Abacus Data Bulletin: Half of Canadians say they won’t gather with family outside their household for the holidays

Abacus Data Bulletins are short analyses of public opinion data we collect. For more information or media interviews, contact David Coletto.

PLEASE NOTE: The results in this release were updated on December 3.

In our latest national survey completed on December 3, we asked respondents what they planned to do for the holidays when it comes to gathering with family.

51% said they will not gather with family outside of their household during the holidays. But almost half say they still may or definitely will.

33% say they may still get together with family from different households, but will be extra cautious and safe. 8% say they will get together with family for the holidays like they usually do, regardless of what health authorities say.

Results were fairly consistent across the country with Albertans being most likely to say they will avoid gathering with family outside their household and Atlantic Canadians being the least likely.


Despite warnings and recommendations from health authorities and political leaders that Canadians refrain from gathering with family and friends from outside their household, many Canadians still say they intend to do so.

There is still time for these plans to change obviously, but the initial intentions are to go against this advice and find a safe way to gather with family over the holidays.


The survey was conducted with 1,221 Canadian adults (18+) living outside Quebec from November 27 to December 3, 2020. A random sample of panellists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.8%, 19 times out of 20. The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.


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