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    Spotlight on Canadians: Results from the General Social Survey

    Trends in Social Capital in Canada

    Highlights

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    • Between 2003 and 2013, the proportion of Canadians having three or more close friends rose from 70% to 75%. Also increasing was the proportion of Canadians stating that they had more than 10 other friends or acquaintances.
    • The percentage of Canadians who reported having done a favour for a neighbour in the past month rose from 61% in 2003 to 70% in 2013
    • Canadians’ social networks, particularly among young people, have become more ethnically diverse. In 2013, 59% of people reported that at least a few of their friends belonged to an ethnic group visibly different from theirs. This proportion was 54% in 2003.
    • Despite having more friends, Canadians were less likely to see them or contact them frequently. For example, the percentage of people who saw their friends a few times or more a week decreased from 56% in 2003 to 44% in 2013.
    • In 2013, users of social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter were more likely than non-users to see their friends in-person a few times or more a week.
    • In 2013, 65% of Canadians participated in or were a member of a group, an association or an organization, compared with 61% in 2003. However, the proportion of those who participated monthly in group activities or meetings remained unchanged.
    • In 2013, 54% of Canadians reported that, generally speaking, “most people can be trusted” and 46% said that “you cannot be too careful in dealing with people.” These proportions were virtually the same as those from 10 years earlier.
    • In 2013, 45% of people said that it would be very likely that someone would return their wallet or purse, if it was found by someone who lives close by. Seniors aged 65 and older were the most likely to say so (about 60%), and youths aged 15 to 24 the least likely (32%).
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