Chart 2
Frequency of religious attendence, by age, 1985 to 2005

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This is a vertically stacked bar graph that shows the frequency of attendance at religious services disaggregated by age and sex for Canada for 1985 and 2005.

The Y axis is measured by percentages and increases by increments of ten from 0 to 60.  

The X axis is divided into age groups including those aged 15 to 24, 25 to 44, 45 to 64 and 65 and over for 1985 and 2005.

There are three bars for each age group in both years including the percentage of people who attended religious services at least on a weekly basis, those who attended less frequently, and the percentage which did not attend religious services at all that year.
 
What the data indicate is that older Canadians are considerably more likely than their younger counterparts to attend religious services on a regular basis. In 2005, 37.4% of all Canadians aged 65 attended a religious service at least on a weekly basis, whereas this was the case for just 22.0% of those aged 45 to 64 and around 16% of those in age groups under age 45. In contrast, 33.1% of those aged 15 and 24, 36.0% of those aged 25 to 44 and 32.5% of 45 to 64-year-olds said they never attended religious services, while just 25.5 of seniors never attended religious services.

The data also indicate that there has been a decline in regular church attendance among all age groups in the past two decades, while the share indicating they never attended religious services has increased in all age ranges. This is particularly the case among those aged 45 to 64. The percentage of people in this age group attending a religious observance on at least a weekly basis, for example, fell from 38.9% in 1985 to just 22.0% in 2005, while the proportion reporting they never attended any religious functions more than doubled from 15.7% to 32.5% in the same period. The share of this group, those who attend less frequently, was 45.4% in 1985 and 45.5% in 2005.

For 15 to 24-year-olds, the share attending religious services on a weekly basis was 22.6% in 1985 and 15.6% in 2005, those not attending services at all were 22.4% in 1985 and 33.1% in 2005 and for those who attended less frequently, in the age group were 55.0% in 1985 and 51.3% in 2005. For 25 to 44-year-olds, the share attending religious services on a weekly basis was 24.9% in 1985 and 15.7% in 2005, those not attending services at all were 25.1% in 1985 and 36.0% in 2005 and for those who attended less frequently, 50.0% in 1985 and 48.2% in 2005. For those aged 65 and over, the share attending religious services on a weekly basis was 42.0% in 1985 and 37.4% in 2005, those not attending services at all were 20.8% in 1985 and 25.5% in 2005 and for those attending less frequently in the age group were 37.2% in 1985 and 37.1% in 2005.  

Source : Statistics Canada, General Social Survey, 1985 to 2005.