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Canadian map

CANADIAN DATA ABOUT CHRISTIANITY:

GROWTHS AND LOSSES FROM 1991 TO 2001

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Sponsored link.

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Overview:

Statistics Canada reported the following data on Christian faith groups in their 1991 and 2001 census. Membership include adults and children, and is self-reported. There are major problems with this method of counting:

bulletSome individuals identify themselves with a particular religion, even though they have never been to a religious service in years, or do not consider religion important in their life.
bulletSome religious groups are widely hated by some Canadians. Examples include Wicca, other Neopagan faiths, Satanism, Atheism, Agnosticism and Humanism. Some followers are reluctant to reveal their religious affiliation to a census taker or pollster who might be a neighbor.
bulletAccording to Statistics Canada, anyone who says they are of a certain faith is counted as being from that faith. But many people use other definitions. Many conservative Protestants, for example, do not regard Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Spiritualists, etc. as Christian.

Some major Christian shifts over the decade:

bulletChristians remain the largest religious group in Canada, by a large margin.
bulletOverall, Christianity is growing slowly in total numbers, by about 0.15% annually.
bulletMost Christian faith groups are shrinking in numbers. Most of the groups which are growing in size are from the conservative wing of Protestantism.
bulletHowever, expressed as a percentage of the population, the religion is in decline -- having lost 8.3% "market share" in ten years. A decline of over 0.8% a year is of little consequence over the short term. But if it continues over generations, the faith will be seriously weakened.

In addition:

bulletCanada is becoming increasingly secular, as more people no longer associate with any organized religion.
bulletMany small non-Christian religions in Canada have quite large growth rates.

We have highlighted in bold those groups which are growing faster than the total population.

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Total numbers and growth between 1991 and 2001:

In Canada:

Total 1991 total 2001 total

Percentage Growth over 10 years

Total Canadian population 26,994,040 29,639,035

+ 09.8%

Christian 22,503,360 (83.3%) 22,851,825 (77.1%)  + 01.5
Non-Christian 1,093,680 (4.1%) 1,887,115 (6.4%) +72.5
No religious affiliation 3,397,000 (12.6%) 4,900,095 (16.5%) +44.2

Within Christianity:

Total 1991 total 2001 total

Percentage Growth over 10 years

       
Catholics 12,335,255 12,921,285 + 04.8%
Protestants 9,427,675 8,654,845 - 08.2
Eastern Orthodox 387,390 495,245 + 27.8
Christian groups n.i.e. 1 353,040 780,450 + 121.1

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Sponsored link:

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Catholic groups (12,921,285 in total):

Group Membership, 1991 Membership, 2001 Percentage Growth
Roman Catholic 12,203,625 12,793,125 + 04.8%
Ukrainian Catholic 128,390 126,200 - 01.7
Polish National Catholic Church 955 800 - 16.2
Other Catholic 2,285 1,165 - 49.0

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Protestants (8,654,845 in total):

