Vancouver unhappiest city in Canada: Survey

B.C. cities rank low on Statistics Canada list of happy places

Vancouver is the unhappiest city in the country

B.C. may be a balmy lotus land where you can theoretically ski, golf and swim in the same day, but that doesn’t seem to make us any happier than the rest of the country.

A national survey of life happiness across Canada found Vancouver was dead last among 33 cities surveyed, just behind Toronto.

Statistics Canada’s How’s Life in the City report paints a bleak picture of residents in other B.C. cities as well.

Kelowna ranked highest at #12, Abbotsford was 24th (behind Winnipeg and Regina), while Victoria, which taunts the rest of the country with its January flower count, was 27th.

Respondents were asked to rate how they feel about their life as a whole right now on a satisfaction scale from 0 to 10. The question was asked of 340,000 Canadians between 2009 and 2013 as part of broad social and health surveys, and the results were averaged by census metropolitan area and economic region.

Topping the list of happy places were Saguenay and Trois-Rivieres in Quebec, followed by St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Sudbury, Ontario.

The gap between the cities ranked is not large.

Vancouverites rated their life satisfaction on average at 7.8 out of 10, while Victoria and Abbotsford averaged 7.9, Kelowna was 8.0 and chart-topping Saguenay is just over 8.2.

The findings also show 40 to 45 per cent of residents in Sudbury, Thunder Bay and St. John’s rated their life happiness a 9 or 10 compared to less than 35 per cent in Vancouver, the lowest in the country.

It also measured the other end of the scale – the people who were least happy.

The cities with the largest numbers of residents rating their life a 6 or lower were Windsor, Toronto, Abbotsford, Peterborough, St. Catherines and Vancouver, while Quebec cities had the fewest number of low scores.

Life satisfaction appears to be higher in smaller communities, the report says, noting the top ranked cities have fewer than 250,000 residents, while Toronto and Vancouver are at the bottom.

It cited a 2014 study that found “life satisfaction and happiness are lower in denser, more urbanized settings.”

The Statistics Canada analysis points to health as a key factor for happiness, along with economic and social factors such as income, employment and marriage status.

“Individuals rating their health as ‘excellent’ have life satisfaction scores a full point higher than those rating their health as ‘good’, and almost three points higher than those rating their health as ‘poor’,” it says.

Being unemployed is a downer, it adds, while richer households tend to be happier.

According to a global measuring stick, the World Happiness Report, income is the most important of six key variables that account for three quarters of the variation in life satisfaction among people in the same country.

The study also ranked economic regions. Northern Quebec was the country’s happiest.

B.C.’s regions scored an average happiness level of 8.1 in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Kootenays; 8.0 in the Cariboo, Thompson-Okanagan and North Coast-Nechako; and 7.8, the lowest in the country, in the northeast.

Just Posted

Council balks at new groundwater maps in Maple Ridge’s long-term plan

Wants staff to later vote on removing them, and refer issue to province

Maple Ridge businesses, residents looking for relief from tent city

Both have been challenged by being near homeless camp.

UPDATE: Province putting temporary modular housing on Burnett Street

Expected to take five months, will work with city on solution to homeless camp.

Paramedics say ambulances sitting idle

Shortages in Maple Ridge, Metro Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded after swearing at student during 2017 altercation

Gregory Norman Brock was issued letter of discipline, suspended three days without pay.

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Most Read