There are more than 50,000 atheists in Canada

The first bit National Household Survey is out, and aside from it’s methodological issues, there’s still lots of data to pour through.

Over the next few days I’ll be looking at lots of it in prep for a presentation to the BC Humanist’s Vancouver meeting this Sunday on this data and our recent poll. Details

But one myth I want to quickly debunk is the tendency to report Canada having a tiny fraction of atheists based on these numbers. Based on the NHS data, Statistics Canada estimates that there areĀ 48,675 atheists in the country, a number that is utter rubbish.

The Survey asks what religion a person is, to which the answer “atheist” is illogical (unless you are religious about your atheism).

We also can’t claim that the “No religion” responses are uniformly atheist – the BCHA poll found about half of those who don’t practice a particular religion or faith do not believe in a higher power, or about 20% of BC. While people may not self-identify as atheist when asked ill-formed questions, they’re still out there not believing in god(s).

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