Canada’s Changing Religious Landscape
As part of their national anthem, “O Canada,” Canadians sing: “God keep our land glorious and free.” The official French version of the song also contains a religious refrain, proclaiming that the nation is ready to carry both the sword “and the cross.” But while Canadians have sung these verses for decades, the country’s religious landscape has been changing. A new Pew Research Center analysis of Canadian census and survey data finds that more Canadians belong to minority faiths than ever before. In addition, the number of Canadians with no religious affiliation has been rising, and attendance at religious services has been dropping.
Two-thirds of Canadians (including adults and children) identify either as Catholic or as Protestant, but both Christian groups have seen substantial erosion in their shares of the Canadian public, according to the analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. The percentage of Canadians who identify as Catholic has dropped from 47% to 39% over the last four decades, while the share that identifies as Protestant has fallen even more steeply, from 41% to 27%.
Concurrently, the number of Canadians who belong to other religions – including Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity – is growing.1 Collectively, these smaller religious groups account for more than one-in-ten Canadians (11%) as of 2011, up from not quite one-in-twenty (4%) in 1981.
Majorities in Europe, North America worried about Islamic extremism
In many of the countries polled this year, much of the public is very concerned about extremism in the name of Islam. This includes 50% in Italy and Spain, 47% in Germany, 46% in France and 43% in the UK. Meanwhile, less than 15% of the population in all these countries is not at all concerned about the threat of extremism in the name of Islam.
Fears about extremism, while pervasive across all demographic groups, are particularly acute among older people and those who consider themselves on the right of the ideological spectrum. For example, in the UK, 87% of those ages 50 and older are concerned about extremism in the name of Islam, compared with 61% among Brits ages 18 to 29. Similarly significant age gaps exist in nine of the 12 countries surveyed.
When it comes to ideology, there are significant gaps between those on the right and left in 10 of the 12 countries surveyed. In Canada, for instance, 66% of those who place themselves on the right politically say they are concerned about extremism, compared with only 30% on the left.
In Canada, most babies now born to women 30 and older
In the U.S. and many other nations, it’s no longer unusual for women to have a first child at age 35 or even 40. In Canada, this rise in births to older mothers has produced a striking turnabout: For the first time on record, birth rates are higher for women in their late 30s than in their early 20s.
According to a new report by Statistics Canada, the switch happened in 2010 and widened in 2011, when there were 52.3 babies born per 1,000 women ages 35 to 39 and 45.7 per 1,000 women ages 20 to 24. The agency also reports that birth rates for women in their early 40s now are nearly as high as for teens.
This turnabout results from four decades of generally rising birth rates among Canadian women ages 30 and older, and falling birth rates among those younger than 30. In 2011, slightly more than half of all Canadian births (52%) were to women ages 30 and older, up from a quarter (24%) in 1981.
The age of first-time motherhood has been rising—in 2011, the average first-time Canadian mother was 28.5 years old. This trend has taken hold as other markers of adulthood also have been delayed: Women (and men) have taken longer to complete their education, establish themselves at work, achieve financial independence from their parents and get married. Improved birth control methods also have enabled women to postpone motherhood.
‘First time' in history: White deaths outnumber births in US
(Published time: 13 Jun, 2013 10:51 )
Deaths of white people outnumbered births for the very first time in US history, the Census Bureau revealed Thursday. The census predicts that significant drops in birth rates v death rates will be regular by 2025.
The data also revealed that half of the America’s under-5 age group is made up of racial and ethnic minorities, amounting to 49.9 percent in 2012.