Surprise! Students are voting

At least, more than youth who aren't in university

An Elections Canada study published this past January found that youth in post secondary education are voting more than their non-student counterparts.

The study looked at electoral engagement in Canada over the past five federal elections, dividing participants into those aged 18 to 24 and those aged 25 to 30. When comparing voter participation of youth aged 18-24 with some post secondary education versus those without, those with post secondary education had a voter turnout rate of 41.1 per cent, versus a 32 per cent turnout rate amongst those with none. The gap between the groups grows to 17 per cent for those aged 25-30, with 52.5 per cent of those with some post secondary education voting compared to only 35.2 per cent of participants with no post secondary education.

58 per cent of those 18 to 24 profiled for the study were students, though only 23 per cent of participants aged 25-30 were still in school.

Household income had a similar affect on voter participation. In the 18-24 age group, 33.7 per cent of those with a household income below $40 000 headed to polls compared to 39.3 per cent with those with a household income above $40 000.

The authors concluded that these results “suggest that being a student has the effect of increasing participation among those aged 18-24,” though there was “really no difference” between students and non-students aged 25-30.

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