What is Civic Literacy?

Civic literacy gives you the tools, skills, and knowledge to participate in a democracy. Being civically literate means knowing how the government works, what the current issues are, how to take political action, and how to critically examine political media. When you have civic literacy skills, you can make your voice heard by all levels of government and create change in your community.

Facts and Figures

  • A 2010 study found that nearly 20% of Canadian adults don’t pay attention to the news (Investing in Canadians’ civic literacy: An answer to fake news and disinformation, The Samara Centre for Democracy).
  • The Canadian Election Study found that 60% of Canadians could identify their premier in 2015, compared to 90% in 1984 (Investing in Canadians’ civic literacy: An answer to fake news and disinformation, The Samara Centre for Democracy).

Why is Civic Literacy Important?

Civically literate citizens have stronger awareness of their political interests and how to advance them. They are more likely to consider different political views, leading to more inclusive politics. Citizens who are civically literate know how to hold government to account to reduce misuse of power and improve society. They know how to work together with other citizens to put pressures on governments to make good decisions.

Resources: How To Become Civically Literate

Reports and Statistics

Investing in Canadians’ civic literacy
ABC-Civic-Literacy-Infographic