Sense of meaning and purpose in Canada

Release date: March 30, 2022
Infographic: Sense of meaning and purpose in Canada
Description: Sense of meaning and purpose in Canada

Canada’s Quality of Life Framework

The Quality of Life Framework for Canada includes indicators such as sense of meaning and purpose, life satisfaction, self-rated health and self-rated mental health. Using data from Wave 3 of the Canadian Social Survey, this infographic looks at a strong sense of meaning and purposeNote  among the population aged 15 years and older in Canada’s 10 provinces’.


Table 1
6 in 10 people in Canada have a strong sense of meaning and purpose.
Table summary
This table displays the results of 6 in 10 people in Canada have a strong sense of meaning and purpose.. The information is grouped by Region (appearing as row headers), Percentage of people with a strong sense of meaning and purpose (appearing as column headers).
Region Percentage of people with a strong sense of meaning and purpose
Atlantic Canada 61%
Quebec 67%
Ontario 58%
Prairies 56%
British Columbia 53%

The percentage of people with a strong sense of meaning and purpose is 59% in Canada. This percentage is 69% among people living in rural areas and 58% among those living in urban areas.


Table 2
Having a strong sense of meaning and purpose generally increases with age.
Table summary
This table displays the results of Having a strong sense of meaning and purpose generally increases with age.. The information is grouped by Age group (appearing as row headers), Men and Women (appearing as column headers).
Age group Men Women
15 to 24 50% 55%
25 to 34 48% 58%
35 to 44 55% 63%
45 to 54 61% 61%
55 to 64 61% 65%
65 to 74 65% 65%
75 and older 61% 64%

Fewer than 3 in 10 people in Canada with fair or poor mental health reported a strong sense of meaning and purpose.

Percentage reporting a strong sense of meaning and purpose among people…

  • With excellent or very good overall health: 72%
  • With fair or poor overall health: 34%
  • With excellent or very good mental health: 79%
  • With fair or poor mental health: 26%

A sense of meaning and purpose and overall life satisfaction are central to having a good quality of life.

Percentage reporting a strong sense of meaning and purpose among people with high life satisfaction:Note  84%.

Source: Canadian Social Survey, Wave 3, October to December 2021.

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