Group Membership, 1991 Membership, 2001 Percentage Growth
Adventist 52.360 62,880 + 20.0%
Anglican 2,188,110 2,035,500 - 07.0
Apostolic Christian Church 8,505 1,115 - 86.9
Associated Gospel 8,620 7,730 - 10.3
Baptist 663,360 729,475 + 10.0
Brethren in Christ 26,400 20,590 - 22.0
Charismatic Renewal 2,560 3,220 + 25.8
Christadelphian 3,375 3,055 - 09.5
Christian and Missionary Alliance 59,235 66,285 + 11.9
Christian Congregational 6,600 6,155 - 06.7
Christian or Plymouth Brethren 8,735 5,480 - 37.3
Churches of Christ, Disciples 17,845 15,340 - 14.0
Church of God, n.o.s. 12,050 11,220 - 06.9
Church of the Nazarene 14,950 13,960 - 06.6
Doukhobors 4,820 3,800 - 21.1
Evangelical Free Church 9,170 9,110 - 00.7
Hutterite 21,495 26,300 + 22.4
Jehovah's Witnesses 168,370 154,750 - 08.1
Mormon denominations
  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 93,890 101,805 + 8.4
  Reorganized Church of Latter-day Saints 6,875 2,945 - 57.2
Lutheran 636,210 606,595 - 04.7
Mennonite 207,970 191,470 - 07.9
Methodist denominations
  Evangelical Missionary Church (Methodist) 44,935 66,705 + 48.5
  Free Methodist 14,720 14,110 - 04.1
  Methodist, n.i.e. 24,255 25,730 + 06.1
Mission de l'Esprit Saint 1.195 770 - 35.6
Moravian 6,085 5,335 - 12.3
New Apostolic 6,220 6,370 + 02.4
Pentecostal 436,435 369,475 - 15.3
Presbyterian 636,295 409,830 - 35.6
Quakers 2,790 2,975 + 06.7
Reformed Bodies
  Christian Reformed Church 84,685 76,665 + 09.5
  Canadian and American Reformed Church 18,240 15,360 - 15.8
  Dutch Reformed Church 4,405 7,825 - 77.6
  Reformed, n.i.e. 11,680 15,885 + 36.0
Salvation Army 112,345 87,790 - 21.9
Spiritualist 3,735 3,295 - 11.8
Standard Church 1,180 1,055 - 10.6
Swedenborgian (New Church) 1,425 1,015 - 28.8
Unitarian 2 16,535 17,480  + 05.7
United Church 3,093,120 2,839,125 - 08.2
Vineyard Christian Fellowship 1,200 2,595 + 11.6
Wesleyan 11,260 11,630 + 03.3
Worldwide Church of God 9,370 2,275 - 75.7
Non-denominational 32,005 40,545 + 26.7
Interdenominational 3,090 3,050 - 01.3
Protestant, n.o.s. 3 628,945 549,205 - 12.7

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Orthodox (495,245 in total):

Group Membership, 1991 Membership, 2001 Percentage Growth
Antiochian Orthodox Christian 3,310 5,680 +71.6%
Armenian Orthodox 12,690 11,875 - 06.4
Coptic Orthodox 5,020 10,285 +104.8
Greek Orthodox 231,635 223,820 - 03.4
Romanian Orthodox 4,570 4,675 + 02.3
Russian Orthodox 6,620 15,610 + 13.6
Serbian Orthodox 9,795 20,520 +109.5
Ukrainian Orthodox 34,465 32,720 - 05.1
Orthodox, n.i.e. 79,290 170,060 +114.5

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Other Christian:

Group Membership, 1991 Membership, 2001 Percentage Growth
Christian, n.i.e. 353,040

780,450

+ 121.1%

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Notes:

  1. "n.i.e." means "not included elsewhere."
  2. It is difficult to see why Statistics Canada classified the Unitarian faith as Christian. A survey of almost 10,000 Unitarian Universalists in the U.S. found that over 46% were Humanists, and fewer than 10% identified themselves as Christian.
  3. "n.o.s." means "not otherwise specified."

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References:

bullet"Religion (95A), Age Groups (7A) and Sex (3) for Population, for Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas 1 and Census Agglomerations, 1991 and 2001 Censuses - 20% Sample Data," Statistics Canada, at: http://www12.statcan.ca/ This list also gave membership breakdowns by age groups. This appears to be no longer a valid URL. A chart remains online at the Stats Can web site at: http://www12.statcan.ca/

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Copyright information

Census data from "Statistics Canada...is used with the permission of Statistics Canada. Users are forbidden to copy the data and redisseminate them, in an original or modified form, for commercial purposes, without the expressed permission of Statistics Canada. Information on the availability of the wide range of data from Statistics Canada can be obtained from Statistics Canada's Regional Offices, its World Wide Web site at http://www.statcan.ca, and its toll-free access number 1-800-263-1136."

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Site navigation:

HomeReligious information > Basic info > Religion in Canada > here

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Copyright © 2004 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2004-JUL-07
Last update: 2005-DEC-15
Author: B.A. Robinson

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