Appetite for Political Correctness Rises in Canada, Sinks in U.S.

One-in-five Americans (20%) claim to never act “politically correct”, compared to just 11% of Canadians.

Vancouver, BC [September 28, 2022] – Residents of Canada and the United States hold differing views on the concept of “political correctness”, a new two-country Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of representative national samples, 55% of Canadians and 45% of Americans support the use of “political correctness” in their respective countries.

The term “political correctness” has been used to describe language and/or behaviour that seeks to minimize possible offenses to racial, cultural and gender identity groups, among others.

Since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in December 2020, support for “political correctness” has increased by five points in Canada and fallen by eight points in the United States.

“Canadians who voted for the Conservatives in 2021 (41%) and Americans who identify as Independent (35%) or Republican (29%) are less likely to endorse political correctness,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportions are higher among (66%) in the United States (66%) and among Canadians who voted for the Liberals (64%) or the New Democrats (67%) in 2021.”

There is little change when Canadians are asked about their own behaviour, with just over a third (34%, +2) claiming to always act “politically correct” because it’s the right thing to do. Two-in-five (40%, =) sometimes act “politically correct” because it’s the safe thing to do, while only 11% (=) do not act “politically correct” because it’s the wrong thing to do.

In the United States, the proportion of Americans who claim to never act “politically correct” increased to 20% (+5), while those who sometimes act “politically correct” rose to 41% (+4). About one-in-four Americans (24%, -12) say they always act “politically correct” because it’s the right thing to do.

As was the case in 2020, more than half of Canadians and Americans think three groups in society should act in a “politically correct” manner “always” or “most of the time”: teachers (75% in Canada and 64% in the U.S.), politicians (72% in Canada and 60% in the U.S.) and journalists (67% in Canada and 55% in the U.S.).

Significantly fewer Canadians (41%) and Americans (28%) believe comedians should act in a “politically correct” way “always” or “most of the time”.

Seven-in-ten Canadians (70%, +5) and just under three-in-five Americans (59%, -3) are in favour of adding a disclaimer to explain that programs or movies are presented “as originally created” and “may contain outdated cultural depictions.”

Opposition grew in the United States toward the notion of printing new editions of books that remove words that may be deemed offensive to a specific race or ethnicity (65%, +6). More than half of Canadians (55%, -6) feel the same way (55%, -6).

A similar scenario ensues when residents of the two countries are asked about re-dubbing movies to remove words that may be deemed offensive to a specific race or ethnicity. Just under two thirds of Americans are opposed (64%, +7), along with a majority of Canadians (56%, -6).

Methodology: Results are based on online surveys conducted from September 16 to September 18, 2022, among representative samples of 1,000 adults Canada and the United States. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian and U.S. census figures for age, gender and region in each country. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points for each country.

Find our data tables for Canada here, the data tables for the United States here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]