Being socially connected with families, friends and with community contacts through social institutions, clubs and organizations fosters social interaction, increases a sense of belonging and inclusion, provides emotional support and builds possible networks for positive action.


Involvement in social activities …
In 2003, 61% of Canadians reported that they were involved in at least one social activity, with more men than women involved (63% to 59%).


Canadians aged 65 years and over, reported the lowest rate of involvement in social activity groups (52%).  Provincial reports on involvement in social activities ranged from 53% in Quebec to 68% in British Columbia, with Ontario reporting 52% were engaged in social activities.


The highest percent reported being engaged in sports or recreational activities (28%); union or professional activities (25%); cultural, education or hobby activities (18%); religious affiliated activities (17%); and school or community activities (16%).


Having close friends and family …
In 2003, 93.7% of Canadians reported having close friends or family members. However, 6.3% reported not having close friends or family.


In the same year, the percentage of older Canadians with no close friends or family increased with age, with 10.2% of those over 65 years of age reporting not having any close friends or family members.


The two provinces reporting the highest number of residents having no close friends or family members were Quebec (9%) and Ontario (7%).


It is important to know how strong the social networks and bonds are in Niagara and how many residents do not have close friends, family and community connections. Not having social connections affects our capacity to live in the community and to improve our communities. Source: General Social Survey, 2005


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