Canadians prefer metric measurements, but use the imperial system: poll

While many Canadians are not in favor of abandoning the metric measurement system, many continue to use imperial measurements in their daily lives, according to a new online survey from Research Co.

Canada is a “metric” country, officially converted in 1970, but there is an inconsistency in the use of such measurements, according to the poll released Monday, with Canadians turning to imperial measurements for height, weight and oven temperature.

It was found that 80% of Canadians measure a person’s height in feet and inches, while only 20% rely on meters and centimeters.

Seventy-six percent of Canadians have determined a person’s weight in pounds, while only 24% have done so in kilograms. And finally, 59% measured their oven temperature in Fahrenheit while 41% preferred Celsius.

But for volume, speed and outside temperature, Canadians prefer the metric system, according to the survey.

Eighty-four percent of Canadians determined the volume of liquid in a container in litres, while 16% used pints and gallons.

Eighty-two percent of Canadians measured the speed of a vehicle in kilometers per hour, while 28% did so in miles per hour. To measure the outdoor temperature, 77% of Canadians used Celsius, compared to 23% who used Fahrenheit.

There were also differences over who wants to adopt which system across the country, with preferences varying widely by age.

“Virtually two in five Canadians aged 55 and older (38%) would return to the Imperial system of units,” Mario Canseco, president of Research Co., said in a statement.

“This wish is less common among their counterparts aged 35-54 (23%) and 18-34 (24%).”

Overall, the poll found that the metric system was preferred by more than half (56%) of its respondents, compared to 23% against it.

The online poll surveyed 1,000 Canadian adults from August 1-3 and was “statistically weighted based on Canadian census counts for age, gender and region,” according to the release.

The only countries in the world that still use the imperial system on a daily basis are the United States, Myanmar and Liberia.