Having a religious affiliation is believed to be of benefit to the individual, but also to support building social networks, civic engagement and voluntarism in a region.
In Niagara in 2001, 84.09% reported they had a religious affiliation, and 15.65% reported they had no religious affiliation. In this study, the term affiliation was not a measure of the level of affiliation or how current or active the engagement was. Niagara reported more religious affiliation than most other regions and municipalities in the province.
Figure 39 % of Population With Stated Religious Affiliation by Selected CMAs , 2001
Source: Statistics Canada Census 2001, Community Profiles
Philanthropy in the form of volunteering time or donating money is encouraged by all major religions. Those who attend religious services are more likely to volunteer their time than those who do not (62% vs 43%) and they volunteer more time (229 hours vs 147 hours). Those who attend religious services weekly are 19% of the population and they give 35% of all volunteer hours in Canada (Statistics Canada, Canadian Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2004).