Selected indicators of quality of life in Canada

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This dashboard allows users to examine the latest data for six indicators of the Quality of Life Framework for Canada: life satisfaction, sense of meaning and purpose, future outlook, loneliness, someone to count on, and sense of belonging to local community.

The data in this dashboard come from the Canadian Social Survey (CSS).The CSS collects data on different topics related to social issues every three months (quarter). The target population for this voluntary survey is all non-institutionalized persons 15 years of age and older, living off reserve in Canada’s 10 provinces.

For information on the survey questions used to measure the six quality of life indicators in the CSS, please refer to the “Definitions” tab.

The quarterly reference periods correspond to Canadian Social Survey (CSS) data collection periods, also referred to as CSS waves. “Q2 2021” refers to Wave 1 of the CSS, which was in collection from April 23 to June 9, 2021. “Q3 2021” refers to Wave 2, which was in collection from August 6 to September 18, 2021. “Q4 2021” refers to Wave 3, which was in collection from October 26 to December 7, 2021. Q1 2022 refers to Wave 4, which was in collection from January 28 to March 13, 2022. Please note that only the life satisfaction indicator is available for Q2 2021.

Gender refers to an individual’s personal and social identity as a man, woman or non-binary person (a person who is not exclusively a man or a woman). Given that the non-binary population is small, it is necessary to aggregate the data to protect the confidentiality of responses provided by the Canadian population. Most information from the Canadian Social Survey is disseminated using a two-category gender variable. In these cases, people in the “non-binary person” category are distributed into the other two gender categories.

Caution should be used when interpreting results for persons with a disability, difficulty or long-term condition because of the collection method and survey coverage. Data were collected through self-response via an electronic questionnaire with telephone interview follow-up for non-response. The overall accessibility of the survey was reduced since it was not available in other formats, such as American Sign Language or Langue des signes québécoise and braille, and no proxy reporting was allowed, meaning that family members or caregivers could not respond on behalf of a person with a long-term condition or disability. Excluded from the survey's coverage are full-time residents of institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, residential care facilities, such as group homes for persons with disabilities or addictions, shelters, correctional and custodial facilities.

Definitions

Definitions

Life satisfaction: Respondents were asked, “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?”

Sense of meaning and purpose: Respondents were asked, “Using a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 means ‘Not at all’ and 10 means ‘Completely,’ to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?”

Future outlook: Respondents were asked, “Thinking about your life in general, how often would you say you have a hopeful view of the future?”, where possible response categories included “Always,” “Often,” “Sometimes,” “Rarely” and “Never.”

Loneliness: Respondents were asked, “How often do you feel lonely?”, where possible response categories included “Always,” “Often,” “Sometimes,” “Rarely” and “Never.”

Someone to count on: Respondents were asked, “How often would you say you have people you can depend on to help you when you really need it?”, where possible response categories included “Always,” “Often,” “Sometimes,” “Rarely” and “Never.”

Sense of belonging to local community: Respondents were asked, “How would you describe your sense of belonging to your local community?” where possible response categories included “Very strong,” “Somewhat strong,” “Somewhat weak,” “Very weak” and “No opinion.”

Gender: Refers to an individual’s personal and social identity as a man, woman or non-binary person (a person who is not exclusively a man or a woman). A person’s gender may differ from their sex at birth and from what is indicated on their current identification or legal documents, such as their birth certificate, passport or driver’s licence. A person’s gender may change over time. Some people may not identify with a specific gender.

Non-immigrant: Refers to a person who was born in Canada or who is a Canadian citizen by birth.

Immigrant: Refers to a person who is, or who has ever been, a landed immigrant or permanent resident. Such a person has been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Immigrants who have obtained Canadian citizenship by naturalization are included in this group.

Non-permanent resident: Refers to a person from another country with a usual place of residence in Canada and who has a work or study permit or who has claimed refugee status (asylum claimant). Family members living with work or study permit holders are also included, unless these family members are already Canadian citizens, landed immigrants or permanent residents.

Visible minority: The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.”

South Asian: Includes “East Indian,” “Pakistani,” and “Sri Lankan.”

Southeast Asian: Includes “Vietnamese,” “Cambodian,” “Laotian,” and “Thai.”

West Asian: Includes “Afghan” and “Iranian.”

Visible minority, not included elsewhere: Includes persons who provided a write-in response such as “Guyanese,” “West Indian,” “Tibetan,” “Polynesian,” and “Pacific Islander.”

Multiple visible minorities: Includes persons who indicated more than one visible minority (for example, “Black” and “South Asian”).

Not a visible minority: Includes Indigenous persons as well as persons who were not considered to be members of a visible minority group.

Single Indigenous identity: Includes persons who identify with only one Indigenous group, that is, First Nations (North American Indian), Métis or Inuk (Inuit). The CSS data do not include people living on reserves or in the territories.

Multiple Indigenous identities: Includes persons who identify with two or all three of these Indigenous groups. The CSS data do not include people living on reserves or in the territories.

Persons with a disability, difficulty or long-term condition: Includes persons who identified as a person with a disability and/or reported at least one long-term difficulty or condition. Individuals could have indicated more than one type of disability, difficulty or long-term condition.

In the CSS, to identify persons with and without a disability, difficulty or long-term condition, respondents were first asked about any long-term health conditions or difficulties they had related to seeing, hearing, walking, using stairs, using their hands or fingers or doing other physical activities, learning, remembering or concentrating, and about any emotional, psychological or mental health condition, or any other health problem or long-term condition. Only conditions that have lasted or are expected to last six months or longer were included. Participants were then asked if they identified as a person with a disability. This differs from the method used by Statistics Canada in the Canadian Survey on Disability, which includes disability screening questions to identify persons with a disability and calculate the official rates of disability in Canada.

LGBTQ2+ people: Includes people who reported their sexual orientation as lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, or a sexual orientation not elsewhere classified. It also includes persons whose reported sex assigned at birth does not correspond to their gender, including those whose gender is not exclusively man or woman (regardless of sexual orientation).

Non-LGBTQ2+ people: Includes people who reported their sexual orientation as heterosexual and whose reported sex assigned at birth is the same as their gender.

Other activity: Includes persons who reported their main activity during the last week as one of the following: “Vacation from paid work,” “Looking for paid work,” “Going to school, including vacation from school,” “Caring for children,” “Household work,” “Maternity/paternity or parental leave,” “Long-term illness,” “Volunteering,” “Caregiving other than for children” or “Other.”

Population centres: A population centre has a population of at least 1,000 and a population density of 400 persons or more per square kilometre, based on population counts from the current Census of Population. All areas outside population centres are classified as rural areas. Taken together, population centres and rural areas cover all of Canada.

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