Nearly one-in-four Canadians perceived disorder in their 'hood: StatsCan

Nearly one in four Canadians perceived some kind of disorder in their neighbourhood, ranging from noisy neighbours, litter, vandalism, or public drunkenness.

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However, less than 10 per cent of those Canadians reported that the disorder was a big problem.

Statistics Canada released a report on Wednesday on Canadian perceptions of neighbourhood disorder. The report was based on the results from the 2014 General Social Survey on Victimization.

The types of disorders measured in the survey included: noisy neighbours or loud parties, people hanging around on the streets, garbage or litter lying around, vandalism, graffiti or other property damage.

People being attacked because of their skin colour, ethnicity or religion, people using or dealing drugs in public, and public drunkenness or rowdiness were also measured in the survey.

Canadians perceived certain types of disorder to be more serious than others, the survey found.

For example, 10 per cent of Canadians perceived drug use or drug dealing to be a problem in their neighbourhood. But only 2 per cent believed that people being attacked because of their skin colour, ethnicity, or religion was a problem.

The survey also found the following:

  • Approximately 6.6 million Canadians over the age of 14 (23 per cent) perceived some kind of disorder in their neighbourhood;
  • Eight per cent reported that one or more types of disorder were big problems in their neighbourhood;
  • The overall proportion of Canadians who perceived neighbourhood disorder decreased two percentage points from 2014 to 2004.
  • Compared to 2004, Canadians in 2014 were more likely to state that noisy neighbours or loud parties were an issue in their neighbourhood.

Variation across the country

Perceptions of neighbourhood disorder vary across the country.

A higher proportion of residents in Alberta (26 per cent) and Quebec (25 per cent) perceived disorder in their neighbourhoods compared with the national average.

However, perceptions of disorder were below the national average in Ontario (22 per cent) and New Brunswick (19 per cent).

Women more likely to perceive disorder than men

The survey found that perceptions of disorder generally decreased with age. Nearly one-third of Canadians between the ages of 25 to 34 perceived neighbourhood disorder, and perceptions generally declined with age thereafter, the survey found.

As well, women were more likely than men to perceive neighbourhood disorder, with most of that difference being driven by a higher proportion of women perceiving drug dealing as a problem.

The survey also found that Canadians who lived in the central cores of cities were more likely to perceive disorder than those who lived in the city, but outside the core.

Canadians who lived in neighbourhoods with higher median household incomes, regardless of their individual income, were less likely to perceive neighbourhood disorder.


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