Monday, November 29, 2010

Torontonians are the least happy people in Canada: study

Skyline of TorontoImage via Wikipedia
Elizabeth Haggarty Toronto Star
Oh, Toronto, you are a glum lot — well, at least compared to the rest of Canada.
When it comes to happiness, Torontonians fall at the bottom of the pack, according to a new study.
Does Money Matter?: Determining the Happiness of Canadians examined the life satisfaction and happiness of Canadians according to where they lived.
With a happiness rating of 4.15, the Toronto CMA came last, falling below the Canadian average of 4.24. Sherbrooke, Que., and Brantford tied at the top of the list with a score of 4.36.
Ontario did not fare any better than its largest city, lingering at the bottom of the happy-provinces list along with British Columbia.
So, where are all the happy Canadians? You will find them in P.E.I and Quebec.
Before you crack the pages of Anne of Green Gables in search of an elusive happiness, consider that we are competing amongst a very happy lot: Canada consistently ranks among the five happiest nations in the world, and is the happiest member of the G7.
“You’re not miserable, you are just slightly less happy than other Canadians on average,” Andrew Sharpe, Executive Director of the Centre for the Study of Living Standards points out.
So, why are we less satisfied with life than our provincial counterparts?
“[Lower happiness levels are] linked to the higher levels of stress in Toronto that may be associated with two-hour commutes,” said Sharpe.
We also suffer from “less of a feeling of community because of the large concentration of population and trend towards skyscraper living.”
Toronto’s status as the immigrant capital of Canada also affects our happiness rating.
“Immigrants tend to be less happy than other Canadians because of their employment problems and because when they are employed they tend to earn less than other Canadians,” said Sharpe.
Sharpe points to this as a clear sign that more needs to be done to improve the experience of immigrants in Canada.
The study found that while income did not have a considerable effect on a person’s happiness, overall health and employment statues certainly did.
So, what should you do to boost your statistical chances of happiness? Move to Sherbrooke, Que., complete your post secondary education, and find a life-partner.
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