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Who Participates? A Closer Look at the Results of the National Youth Survey

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Professor François Gélineau takes a fresh look at the results of the National Youth Survey, comparing the drivers of political participation among different age groups, between students and non-students and across provinces and territories.Footnote 1 The study sheds light on some key challenges for engaging different youth subgroups – as well as some important opportunities. Below we identify key findings for stakeholders who want to engage youth.

Political interest, knowledge and civic duty are crucial – but they vary by subgroup

Young Canadians who were highly interested in the 2011 election were 29 percentage points more likely to vote than those with lower levels of interest. Those with high levels of knowledge of different voting options were 16.1 points more likely to vote, and those with high levels of political knowledge, 8.6 points more likely. And those who believe that voting is a civic duty were 14.7 points more likely to vote.Footnote 2 These findings underscore the importance of building interest in elections, political and electoral knowledge, and sense of civic duty Continue reading »