Statistics Canada Reveals the Most Satisfied Canadians by City (Hint: It’s Not People in Big Cities)

It turns out that people who live in Saguenay and Trois-Rivières, Quebec are doing something right.

They have the highest life satisfaction, according to a new report from Statistics Canada.

The report examined responses from Statistics Canada’s general social survey from 2009 to 2013, finding those who live in Saguenay, Trois-Rivières, and St. John’s to be the most satisfied people in the country when it comes to their lives.

In Saguenay – a city about 200 kilometres north of Quebec City – its residents reported an average life satisfaction score of more than 8.2 out of 10.

Who’s not necessarily living the dream? People who live in Toronto, Windsor, or – somewhat surprisingly – Vancouver. Those three cities faired toward the bottom end of the satisfaction scale.

On average, Vancouverites had a life satisfaction score of about 7.8 out of 10. Adding insult to injury, the city experienced the lowest percentage of people (35 per cent) rating their life as nine or 10 out of 10.

Well, at least they’re honest.

On the other hand, people in Sudbury, Ontario had the highest percentage of respondents rating their life satisfaction as at least 9 out of 10.
Accounting for all variables, according to the study, the differences in satisfaction changed little when other factors like income levels, age, and employment status were taken into consideration. 

The study found that women and married people were generally more satisfied with their lives than men and singles, and that there was – not surprisingly – a strong correlation between health and life satisfaction.

Apparently we can expect a gloomier few decades ahead of us – those respondents in their 40s and 50s reported lower life satisfaction than those who were younger or older.

Perhaps one of the most glaringly obvious takeaways, is that people in smaller communities reported higher levels of satisfaction than the rest of us who live in larger cities.

We’d like to tell ourselves that it’s because we have higher expectations for ourselves, but we have a feeling that’s not the case. 


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