Younger Canadians feel far less national pride than Baby Boomers: poll
Younger Canadians feel far less national pride than Baby Boomers: poll

Canadians’ sense of national pride appears to be dwindling with age. The younger you are, the less likely you are to have it, a new poll finds.

The poll from Abacus Data suggests that while two-thirds of respondents felt proud to be Canadian, the sentiment was most common among those aged 60 or older, and lowest among those between 18-29.

Less than half of respondents aged 18 to 29, said they felt proud to be Canadian at 49%, whereas that figure jumped up to 81% among those 60 or older. 

Those aged 30-44 were slightly more likely to be proud Canadians, but not by much at 58%. 

“The findings highlight significant generational variations in Canadian pride, with a majority expressing pride anchored in Canada’s natural beauty, societal safety, healthcare system, inclusivity, and cultural diversity. Despite facing economic and societal challenges, a resilient sense of well-being and optimism prevails among many Canadians,” reads the poll

Of those values, 70% of respondents said that Canada’s natural beauty and environment was the leading reason for their sense of pride. 

While 61% said that it was the country’s reputation for being a peaceful and safe society and another 61% cited the availability of universal healthcare as the reason. 

A little over half of the respondents, 53%, cited Canada’s cultural diversity and multiculturalism as the reason for their pride. 

“These findings highlight that Canadians take pride in a variety of aspects that define their nation,” reads the survey. “Reinforcing a deep and multifaceted sense of national pride across the country.”

However, economic struggles (55%) and Canada’s lack of opportunity (53%) were the leading causes for those who do not feel proud to be Canadian.

Behind the struggling economy, those who did not feel proud of their national identity cited Canada’s global reputation or perception, at 42%.

Another cohort of 39% cited negative experiences with Canadian institutions, while 37% cited “perceived inequalities or injustices in Canadian society.”

“These insights highlight the complex interplay of personal experiences and societal challenges that influence Canadians’ feelings towards national pride,” reads the survey. 

Slightly less than half of respondents reported having a positive quality of life at 49%, while only 14% said that despite facing these challenges, their quality of life was not poor.

Again, quality of life varied by generation, with 58% of those aged 60 and older giving a positive response, compared to 43% of those aged 45 to 59. 

The findings were similar regarding happiness, with more than half of respondents over 60 (51%) saying that they felt overall happiness and personal well-being, with that figure dropping to only 20% with those aged 18 to 29. 

The same generational divide persisted when respondents were asked if they felt optimistic about their future, as younger Canadians were the more likely to say the county is headed in the wrong direction. 

“Economic struggles, political disagreements, and societal inequalities temper this pride, especially among younger Canadians,” reads the survey.

“These issues underscore the complex realities that shape national sentiment, reflecting a mix of pride in what Canada stands for and concern over areas needing improvement, as well as the current challenges facing the country today.”

The survey was conducted with 1,926 Canadian adults from June 20 to 25, 2024 and has a margin of error of 19 times out of 20.

 

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