We would like to thank all members and supporters who responded to our survey in such large numbers in early January. Some 5,342 people completed the online questionnaire! This representative sample will give us a better understanding of Équiterre supporters and guide our future actions.
An analysis of the many responses is currently in progress. However, three trends in the characteristics of participants are already observable:
- Gender of participants: Équiterre has more women members and supporters (6/10) than men.
- On average, survey participants have a higher education level than the Quebec population. A little over 60% of Équiterre members and supporters report having completed a university degree; the equivalent percentage for Quebecers is about 30%.
- We’re thrilled about the geographic location of survey respondents. The data indicates that Équiterre has members and supporters in all corners of Quebec. We calculated the percentage of members and supporters living in each of the 17 administrative regions of Quebec, and then compared the figures with the distribution of the population in those 17 regions.
A growing representation—across Quebec!
First of all, the percentage of members and supporters living in the Montreal area (33%) is higher than the percentage of Quebecers (24%) living there. This difference is significant, but smaller than expected by several observers. The Quebec City region is also a little ‘overrepresented’ with 12.3% of respondents living there compared to 8.9% of Quebecers. Other regions, meanwhile, are ‘underrepresented’, but the difference in the percentages for each one is relatively small. This is the case with Abitibi-Témiscamingue (1.8% of Quebecers vs. 0.9% of respondents), the Côte-Nord (1.2% vs. 0.6%) and the Chaudière-Appalaches region (5.1% vs. 3%). For several regions, the percentages of Quebecers and respondents are practically the same. For example, 1.1% of Quebecers live in the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region compared to 1.2% of Équiterre members and supporters. The result is similar for the Laurentides region with 7.1% of Quebecers and 7.1% of Équiterre supporters and members living there.
As well as providing a portrait of members and supporters, the results are prompting us to take a fresh look at Équiterre’s development. In 2000, the organization was already dynamic, but still very young with just 600 members, mainly from the Montreal area. Since then, our citizen movement has gained popularity, so much so that we have 25 times more members—over 15,000 at the end of 2015! Such explosive growth is a remarkable achievement in itself, but the results of the January 2016 survey have also made us aware of another important transformation: Équiterre has become a national organization with strong support from across Quebec as well as increasing support in English Canada. With support for the movement in all regions, Équiterre can act and advocate more strongly and with more credibility for the importance of environmental issues.
Thank you for helping us change the world, one step—and one region—at a time!