How do youth stay informed?

Younger individuals are less likely to follow news and current affairs on a regular basis, and when they do so, they use different media sources than their older counterparts.

Younger individuals prefer to do their own searching for sources and types of information that interest them by using the Internet, while older Canadians appear to favour more traditional media sources, such as television or newspapers.

Specifically, in 2013, among those who followed news or current affairs at least occasionally, 71% of youth aged 15 to 19 and 83% of youth aged 20 to 24 did so using the Internet. This proportion decreased among older individuals and was 13% among those aged 75 and over (Table A.1).

Table A.1
Rate of media use among those who followed news or current affairs at least occasionally, by age group, 2013
Table summary
This table displays the results of Rate of media use among those who followed news or current affairs at least occasionally Type of media used to follow news and current affairs, Internet, Newspapers, Magazines, Television and Radio, calculated using percentage units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Type of media used to follow news and current affairs
Internet Newspapers Magazines Television Radio
percentage
Total 58 49 17 75 48
Age group  
15 to 19 71Note * 37Note * 11Note * 62Note * 35Note *
20 to 24 83Note * 42Note * 13Note * 52Note * 40Note *
25 to 34 77Note * 39Note * 14Note * 62Note * 48Note *
35 to 44 70Note * 40Note * 15 69Note * 51Note *
45 to 54 (ref.) 57 50 17 80 56
55 to 64 49Note * 58Note * 20Note * 86Note * 53Note *
65 to 74 33Note * 64Note * 22Note * 91Note * 47Note *
75 and over 13Note * 69Note * 22Note * 92Note * 36Note *

Television, which continues to be used by a majority of Canadians to keep informed on news and current affairs (75%), was significantly less popular among youth. In 2013, 52% of youth aged 20 to 24 used television to get news and current affairs occasionally. In comparison, the proportion was 80% for individuals aged 45 to 54 and 91% for those aged 65 to 74.

Newspapers, which were used by two-thirds of persons aged 65 and over, were used by 37% of youth aged 15 to 19 and 42% of youth aged 20 to 24 who kept up with news and current affairs. A similar scenario applied for magazines, which were used by 11% and 13% of youth aged 15 to 19 and 20 to 24, respectively.

The type of media with a slightly different trend was radio. In 2013, the rate of use was highest among those aged 45 to 54 (56%), but lowest rate was among youth aged 15 to 19 (35%) and individuals aged 75 and over (36%).

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