The Huffington Post
By Éric Grenier
December 6, 2012
The vast majority of millennials consider themselves to be good citizens, but there is not nearly as much consensus on what that means — a disagreement often influenced by age, education and country of origin.
Abacus Data polled 1,004 Canadians of the Millennial Generation —aged 18 to 30 — on a variety of issues between Oct. 23 and 25. Overwhelmingly, respondents to the poll, carried out for The Huffington Post Canada, believed they were good citizens.
This may not necessarily be representative of the entire generation, however. People who consider themselves to be bad citizens are not likely to volunteer information to a pollster. And this kind of self-evaluation may not be accurate. For example, when surveyed, a majority of people tend to believe they are better drivers than the average person.
Nevertheless, not everyone in the poll believed themselves to be model Canadians. While 39 per cent said they were “very good” citizens, another 57 per cent said they were merely “good” citizens. Women were more modest than men: 35 per cent said they were very good citizens, compared with 43 per cent of men. And the more educated someone was, the more likely they were to consider themselves very good citizens.
Immigrant millennials, however, were less likely to call themselves very good citizens than millennials born in Canada (perhaps they are just more honest). Fully 11 per cent of immigrant millennials called themselves poor or very poor citizens, the highest proportion in any region or demographic group.
When it came to what being a good citizen means, millennials agreed paying taxes was at the top of list: 81 per cent said it was very important and 14 per cent said it was somewhat important. The proportion that considered taxes very important increased with age and education, but immigrants were less likely to consider this an important part of citizenship.