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Youth Electoral Engagement in Canada

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This report estimates turnout by age group in federal elections from 1965 to 2008.

The report illustrates two major trends. First, turnout among first-time electors has dropped over time. In 1965, about two thirds of first-time electors voted in their first election. By the mid-1980s, just over half of first-time electors were voting. By 2004, that number had fallen to just over one third. This is referred to as the generational or cohort effect. Second, as young people age, they are much less likely to take up the habit of voting than was the case for previous generations. This is referred to as a weakening of the life cycle effect Continue reading »


André Blais
Université de Montréal


Peter Loewen
University of Toronto

Date: January 2011

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