Western Libraries

Can't Get No Satisfaction?

April 21, 2015

Written by:  Vince Gray

How satisfied with their lives are Londoners?

The United Nations and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are interested - and Statistics Canada data can provide insights into this question. Today, Statistics Canada released How’s Life in the City? Life Satisfaction Across Census Metropolitan Areas and Economic Regions in Canada.

Two cycles of the General Social Survey (GSS) and four cycles of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) asked the same question:

Using a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 means "Very dissatisfied" and 10 means "Very satisfied", how do you feel about your life as a whole right now?

Statistics Canada pooled respondents from these six surveys to measure life satisfaction in Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) and Economic Regions (ERs). A brief summary of findings:

  1. Residents of the London CMA were less happy than the Canadian average. However, when sampling variation is accounted for, the difference is not statistically significant (i.e., the confidence intervals for Canada and London overlap).
  2. At the same time, more residents of the London CMA reported their life satisfaction in the highest two categories than did Canadians over all - but again, this result is not statistically significant.
  3. The average life satisfaction of residents of the London Economic Region was higher than the Canadian average - and this result is statistically significant.
  4. Residents of the Saguenay Quebec CMA were most satisfied with their lives, and Vancouver CMA residents were least satisfied (both results being statistically significant compared to the national average).

A public microdata file (individual-level survey responses) from the 2013 GSS is scheduled to be released in May, 2015. Public microdata from the 2009 GSS and 2009-2012 CCHS are currently available in the Equinox Data Delivery System and in <odesi>. Confidential microdata (more detailed individual-level survey responses) are available through the Research Data Centre program.

Please contact the Map and Data Centre (ground floor of The D.B.Weldon Library, 519-661-2111 ext. 83424) for further assistance with these data!