The Canadian pollster, Michael Adams, in his ground-breaking book, "Sex in the Snow - Canadian Social Values at the End of the Millennium", identifies twelve Tribes in the Canadian population together with their characteristics. There are three broad categories according to most analysts.
They are the Elders, The Baby Boomers and Generation X. Add to this the more recent groups of Generation Y and the Millenniums.
These groups are largely defined by the different characteristics of the people in each group and are broadly the same in other Western countries like the United States of America and Britain except that they occur at different times. The Baby Boomers are extremely influential because of the very large numbers of about 10 million people in Canada.
Because of the size of Baby Boomers, television commercials are aimed at them and the size of the educational system was and is determined by them. Once the Baby Boomers completed school, many schools closed down or amalgamated because of the lack of new students.
These three groupings are broken out in Canada into twelve Tribal Groups. As I reflected on the characteristics of each tribe, I could not help but think about various friends and acquaintances who fit the model of each Tribe. I believe the author has correctly identified these twelve Tribes in the Canadian population.
There are three tribes of Elders, four tribes of Baby Boomers and five tribes of Generation X-ers. These tribal groups prove that we are not as individualistic as we would like to think we are.
Of the three "Elder" tribes presently over seventy five years of age, two are described as "religious" and "supportive of the institution of the church." These are the aging leaders, power holders and financial supporters of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Toronto. They are currently aging and passing away.
The third tribe, called the "Cosmopolitan Modernists" do not have the same characteristic of "religiosity." Not a single one of the nine other tribes has religious characteristics or supports the religious institution amongst the Elders, the Baby Boomers or Generation X's. This is a massive challenge for the institutional church today and threatens its future existence.