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Youth

The 2015 federal election marked the largest increase for voter participation among youth aged 18—24 since Elections Canada began reporting demographic data in 2004. During the 2019 federal election, voter participation for youth decreased by 3.2 percentage points to 53.9%.  Voter turnout among this age group remains lower than the national average (67%).

Youth – both students and non-students – face several barriers to participating in federal elections.

Access-related barriers

Motivational barriers

Youth (18-24)

Beswick-Escanlar, Bridget. 2019. “The Decline of the Youth Vote in New Brunswick: Its Causes and the Remedial Role of Electoral Officials.” Master’s project in Public Administration, University of New Brunswick.

Evans, Mark, Rosemary Evans and Angela Vemic. 2018. « Youth Civic Engagement and Formal Education in Canada: Shifting Expressions, Associated Challenges. » in Davies, Ian, et al. (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Citizenship and Education. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan. [Abstract, Voilà]

Dong, Suhua. 2019. « The Effects of First-Generation Status on Student Engagement and Outcomes at Liberal Arts Colleges. » Forthcoming in Journal of College Student Development. [Abstract, Voilà]

Finn, Melissa and Bessma Momani. 2017. « Voting Controversy: A Critical Analysis of the Canadian Arab Youth Vote in the 2015 Federal Election. » Canadian Political Science Review 11, 1.

Martinez, M. Loreto, et al. 2019. « Patterns of Civic and Political Commitment in Early Adolescence. » Forthcoming in The Journal of Early Adolescence. [Abstract, Voilà]

Samara. 2015. « Message Not Delivered : The Myth of Apathetic Youth and the Importance of Contact in Political Participation »

Blais, André and Loewen, Peter. 2011. « Youth Electoral Engagement in Canada »

Howe, Paul. 2010. « Citizens Adrift: The Democratic Disengagement of Young Canadians » (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010). Read the introduction here

Elections Canada. 2016. Student Parallel Election Program (Student Vote) Evaluation

Elections Canada. 2016. Estimation of Voter Turnout by Age Group and Gender at the 2015 General Election

Elections Canada. 2015. 2015 National Youth Survey

Elections Canada. 2011. Student Vote Program Evaluation

Elections Canada. 2003. Electoral Insight – Youth Participation in Elections

Wray-Lake, Laura. 2019. “How Do Young People Become Politically Engaged?” Forthcoming in Child Development Perspectives. [Abstract, Violà]