APF Canada’s 2017 National Opinion Poll: Canadian Millennial Views on Asia

VANCOUVER, BC – November 28, 2017 Millennials (aged 18-to-34) are the first generation of Canadians to come of age during a time when the “rise of Asia” has moved from a future probability to a present reality. As Canada considers its engagement with this important region, millennials will play a key role in shaping the form and scope of that engagement.

The 2017 National Opinion Poll (NOP) Canadian Millennial Views on Asia released today by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada), probes whether Canadian millennials’ views on Asia are changing along with shifts in global power, whether their views are diverging in any way from the views of older generations, and whether there is a desire among members of the millennial generation to become more informed about the Asia Pacific.

Key findings of the 2017 NOP include:

  • Canadian millennials are not a homogeneous group in terms of their views on Asia, with two distinct groups emerging based on survey responses: younger millennials (the ‘learning generation,’ aged 18-24) and older millennials (the ‘engaged generation,’ aged 25-34).
  • Younger millennials have the least informed perspectives about Asia, but are more positive about and more engaged with Asia than their older peers.
  • Younger millennials are more likely to travel and more willing to work in Asia than older Canadians, and are more likely to emphasize economics over values in foreign policy relations.
  • Older millennials are the most familiar with Asia and show the strongest interest in proactively learning about Asia.
  • Older Canadians (non-millennials, 35+) have the least favourable views of Asia, are more value-centric on foreign relations issues, and are mostly disengaged from Asia.

The survey results suggest that millennials are more receptive to a Canadian policy of economic and political engagement with Asia, particularly China, than older generations—both because they have more positive attitudes toward the region and because they believe more strongly that pragmatism should guide Canadian foreign policy. The poll also suggests that millennials would welcome more opportunities to build their Asia-related knowledge and skills, including government initiatives directed at increasing their exposure to Asian languages and society.

“Our new 2017 National Opinion Poll paints a clear picture of forward-looking young Canadians who have a strong desire to participate more fully in deeper engagement with Asia,” said APF Canada President and CEO, Stewart Beck. “Millennials’ call for more comprehensive knowledge about the region, as well as for new opportunities to learn and earn in the Asia Pacific, aligns with our Foundation’s ongoing mission to elevate the Asia competence of Canadians, particularly the young Canadians who will drive our future in an increasingly Asia-centric world.”

“When it comes to Asia, millennials are neither disaffected nor disengaged,” said Dr. Eva Busza, Vice-President, Research and Programs, at APF Canada. “A majority are hungry for knowledge and eager for Canada to engage with the region.”

For 13 years, APF Canada’s National Opinion Poll has examined Canadian opinion and attitudes towards Canada’s engagement with Asia. This year, APF Canada commissioned EKOS Research Associates to conduct a survey of 1,527 Canadian adults who are participants in the Probit online survey panel. The survey was conducted from September 18 to October 1, 2017.

The full poll results are available here.

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About the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada:

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada is dedicated to strengthening ties between Canada and Asia with a focus on expanding economic relations through trade, investment and innovation; promoting Canada’s expertise in offering solutions to Asia’s climate change, energy, food security and natural resource management challenges; building Asia skills and competencies among Canadians, including young Canadians; and, improving Canadians’ general understanding of Asia and its growing global influence.

The Foundation is well known for its annual national opinion polls of Canadian attitudes regarding relations with Asia, including Asian foreign investment in Canada and Canada’s trade with Asia. The Foundation places an emphasis on China, India, Japan and South Korea while also developing expertise in emerging markets in the region, particularly economies within ASEAN.

Visit APF Canada at www.asiapacific.ca

For media information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Michael Roberts
Communications Manager
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Office: 604-630-1527