Wellbeing in Canada

  • Simon LangloisEmail author
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


Canada was a pioneer in building a composite index measuring wellbeing in a developed society. The Canadian index covers eight domains pertaining to good life: the living standards of households, health, community vitality, democratic engagement, leisure and culture, time allocation, education and the environment. Between 1994 and 2010, GDP grew by 29 % and CIW, by only 5.7 %. Overall, six dimensions increased during the 14-year period while two decreased. One of the most important improvements between 1994 and 2008 were the living standards that increased by 26 %. Followed by education (+21.8 %), community vitality (+10.3 %). Three dimensions of wellbeing showed a small improvement: democratic engagement (+7 %), health (+4.9 %), and time allocation (+1.3 %). The leisure and culture dimension has deteriorated (−7.8 %), and the environment dimension deteriorated the most (−10.8 %). Canada has a wealthy and prosperous economy, but Canadians saw only modest improvements in their overall quality of life and wellbeing at the turn of the century.


Canadian Index of wellbeing Multidimensional index Ecological footprint Standard of living Tocqueville Community vitality Health Education Democracy Time use 


  1. Canadian Index of Wellbeing. (2012). How are Canadians really doing? The 2012 CIW report. Waterloo.Google Scholar
  2. Michalos, A., Smale, B., Labonté, R., Muharjarine, N., Scott, K., Moore, K., Swystun, L., Holden, B., Bernardin, H., Dunning, B., Graham, P., Guhn, M., Gadermann, A. M., Zumbo, B. D., Morgan, A., Brooker, A.-S., & Hyman, I. (2011). The Canadian index of wellbeing. Composite index report, October.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyLaval UniversitéQuébec CityCanada

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