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Voter Turnout among Younger Canadians and Visible Minority Canadians: Evidence from the Provincial Diversity Project

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Voter Turnout among Younger Canadians and Visible-Minority Canadians:
Evidence from the Provincial Diversity Project

In this report, professors Antoine Bilodeau and Luc Turgeon look at voter turnout among youth and visible minorities in both federal and provincial elections.  They use data from the Provincial Diversity Project survey, which included close to 10,000 online interviews. 1   The authors focus in particular on “habitual non-voters” – those who systematically abstain from voting in multiple or in all elections.  They find that youth are more likely to be habitual non-voters than older Canadians, and that visible minorities are more likely to be habitual non-voters than the general population.  But the reasons behind habitual non-voting are not the same for each group. 

Youth are more likely to systematically avoid the Polls - particularly recent Immigrants

Young Canadians aged 18 to 24 are 37 percentage points less likely to vote in provincial and federal elections than their older counterparts. This is a result of numerous factors (discussed below). While the model used in the study predicts 23% of 18-24 year-olds are habitual non-voters, this proportion is more than 90% among recent immigrants of that age group. 

Students Vote Less than Non-Students

The study found that, among younger Canadians, students are more likely to be habitual non-voters than non-students. This important finding underscores the importance of reaching out to students to make sure they have the information they need to register and vote.  Continue reading »

Table of Contents

Prepared for
Elections Canada
By

Antoine Bilodeau
Concordia University

Luc Turgeon
Université d'Ottawa

January 2015