More than a million additional young Canadians cast a ballot in the last October's federal election, compared to the previous elections held in 2011.

This turnout increase for voters who are 18 to 34 years old is by far the largest among all other age categories, new survey results from Statistics Canada found.

Commissioned following the Liberal victory last fall by Elections Canada to determine voter behaviour, the survey reveals that the number of voters aged 18 to 24 increase from 55 per cent to 67 per cent, while voter turnout for those aged 55 to 64 increase by only three percentage points.

Age group Voter turnout, 2011 (%) Voter turnout, 2015 (%) increase (percentage point)
18 to 24    54.6 66.9 12.3
25 to 34 58.7 69.8 11.1
35 to 44 64.9 74.5 19.6
45 to 54 73.2 78.7 5.5
55 to 64 80.3 83.3 3.1
65 to 74 84.4 85.5 1.1
75 + 78.6 79.6 1.0

Source: Statistics Canada

Overall, the final voter turnout in 2015 was 68 percent, 8.6 percentage points higher than in 2011 and the highest turnout since the 1993 federal elections.

Reasons why Canadians didn't vote

The study also provides insight into the reasons Canadians don't vote. Among the 23 per cent of respondents who reported that they did not vote in the last elections, the most common reasons given for forgoing their democratic right was "Everyday life or health reasons" (48 per cent) and "not being interested in politics" (32 per cent).

The numbers suggest there were no significant differences for not casting a ballots between genders and between aboriginals and non-aboriginals.

Voters aged 18 to 24 were also the most likely group to cite administrative reasons for not voting (11 per cent) such as the inability to provide adequate identification, home address or not appearing on the voters list.


Note from Statistics Canada on survey results:

Previous studies and post-elections surveys have consistently shown that voter turnout rates reported in those studies are higher than official voter turnout rates. The estimate for the voter turnout rate in this special LFS study (77.0%) was 8.5 percentage points higher than the official figure published by Elections Canada (68.0%) following the October 19, 2015, federal election.