Thursday, 13 March 2014

Canadian Census - Catholics nearly 40% of population

Under the heading "Religions in Canada" Statistics Canada, a Canadian Government department, reports the following facts about the religious affiliation of  over 35 million Canadians 

(On July 1, 2013, Canada's population was estimated at 35,158,300.)

The largest faith in Canada is Christianity according to the 2011 census i.e. 22,102,700, or two-thirds of Canada's population (67.3%), reported that they were affiliated with a Christian community.

Catholics are, by far, the largest single religious group in Canada. There were 12,728,900 people identifying themselves as Catholic belonging to a number of Catholic churches in communion with Rome.

Latin Rite Catholics make up over 90% of all Canadian Catholics with smaller numbers of Ukrainian, Melkite, Maronite. Romanian, Chaldean and other Eastern Rite Catholics included in the total. 
Chaldean Catholics celebrate Easter
Here is a chart giving a snapshot of the 2011 Canadian census of Catholics:

                                                         TOTAL         Non-immigrants         Immigranta






Assyrian Chaldean Catholic

Greek Catholic, n.o.s.14,2558,6405,560



Roman (Latin Rite) Catholic12,728,88510,725,0351,906,440

Ukrainian Catholic51,79045,2706,450

Catholic, n.i.e.Footnote76,6953,2603,405

Ordinariate Catholics would be a tiny percentage of the Roman or Latin Rite Catholic statistic.

All other Eastern Churches (Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox) not yet in communion with Rome reported a total of 550,690 people in Canada. Of these, 313,640 are immigrants, a third of whom have immigrated to Canada since 2001. All Eastern Churches both Catholic and non-Catholic represent only about 2% of Canadian Christians but this number is growing.

In 2011, people who identified themselves as Muslim (including all sects) made up 3.2% of the population, Hindu 1.5%, Sikh 1.4%, Buddhist 1.1% and Jewish 1.0%.

The number of Muslims in Canada has grown exponentially from 2001 - 2011 both from immigration (almost half of immigrant Muslims have arrived since 2001) and from the very high birth rate amongst Muslims in Canada.

                                                       2011      Non-immigrants          Immigrants            Immigrants 2001-2011
Muslims in Canada1,053,945     294,710  720,125

It is most concerning that roughly 7,850,600 people, or nearly one-quarter of Canada's population (23.9%), reported no religious affiliation in 2011. This was up from 16.5% a decade earlier, as recorded in the 2001 Census.
This quarter of the population must be a main target for the New Evangelization as many of these people will have had some or at least a little exposure to the Gospel. A number will have been baptized in the Catholic Church. Their previous experience may have been just enough to inoculate them agains real faith; but that is the starting point.
The census shows that 16% of immigrants who came to Canada before 1971 had no religious affiliation. This rose to 22% among those who came between 2001 and 2005. The most recent figures show that 19.5% of those who came between 2006 and 2011 had no affiliation. 

For example 484,340 Catholics arrived in Canada from 2001 - 2011 compared with 445,130 with no affiliation and 387,590 Muslims. This is in comparison to a total of 1,162,915 newly arrived in Canada. 

These figures show that 41.6% of immigrants report being Catholic.  Many of these, however, like many native born Canadians, may have been baptized but have not been catechized and so are amongst those whom we must reach out to in the New Evangelization.  

All newcomers,  whether they know it or not, have come because of the Christian virtues which have undergirded this society with compassion and the rule of law, and have shaped our constitution to reflect the Gospel mandates for peace, order and good government.
The Quebec election called for April 7 will bring much of this to the fore as the atheist premier faces Dr. Couillard, from a traditional Catholic background, espousing a classical Christian democratic position (more of this later).  Have a look at the insightful article by Conrad Black: Breaking Quebec's Logjam.
Crucifix in the Quebec Legislature
So, the Ordinariate is posed to reach out to our natural constituency of 10 - 20 % of the unaffiliated population. That is the per centage that will respond to the musical and liturgical beauty of the Ordinariate rite and its pastoral patrimony. These are in addition to current Anglicans and others who are increasingly looking for a solid grounding for faith and morals in the shifting sands of secular Canada and the increasingly secularized Protestant churches. 

These together number hundreds of thousands of souls to whom it is our mission, as Catholics, to offer the Good News of  Christ.

No comments:

Post a comment