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Survey: Most Canadians 'pretty happy'. See who's happiest

Image: Peter Yu

Image: Peter Yu


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Monday, February 1, 2016, 1:22 PM - Everyone has their own definition of happiness, but you can usually tell if you are happy or not. And it seems that Canadians are a pretty happy bunch indeed.

That's according to a newly-released survey from Angus Reid. The company surveyed 1,530 Canadians, and found that an astonishing 63 per cent regarded themselves as "pretty happy."

Toss in the number of Canadians who are certain they're "very happy" -- 16 per cent -- and you've got more than three-quarters of all Canadians in the happy corner.

Around 18 per cent of Canadians regarded themselves as "not too happy," and three per cent told Angus Reid they were unsure or couldn't say.

Source: Angus Reid

As for where you'll find the happiest of the happy, a regional breakdown shows people in Quebec lead that pack. Angus Reid found a full 22 per cent of Quebecois are in the "very happy" tier.

British Columbia is next at 20 per cent, followed by 19 per cent in Manitoba, and the highly varied climate between those three provinces suggest weather isn't as much of a factor as you'd think. 

"It's of note that B.C. - where a lot of the population doesn't shovel snow - is among the happiest - but then, so is Quebec - where folks shovel LOTS of snow," Shachi Kurl, Angus Reid's senior VP, told The Weather Network.

Source: Angus Reid

Then we get down to the lower end of the scale, where only nine per cent of Atlantic Canadians report feeling very happy, with Alberta at 12 per cent followed by Saskatchewan at 13 per cent and Ontario at 14 per cent, all below the national average.

The flipside, however, comes when you add up the number of Canadians in each region who consider themselves "pretty happy," rather than "very happy." And in that scale, Atlantic Canada has an astonishing 73 per cent of "pretty happy" Canadians, followed by Alberta with 68 per cent and Ontario with 66 per cent.

That doesn't quite even it out region-by-region. When you look at the percentage of "not too happy" Canadians, people in Saskatchewan (23 per cent) and Quebec (19 per cent) have the highest proportions.

Region Very happy Pretty happy Not too happy Not sure
Canada 16% 63% 18% 3%
British Columbia 20% 60% 18% 3%
Alberta 12% 68% 17% 3%
Saskatchewan 13% 63% 23% 1%
Manitoba 19% 63% 17% 1%
Ontario 14% 66% 17% 3%
Quebec 22% 55% 19% 4%
Atlantic Canada 9% 73% 16% 3%

The Angus Reid survey is actually pretty in-depth asking respondents about everything from relationships and health, to personal finance situations and stress levels, divided into four "segments" of respondents.

Angus Reid found the "Golden Oldies" -- the oldest segment -- are the most satisfied with all aspects, and aren't too fearful of the future.

Next comes the "Lonely Hearts," who are happy with their stress levels and money situation but aren't so satisfied with their relationships.

On the other side of that coin are people in the "Harried With Kids" category, who are happy with their relationships and love life, but are less satisfied with their stress and finances.

And although all these three are "generally happy" with life, according to Angus Reid, the last class, simply called the "Unhappy," are "dissatisfied with every measure of life satisfaction canvassed in this survey. They make up the smallest section of those surveyed.

Source: Angus Reid

The Angus Reid survey was conducted online from December 10-14, 2015. It carries a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage point, 19 times out of 20.

SOURCE: Angus Reid Institute

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