In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

happiness all around you

Here's an interesting statistical study that confirms what we see around us here in Nova Scotia. It turns out that in Canada satisfaction with life is more related to community than to how much money you've got. As Americans we are, as they say, gobsmacked.

92 per cent of Canadians satisfied with their lives

The Canadian Press

Date: Tuesday Nov. 23, 2010 4:00 PM ET

OTTAWA — A new study of life satisfaction in Canada finds that among the provinces, Prince Edward Island takes the happiness crown.

The study released Tuesday by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards found that on a scale of one to five, the average level of happiness among Canadians aged 20 and over was 4.26 in 2007-08.

At the provincial level, life satisfaction was highest in P.E.I. at 4.33 and lowest in Ontario at 4.23.

In 2009, 92.1 per cent of the population aged 12 and over were either satisfied or very satisfied with their lives, up slightly from 91.4 per cent in 2008.

The study also looked at factors influencing the happiness or life satisfaction of Canadians, and found that it's not all about money.

In fact, household income was found to carry less economic significance for happiness than other variables like mental health.

A sense of belonging to the local community was a key determinant of individual life satisfaction, while high stress levels were linked to lower life satisfaction.

Being out of work also had a negative impact on people's happiness.

The study found relative to household income, moving from unemployment to employment has the same impact on happiness as a 151 per cent increase in income for the average person.

The study was based on data gathered from Statistics Canada's Community Health Survey.

To read about The Centre for the Study of Living Standards and this report, go here. Note to Americans: it's not one of those fake politicized think tanks. Believe it or not, they don't really seem to have those here.


Karen said...

I believe it. I think you live in an awesome part of the world, for many reasons.

Janet said...

Hi Anne: Happy American Thanksgiving. Interesting findings. Another less well known finding is that Canadians are very heavily involved in volunteerism and give extremely generously to support charitable causes. More surprising still, in the Atlantic provinces, which are also the poorer provinces in this country,the figures are higher for both than for the rest of the country.
I'm afraid we have think tanks in Canada supported by right wing business and political interests whose scientific findings may be suspect, but perhaps they are quieter about promoting their agendas.