks and card issuers, and TransUnion is a major credit reporting, fraud, and analytics solutions provider across the finance, retail, telecommunications, utilities, and government and insurance sectors.

For more information visit: