Angus Reid Poll Tells Us So Much We Already Know About Measurement In Canada

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Chances are the last time you stepped on a scale in a doctor's office, the nurse jotted down your weight — in kilograms.

"What does that actually mean?" you thought. "What do I actually weigh?"

Despite officially switching over to the metric system in 1975, Canadians are still set on citing their weight in pounds and their height in inches and feet.

But Canadians know this, and, for the most part, accept it.

That's why it's surprising Canadian polling firm Angus Reid shelled out dollars and time to ask over 1,000 Canadians how they measure everything from weight, to distance, to temperature.

And what they found is totally enlightening not surprising at all.

Most Canadians use the imperial system to measure their height (feet, inches), cooking temperatures (Fahrenheit), weight (pounds), house size (square feet), and land size (acres.)

Really, the only times Canadians are more likely to adopt metric measurements are when it comes to distance (kilometres, metres), outside temperature (Celsius), and beverage or liquid volume (litres, mililitres.)

metric vs imperial
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Our population's failure to fully shift to the metric system is not surprising — many of the products we buy and directions we follow come from our imperial-using neighbours to the south. Like, when was the last time you bought a cookbook that only gave measurements in millilitres and cooking temperatures in Celsius? Or bought a scale that offered kilograms as the default weight?

The metric measurements we do adhere to are the ones we see in our day-to-day lives — roads signs are cited in kilometres, our weather apps tell us the temperature in Celsius, and our milk jugs measure liquid by the litre.

And guess what? Canadians are fine with the balance struck between using the two systems, for the most part. Sixty-seven per cent of those polled said it's ok to keep using a mix of metric and imperial.

However, the poll did find that knowledge of the imperial system is dwindling among Canada's youngest.

canadian measurements
Click for full size image.

Only 48 per cent of those under 34 said they know that system fairly or very well, while nearly all respondents in the 55-plus age group said they were most proficient with imperial.

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