VICTORIA -- A new opinion poll suggests half of Canadians believe 2020 is the worst year of their lives.

In a survey conducted by polling firm Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, 50 per cent of Canadian respondents answered "yes" to the question: Up until now, is 2020 the worst year you've ever lived?

Broken down by region, British Columbians and Quebecers are the most optimistic about 2020, with only 46 per cent of respondents in the two provinces saying the year has been their worst, while 54 per cent could recall a worse one.

Residents of Ontario, meanwhile, are struggling the most with 2020 as 54 per cent of respondents said this is, in fact, the worst year, followed by 53 per cent of respondents in Atlantic Canada, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Albertans are split on the decision, with 50 per cent saying 2020 is the worst and 50 per cent saying there has been an inferior year.

Young people reported the highest dissatisfaction with 2020, with 56 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 34 saying 2020 has been the worst.

Less than half – 49 per cent – of Canadians aged 35 to 54 said 2020 is the worst year, while 47 per cent of Canadians older than 55 believe 2020 is the worst year.

The results were evenly split at 50-50 among rural, urban and suburban Canadians.

The survey was conducted online between Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians aged 18 or older.

Overall, Canadians are more optimistic about 2020 than our neighbours to the south, with 58 per cent of Americans saying 2020 is the worst, while 42 per cent remember a worse year.

The two highest drivers of worst-year-ever determinations, according to the poll, are the death of a loved one and personal problems, including stress, anxiety and uncertainty about the future.

Depression ranks third in what makes for a standout bad year for respondents, followed by the breakup of a relationship, illness of a loved one, personal illness, family problems and loss of employment.

The same survey asked Canadian respondents about the evolution of COVID-19 pandemic, which found the largest group of respondents – 43 per cent – believe the worst of the crisis is yet to come.

Ten per cent of respondents said they believe Canada is in the worst of the crisis right now, 28 per cent believe the worst is behind us and 19 per cent said they either did not know or preferred not to answer.

The polling firm says the survey results were weighted according to age, gender, language spoken, region, level of education and presence of children in the household in order to ensure a representative population sample.