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StatCan: religiosity in Canada at its lowest level

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StatCan: religiosity in Canada at its lowest level

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TORONTO – A new report from Statistics Canada has found that Canadians are less and less religious.

StatCan data released Thursday shows that in 2019, just 68% of Canadians aged 15 or older reported having a religious affiliation.

This is the first time that less than 70% of Canadians report being affiliated with a religion since StatCan began tracking data in 1985. Between 2000 and 2017, the percentage of Canadians affiliated with a religion fluctuated between 77 and 82 %, before dropping to 75%. in 2018.

Only 23% of Canadians in 2019 reported participating in group religious activities, such as church service, at least once a month. Between 2000 and 2009, this figure was around 30%.

StatCan also found that religion was becoming less important to more Canadians. The percentage of people who said religious or spiritual beliefs were somewhat important or very important was 54% in 2019. In the mid-2000s, it was around 70%.

Individual religious activities, such as prayer or meditation, are also in decline. Only 30 percent of Canadians reported participating in such activities at least once a week, compared to 46 percent in 2006, when the data was first collected.

Religiosity was also found to be stronger in women than in men. StatCan found that 72 percent of women reported being affiliated with a religion, compared to 64 percent of men. Women were also more likely to say they prayed or engaged in personal religious activity at least once a week (18 percent, compared to 14 percent for men).

The report also talked about the differences between age groups. Religious affiliation was highest among Canadians born between 1940 and 1959 at 85%, compared to 32% for those born between 1980 and 1999.

Among the youngest age group, 62% of those born outside of Canada reported having a religious affiliation, compared to 39% of those born in Canada. The differences between the Canadian-born and the foreign-born were less pronounced in the older groups.

Being affiliated with a religion did not necessarily correlate with placing a high value on religion, StatCan said. Between 2017 and 2019, 18% of Canadians reported having a religious affiliation while indicating that they rarely or never participated in group religious activities and considered their religious beliefs to be of little importance in the way they live their lives. .

The numbers also vary considerably from region to region. Quebecers, for example, had a high percentage of religious affiliation, but a low percentage of religious activity.

“It is quite possible that regional differences will continue to widen in the future, especially given the widely varying levels of immigration and the composition of immigrants in different regions of Canada,” StatCan wrote.

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