Canadian Culture

Religion

Canadian society promotes religious pluralism and freedom. Every citizen has the liberty to observe any religion in Canada, so long as its practises do not break the law. There is no official national religion, but Christianity has been the dominant faith since colonisation. For example, swearing on the Bible is a part of most legal proceedings and prayers open many official functions. Secular alternatives are also practised and people are expected to respect religious diversity in both government and society.

Canadians tend not to discuss religion in public or explicitly with those that they don’t know very well. They are free to choose whether they want to identify themselves as a religious person or not, to avoid potential confrontation and judgment. Conversations around religion are still welcome, but people may not like it when others try to promote their faith or speak defensively about it (including atheism). Preaching in social conversation can be seen as irritating and self-righteous.

The 2011 National Household Survey estimated that 67.3% of Canadians are Christian (38.7% being Catholic), 23.9% are unaffiliated with any religion and 8.1% belong to a religion other than Christianity (Islam being the largest non-Christian faith at 3.25%).

Although over 70% of Canada’s population are estimated to have a religious affiliation, much less are thought to attend religious services. In response to the General Social Survey of 2011, only 27% of Canadians said that they attend a religious service at least once a month. However, observance varies by ethnic and religious group. The immigrant population in Canada remains the most religiously observant with 43% reporting religious service attendance at least once a month. Generally, Francophones tend to be more religious than Anglophones. For example, percentage of religiously unaffiliated is three times higher in British Columbia (44%) than Quebec (12%).

There has also been a growth in minority faiths as immigration from Asia, Africa and the Middle East has increased. However, the number of Canada’s immigrants who are unaffiliated with a religion has also risen to 20%, which is likely due to an increase in migration from China, the world’s largest religiously unaffiliated population.

The number of Canadians who don’t ascribe to any particular religion has also risen a great deal in recent generations, which is somewhat due to a generational replacement of values and beliefs. Also, some Canadians have disaffiliated with their religion as they have aged; for example, the number of people born between 1947 and 1966 unaffiliated with any religion has almost doubled since 1981. 
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Canada
  • Population
    35,362,905
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Languages
    English (official) (67.1%)
    French (official) (21.5%)
    Other (11.4%)
    [2011 est.]
  • Religions
    67.3%
    38.7%
    22.4%
    6.2%
    3.2%
    4%
    23.9%
  • Ethnicities
    Canadian (32.16%)
    English (19.81%)
    French (15.42%)
    Scottish (14.35%)
    Irish (13.83%)
    German (9.75%)
    Italian (4.53%)
    Chinese (4.53%)
    First Nations (4.17%)
    [2011 est.]
  • Cultural Dimensions
    39
    80
    52
    48
    36
    68
  • Australians with Canadian Ancestry
    34,818 [2016 census]
Canadians in Australia
  • Population
    43,053
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Canada.
  • Average Age
    39
  • Gender
    Male (46.7%)
    Female (53.3%)
  • Religion
    No Religion (36.7%)
    Catholic Christianity (20%)
    Anglican Christianity (11.3%)
    Uniting Church Christianity (5.8%)
    Other (26.3%)
  • Ancestry
    Canadian (23.6%)
    English (21.3%)
    Scottish (9.7%)
    Irish (8.4%)
    Other (37.1%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    English (88.9%)
    French (4.9%)
    Cantonese (0.9%)
    Other (4.9%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 93.4% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (30.7%)
    Queensland (24.9%)
    Victoria (20%)
    Western Australia (13.3%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (55.8%)
    2001-2006 (16.8%)
    2007-2011 (23.8%)
Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/233/ca.svg Flag Country Canada