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Voter Turnout Vizualisation – 2004 to present

Introduction

For Canadian federal elections, official voter turnout is calculated as the number of votes cast divided by the number of registered electors footnote 1 . However, the coverage of the list of electors (that is, the percentage of eligible electors listed) changes over time. Because of these changes, we cannot use registered electors to present a true comparison of turnout over time.

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Since 2004, Elections Canada has used a sample of administrative data compiled in the course of administering the election to estimate voter turnout by age groupfootnote 2 and, since 2008, by sex/gender, at the national, provincial and territorial levels. These administrative data, combined with those from the National Register of Electors, offer a more accurate way of measuring and studying turnout than survey-based studies, which consistently overestimate participation.

Turnout for these reports are calculated using the estimated number of eligible electors footnote 3 . Currently, these reports are available individually for each election on Elections Canada's website. This dashboard now allows you to explore the data from all reports at once.

Navigating the dashboard

This dashboard shows the results of the studies of turnout by age group since 2004 and gender since 2008.

Use the radio button to view turnout of eligible electors by province or territory, by age group or by gender. Press the "Update chart and table" to visualize your selections.

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You can save an image of the chart with your selections by pressing the "Download to PNG" button.

You can also view your selected data points as a table underneath the chart. This table includes a filter, which you can use to select values from any column. For example, if you type "Alberta all genders" the table will update to show only rows that use all these terms in any column.

You can also enclose search terms in quotations, for example, "'18 to 24 years'" and the table will filter to show only rows that use the entire term in the same column.

You can also download your selection as a CSV file by pressing the "Download to CSV" button at the bottom right-hand corner of the dashboard.

Click here to download the entire underlying dataset as a .csv file

Voter Turnout Dashboard - Interactive visualization and table

Chart options

Select chart type

Notes

Changing the chart type selection and pressing the "Update" button below will

  • Erase the existing chart and table
  • Make a new chart and table with the default value for the selected variable; and
  • Offer new data point selection options

Select data points to view in the chart and table

then press Update chart and table button below

Voter Turnout by Province 2004-2021

View selected data as a table

Data sources

Data for this dashboard comes from the reports on Turnout by Age and Gender which are published after each general election. You can find the complete list of reports below.

Use of the term gender in this report

Historically, the turnout estimates by age and gender reports have used the terms sex and gender interchangeably. Elections Canada would like to be transparent and as accurate as possible in this report going forward. To simplify our language and to better reflect the data, we refer to this field as gender throughout this report. However, more information about our data collection for each post-election turnout report is detailed below.

General elections 2008-2015

The estimate for the total number of eligible electors is based on Census of Population, which between 2001 and 2016 asks for Canadians' sex. In 2016 the census asked transgender and intersex Canadians to indicate the sex (male or female) with which they most associated themselves.

Elections Canada also received data on sex of electors through their registration directly with Elections Canada or through administrative sources, (e.g. drivers' licence registration).

General election 2019

Starting in 2019 Elections Canada began asking electors for their gender, and electors could choose to identify themselves as "gender X" instead of male or female. Previously, electors could only identify themselves as "male" or "female" according to their legal documentation.

Additionally, the administrative sources received by Elections Canada began having more diverse gender options, including sources which allow the identifier "X" on legal documentation while others submit self-reported gender.

In the post-election report for turnout on age and sex in 2019, Elections Canada published data on electors who identified as "gender X" for the first time, though estimates for the eligible population remained available for sex only.

General election 2021

Following the recommendations of the Direction to Modernize the Government of Canada's Sex and Gender Information Practices, Elections Canada now uses the designation "Another gender" when collecting gender information from individuals, while the term "Gender X" is used for reporting purposes.

In 2021, the Census of Population asked Canadians about their sex at birth, and for the first time, gender. This new information enabled Elections Canada to estimate the eligible population by gender.

In this dashboard, we follow Statistics Canada's convention for publishing data on gender at two levels. Those who identify as non-binary or as "Another gender", are split 50/50 across the two binary gender options. To reflect the fact that our totals for men and women include some non-binary people we use the terms "Men+" and "Women+".

Data about gender X electors is available in the final report for Turnout by Age and Gender at the 2021 General Election.

Footnotes

  • Return to footnote 1 Registered electors are the electors who appear on the official list of electors.
  • Return to footnote 2 The turnout reports further break down the category of 1824-year-olds into "First time" and "Not first time" voters. The "First time" category includes youth eligible to vote federally for the first time. The "Not first time" category includes those youth under 25 years old who were previously eligible to vote federally.
  • Return to footnote 3 Eligible electors include all Canadian citizens who are 18 years old or older as of polling day.