A dozen Canadian facts about marriage, religion and modern life

A look at how Canadians cook, marry, worship, vote and so much more

Elissa Gurman
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Photograph by Clay Stang

Photograph by Clay Stang
Photograph by Clay Stang

For The Canada Project, we surveyed 1,500 people for their views on a wide range of issues from whether they cook at home to whether they believe in God. In partnership with Abacus Data, we sought to take a comprehensive look at modern life in this country. Here are 12 results worth noting:

1. Baby Boomers make us jealous

Eighteen per cent of respondents said they envied the Boomers, followed by 13 per cent who were jealous of Millennials. But the large contingent of us are happy with our era: 48 per cent said they are not envious of another generation.

2. We are a pessimistic about the future

Sixty-seven per cent of Canadians do not think that the next generation will have a better standard of living than them. Immigrants are most optimistic, with 45% believing that the next generation will do better, and Maritimers are most pessimistic, with 74% believing that quality of life is declining.

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3. Few identify as feminists

Sixty-three per cent of Canadians do not consider themselves to be feminists. Boomers are the most feminist generation, with 41 percent identifying as such. Provincially, the Atlantic provinces have the most card-carrying feminists (42 per cent) and Ontario has the fewest (33 per cent). Also, it seems Justin Trudeau is an outlier: only 27 per cent of Canadian men call themselves feminists, as compared to 45 per cent of women.

4. A nation of believers

Two-out-of-three Canadians believe in God. Millennials are the generation least likely to believe, with only 56% claiming to have faith. People in the Atlantic provinces are most likely to believe in God (73%), while British Columbians are least likely (57%).

5. Millennials are stressed

Twenty-nine per cent of Canadians experience daily stress that they rate between four and five out of five. This number is much higher for millennials, 41 per cent of whom experience high stress levels on a daily basis. Parents are also very stressed out: 43 per cent of parents of children under age 3, 45 per cent of parents of children ages 4-7, and 38 per cent of parents with children ages 8-10 experience high daily stress levels. Stress is only shown to return to the national average for parents of children ages 10-18.

6. We’re willing to subsidize essential products for women

Sixty-five per cent of Canadians agree that feminine hygiene products (like tampons, pads, or menstrual cups) should be subsidized by the government. This number is highest among millennials, 77 per cent of whom agree that these products should be subsidized. Women are far more likely than men to believe such products should be subsidized, with 72 per cent agreeing, compared to 57 per cent of men.

7. Infertility is a tough issue

Thirty-four per cent of Canadians support the idea of government healthcare plans paying for infertility treatments for those struggling to have children, while 32 per cent feel that they could accept this, and 25 per cent oppose this kind of government spending. Support for government funded infertility treatments is highest among Millennials at 48 per cent.

8. We’re traditional about marriage: part 1

Fifty-three per cent of Canadians support married individuals taking on one spouse’s last name, while 37 per cent support each spouse keeping their own name, and 11 per cent most support the creation of a hyphenated last name. Support for couples keeping their own last name is highest among Boomers (46 per cent) and Quebecers (68 per cent).

9. We’re traditional about marriage: part 2

Fifty-four per cent of Canadians believe that if a man and a woman get married, the woman should take the man’s name, while 45 per cent believe that each should keep their own name (only 1 per cent believe in the man taking the woman’s name).

10. Women still do most of the cooking…

Women are more likely to make dinner at home than men: 59 per cent as opposed to 26 per cent.

11. …and men admit it.

Women, on average, say they prepare 70.6% of the meals prepared in their household, as compared to men who say they prepare, on average, 48% of those meals.

The Canada Project

12. Older people vote more often 

Sixty-two per cent of Canadians say that they always vote in elections, while 8 per cent don’t vote. Millennials are the generation least likely to vote regularly, with only 45 per cent saying they always vote and 14 per cent saying that they don’t vote at all. Boomers are most likely to exercise their civic right, with 74 per cent saying that they always vote. The province least likely to vote is Quebec, where 58 per cent say they always vote and 10% say they never do.