VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – In just 7 years, the number of people who call themselves religious in Canada has dropped 12 per cent. According to the world-wide survey about religiosity, we are not alone.

“Religiosity is about how religious people feel they are. So, ‘am I religious or not religious?’ That’s the question we set up to ask people,” explains Dave Scholz, Executive Vice-President at Leger Marketing, the firm that compiled the Canadian data.

Canada was one of 57 countries surveyed.

It found 46 per cent of people in Canada identify themselves as religious, that’s down from 58 per cent since 2005. That’s far from the top country of Ghana (96 per cent) or the bottom one, China (14 per cent).

Where Canada is notable, says Scholz, is in change in religiosity since the first time the question was asked in 2005, “We are in the top ten nations who have reduced the number of religious people.”

The US also saw a big drop down to 60 percent (from 73 per cent) which brings Americans near in line with the Canada of 7 years ago.


“In the entire world, religiosity has dropped by nine per cent. Atheism has only risen by three per cent.  So this is people maybe tending to turn from more formal religious structures,” adds Scholz.

He says they can still have belief systems or be spiritual, but  fewer consider themselves traditional church-goers.

“A lot of it is happening more in Western civilized countries, if you go to Africa, the drop is not as pronounced,” explains Scholz. “A lot of it comes down to the development of the countries, the change in income levels, the growth of the middle class, all of this is contributing to this.”

He says they found trends among religious countries. “People who are more religious tend to be lower income and have less education.”


TEN COUNTRIES EXPERIENCING NOTABLE DECLINE IN RELIGIOSITY SINCE 2005


Country  2005  2012   % Change
 Global  77%  68%  -9%
 Vietnam  53%  30%  -23%
 Ireland  69%  47%  -22%
 Switzerland  71%  50%  -21%
 France  58%  37%  -21%
 South Africa
 83%  64%  -19%
 Iceland  74%  57%  -17%
 Ecuador  85%  70%  -15%
 US  73%  60%  -13%
 Canada  58%  46%  -12%
 Austria  52%  42%  -10%


Full report: http://redcresearch.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/RED-C-press-release-Religion-and-Atheism-25-7-12.pdf