Health Fact Sheets
Life satisfaction, 2017

Release date: March 26, 2019

In 2017, 51.2% of Canadians aged 12 and older reported that they were satisfied with life with an additional 41.7% reporting that they were very satisfied (Chart 1).Note Males were more likely to report being dissatisfied than females (2.4%, 1.9%), while the distribution did not differ by sex among the other four categories.Note The proportion of people who reported being satisfied or very satisfied in 2017 (92.9%) has remained stable since 2015 (93.1%).

Chart 1

Data table for Chart 1 
Data table for chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 1 Males, Lower 95% confidence interval, Upper 95% confidence interval and Females, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Males Lower 95% confidence interval Upper 95% confidence interval Females Lower 95% confidence interval Upper 95% confidence interval
percent percent
Very Satisfied 41.3 40.3 42.2 42.0 41.1 42.9
Satisfied 51.5 50.6 52.5 50.9 50.0 51.9
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 4.2 3.9 4.6 4.6 4.2 5.1
Dissatisfied 2.4 2.1 2.7 1.9 1.6 2.1
Very Dissatisfied 0.6 0.4 0.7 0.5 0.4 0.6

Males and females aged 12 to 17 were the most likely to report being satisfied or very satisfied with life (98.4% of males and 97.3% of females). Although more than 9 out of 10 females report a high level of satisfaction, this proportion decreases with age. Among females, life satisfaction decreased between each age group from age 12 to 64. There was a similar decrease for males, although there was no difference between the 18 to 34 and 35 to 49 age groups (Chart 2).

Chart 2

Data table for Chart 2 
Data table for chart 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 2 Males, Lower 95% confidence interval, Upper 95% confidence interval and Females, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Males Lower 95% confidence interval Upper 95% confidence interval Females Lower 95% confidence interval Upper 95% confidence interval
percent percent
Total
(12 years and older)
92.8 92.3 93.3 93.0 92.5 93.4
12 to 17 years 98.4 97.7 99.1 97.3 96.2 98.4
18 to 34 years 94.7 93.7 95.6 95.3 94.5 96.0
35 to 49 years 93.5 92.6 94.5 93.2 92.2 94.2
50 to 64 years 90.4 89.2 91.6 90.9 89.7 92.1
65 years and older 89.8 88.6 91.0 90.6 89.6 91.6

Research has shown that people who have good mental and physical health are more likely to be satisfied with life.Note Canadians who reported that their overall health was excellent or very good were most likely to be satisfied or very satisfied with their lives (98.1%). In contrast, those who reported that their health was fair or poor were more likely to be dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their life (17.5%, Chart 3).

Chart 3

Data table for Chart 3 
Data table for chart 3
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 3 Excellent/very good health
, Good health and Fair/poor health
, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Excellent/very good health
Good health Fair/poor health
percent
Very satisfied or
satisfied with life
98.1 92.0 63.6
Neither satisfied
nor dissatisfied
1.4 6.0 18.8
Very dissatisfied or
dissatisfied with life
0.6 1.9 17.5

Life satisfaction and healthy behaviours

Life satisfaction was greater for those who reported various healthy behaviours such as being physically active and not smoking.

Among adults and youth, those who were physically active according to the Canadian Physical Activity GuidelinesNote were more likely to report being satisfied or very satisfied with life (94.3% of adults, 99.2% of youth) compared to those who reported no activity or were physically active below the recommended guidelines (90.1% of adults, 97.4% of youth).

Canadians were more likely to report being satisfied or very satisfied with life when they reported less than 4 hours of screen time (94.5%) compared to those who reported 4 to 6 hours (91.4%) or 6 or more hours (83.2%).Note

Among current smokers, reported life satisfaction was lower than nonsmokers. Those who reported smoking either daily or occasionally were less likely to report being satisfied or very satisfied with life (86.9%) compared to nonsmokers (94.1%).

Life satisfaction by geography

The proportion of residents who were satisfied or very satisfied with life was lower than the national average (92.9%) in:

  • Nova Scotia (91.1%)
  • British Columbia (91.8%)

The proportion of residents who were satisfied or very satisfied with life was higher than the national average in Quebec (94.0%).

Life satisfaction was in line with the national average in all other provinces. Canadians residing in rural areas were more likely to report being satisfied or very satisfied with their life (93.9%) compared to those living in urban settings (92.7%). 

Start of text box

About Life Satisfaction

Life satisfaction is a personal subjective assessment of global well-being. In the Canadian Community Health Survey, respondents are asked to rate their current life satisfaction on an 11-point scale (0 to 10), where 0 represents “very dissatisfied” and 10 represents “very satisfied”. “Satisfied” or “very satisfied” represents those who indicated a value of 6 or more out of 10. “Dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” represents those who indicated a value of 4 or less out of 10. Those who indicated a value of 5 on the scale were categorized as “neither satisfied nor dissatisfied”.

End of text box

References

Lu C., G. Schellenberg , F. Hou, and J.F. Helliwell. 2015. How’s Life in the City? Life Satisfaction Across Census Metropolitan Areas and Economic Regions in Canada. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 11-626-X, no. 46. (accessed July 4, 2018).

Strine T.W., D.P. Chapman, L.S. Baluz, D.G. Moriarty, and A.H. Mokdad. 2008. The Associations Between Life Satisfaction and Health related Quality of Life, Chronic Illness, and Health Behaviors among U.S. Community-dwelling Adults. J Community Health. 33:40-50. (accessed July 4, 2018).

Data

Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from table 13-10-0096-01.

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: