Life satisfaction, 2009

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Life satisfaction is a personal subjective assessment of global well–being.

In 2009, survey respondents were asked to rate, on a scale from 0 to 10, from 'very dissatisfied' to 'very satisfied,' how they felt about their life as a whole. From 2003 to 2008, respondents were asked to choose from five categories: 'very satisfied', 'satisfied', 'neither satisfied nor dissatisfied', 'dissatisfied' or 'very dissatisfied.' The classification in Table 1 has shown good concordance between the two systems.

Table 1
Correspondence between the categorical scale used in 2003 to 2008 and the numerical scale used in 2009
2003 to 2008 (5 categories) 2009 (scale from 0 to 10)
Very dissatisfied 0 or 1
Dissatisfied 2, 3 or 4
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 5
Satisfied 6, 7 or 8
Very satisfied 9 or 10

In 2009, 92.1% of Canadians aged 12 and older reported that they were satisfied or very satisfied with life, almost unchanged from 2003 (Chart 1).

Chart 1
Percentage reporting satisfied or very satisfied with life, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2003 to 2009

Description

Chart 1: Percentage reporting satisfied or very satisfied with life, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2003 to 2009

Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Young men aged 12 to 19 reported a higher rate of satisfaction with life, 97.7%, than did their female counterparts, 94.9% (Chart 2). In other age groups, differences between the sexes were not significant.

Chart 2
Percentage reporting being satisfied or very satisfied with life, by age group and sex, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2009

Description

Chart 2: Percentage reporting being satisfied or very satisfied with life, by age group and sex, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2009

Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2009.

Canadians' life satisfaction was related to their health. Of those who were satisfied with their lives, 64.4% reported that their health was 'excellent' or 'very good,' compared with 20.4% of those who were dissatisfied with their lives. In contrast, 7.6% of those who were satisfied with life said that they were in 'fair' or 'poor' health, whereas 51.5% who were dissatisfied with life were in fair or poor health (Chart 3).

Chart 3
Satisfaction with life by perceived health, household population 12 years and older, Canada, 2009

Description

Chart 3: Satisfaction with life by perceived health, household population 12 years and older, Canada, 2009

Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2009.

In 2009, the percentage of residents in Quebec (94.2%) who were 'satisfied with life' was above the national average. Satisfaction rates were below the national average in Ontario, 91.5%; British Columbia, 90.9%; and Nunavut, 85.7%.


Data

Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0501.

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