Vancouver unhappiest city in Canada: Survey

B.C. cities rank low on Statistics Canada list of happy places

B.C. may be a balmy lotus land where you can theoretically ski, golf and swim in the same day, but that doesn’t seem to make us any happier than the rest of the country.

A national survey of life happiness across Canada found Vancouver was dead last among 33 cities surveyed, just behind Toronto.

Statistics Canada’s How’s Life in the City report paints a bleak picture of residents in other B.C. cities as well.

Kelowna ranked highest at #12, Abbotsford was 24th (behind Winnipeg and Regina), while Victoria, which taunts the rest of the country with its January flower count, was 27th.

Respondents were asked to rate how they feel about their life as a whole right now on a satisfaction scale from 0 to 10. The question was asked of 340,000 Canadians between 2009 and 2013 as part of broad social and health surveys, and the results were averaged by census metropolitan area and economic region.

Topping the list of happy places were Saguenay and Trois-Rivieres in Quebec, followed by St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Sudbury, Ontario.

The gap between the cities ranked is not large.

Vancouverites rated their life satisfaction on average at 7.8 out of 10, while Victoria and Abbotsford averaged 7.9, Kelowna was 8.0 and chart-topping Saguenay is just over 8.2.

The findings also show 40 to 45 per cent of residents in Sudbury, Thunder Bay and St. John’s rated their life happiness a 9 or 10 compared to less than 35 per cent in Vancouver, the lowest in the country.

It also measured the other end of the scale – the people who were least happy.

The cities with the largest numbers of residents rating their life a 6 or lower were Windsor, Toronto, Abbotsford, Peterborough, St. Catherines and Vancouver, while Quebec cities had the fewest number of low scores.

Life satisfaction appears to be higher in smaller communities, the report says, noting the top ranked cities have fewer than 250,000 residents, while Toronto and Vancouver are at the bottom.

It cited a 2014 study that found “life satisfaction and happiness are lower in denser, more urbanized settings.”

The Statistics Canada analysis points to health as a key factor for happiness, along with economic and social factors such as income, employment and marriage status.

“Individuals rating their health as ‘excellent’ have life satisfaction scores a full point higher than those rating their health as ‘good’, and almost three points higher than those rating their health as ‘poor’,” it says.

Being unemployed is a downer, it adds, while richer households tend to be happier.

According to a global measuring stick, the World Happiness Report, income is the most important of six key variables that account for three quarters of the variation in life satisfaction among people in the same country.

The study also ranked economic regions. Northern Quebec was the country’s happiest.

B.C.’s regions scored an average happiness level of 8.1 in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Kootenays; 8.0 in the Cariboo, Thompson-Okanagan and North Coast-Nechako; and 7.8, the lowest in the country, in the northeast.

Just Posted

‘Kim’s Convenience’ keeps Surrey actor busy when not working as church pastor in Guildford

Award-nominated James Yi will again play shop owner at Surrey Arts Centre next winter

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in South Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Hazmat team called to Surrey recycling centre

Witness at scene said several workers reported affects including coughing, headaches and chest tightness

South Surrey woman excited to ‘tell the world Canada is open for business’

Aashina Singh aims to promote Metro Vancouver companies in Singapore and Malaysia

VIDEO: Wet weather kicks off Lower Mainland toad migration

Thousands of small western toads were making the trek from pond to woods

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Serious police incident unfolding at Sts’ailes near Agassiz

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

RCMP release sketch of suspect in SFU assault, appeal to witnesses who helped woman

The RCMP want to talk to two women who helped the victim after she got to the parking lot

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Most Read