Younger Canadians hold more negative views about religious groups – CRRF

Further to an earlier release of the CRRF and ACS Survey on Religion, Racism and Intergroup Relations in Canada Shows Differences in Attitudes Among Anglophones, Francophones and Other Groups, a further release pertaining to attitudes to religious diversity by age group. Remarkably consistent across religions, except for Muslims:

Table 1: Negative attitudes towards certain groups, according to age groups
 Negative Opinion

Total

18-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

 Muslims 44% 43% 45% 40% 43% 40%
 Jews 19% 24% 25% 20% 15% 15%
 Protestants 15% 24% 23% 14% 15% 8%
 Catholics 19% 25% 25% 22% 18% 13%
 Atheists/Agnostics 21% 14% 18% 21% 21% 22%
 Religious 31% 36% 33% 31% 31% 27%
 Immigrants 24% 24% 27% 24% 30% 16%
 Aboriginals 26% 26% 26% 25% 29% 22%

Younger Canadians hold more negative views about religious groups

Whereas on diversity in general, young people are more supportive than older age groups, as another relatively recent study by ACS shows:

Do you have a very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative or very negative opinion of Canadian Multicultural Policy
Total 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65 + French English Other
TOTAL positive 58% 74% 61% 61% 56% 54% 47% 48% 60% 67%
Very positive 15% 34% 18% 15% 10% 12% 8% 8% 14% 26%
Somewhat positive 43% 40% 43% 46% 46% 42% 39% 40% 46% 41%
TOTAL negative 35% 14% 29% 33% 35% 39% 50% 45% 32% 28%
Somewhat negative 23% 7% 19% 24% 25% 25% 33% 29% 22% 18%
Very negative 12% 8% 10% 9% 11% 14% 17% 16% 10% 11%
I prefer not answering 7% 11% 10% 6% 9% 7% 3% 7% 8% 5%

Younger Canadians Believe Multiculturalism Works; Older Canadians, Not So Sure 

I expect a further breakdown by region (urban vs rural, QC vs ROC), cross-referenced to more broad-based attitude polling, may cast more light, or it may simply reflect that younger people, in general, may be less religious.

No surprise, and consistent with other surveys, distrust of Muslims is higher than other religions (they did not ask about Sikhs which generally “rate” between Muslims and other religions). There may be a link between the categories “religious” and Muslims, given perceptions of more religious fundamentalism or conservatism.

Like all polling, one question leads to another …

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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