Fifty-nine per cent of Saskatchewan respondents say rising gas prices have made it harder to afford necessities, according to an Angus Reid Institute survey released Friday.

That's a higher proportion than any other province. Only 30 per cent of Quebec respondents felt that way. The national average was 44 per cent.

The survey found that across the country most drivers have seen an increase in gas prices where they live and 33 per cent of those who have noticed an increase are struggling to keep up.

Other findings include:

  • When gas prices rise, the vast majority of Canadians are affected. More than three-quarters of the population (76 per cent) drives a car or other motor vehicle “most days” or “multiple times per week.”
  • Most of those who have been personally affected by rising gas prices have done something to try to mitigate these effects. Thirty-five per cent say they have been driving less, and 26 per cent say they have been filling up less. Still others have traveled to other towns or across the U.S. border to buy gas
  • Drivers living in rural areas and small towns are more likely (75 per cent) to say they have noticed a major increase in gas prices where they live. They’re also more likely to say they’ve been struggling as a result (44 per cent).

Angus Reid found considerable disagreement across the country over the reasons for the increasing cost of filling up.

"Federally, Conservative-minded Canadians overwhelmingly blame government taxes, while supporters of other federal parties are more likely to point a finger at oil companies trying to maximize profits," the firm said in a news release.

The survey was conducted May 7-10 and included 1,921 Canadian adults. It has a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points 19 times out of 20.