Around 24% of Canadians have reported to be debt free in 2013, compared to 26% in 2012, according to the third annual Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Debt Poll.
The increase in debt levels is driven by consumers focusing on financial fitness and showing interest towards spending less and saving more, which includes spending towards vacations and vehicles.
The online poll, which was conducted from 22-27 August 2013 on randomly selected sample of 2,108 adult Canadians, also found that the average personal debt had reached $15,920 in 2013, up from $13,141 in 2012, driven by the increased number of people holding debts.
RBC personal lending director Kim Taylor said despite the rising debt figure, there is a noticeable trend to responsible debt behaviour over the past year.
"We are also seeing that others need to take a step back to better manage the debt they are carrying. Before you start on any new routine, it is always best to set goals and have a plan in place," Taylor added.
"Regardless of where you live, it remains clear that Canadians on the whole can benefit from understanding the true cost of debt and responsible borrowing practices.
"If you’re uncertain about debt, talk to a professional and build a roadmap on how to get to where you need to be. Knowledge is power, and a planner can help provide you with the tools you need to move forward."