(Submitted)

More Canadians report high levels of happiness after age 55: survey

Slightly more people reported high level of happiness in East Coast and Quebec, with B.C. in third

A new national survey suggests Canadians are happier after age 55 and when they earn a higher income, but also indicates most don’t consider money as a key factor affecting their happiness.

The Happiness Index compiled by Leger, asked Canadians across the country to rate their level of happiness on a scale of one to 10 and note which factors they believe influence their happiness the most.

The online survey, conducted between June 11 and 17, found about half of respondents ranked their happiness as at least eight out of 10, with almost no difference between rural and urban areas.

Slightly more participants reported a high level of happiness in the East Coast and Quebec — 56 and 55 per cent respectively — with British Columbia coming in third at 52 per cent.

Ontario participants were at the bottom of the list, with only 47 per cent reporting a high level of happiness.

High happiness scores remained steady at 44 per cent for participants between the ages of 18 and 54, but spiked to 61 per cent after age 55.

Participants with higher incomes were also more likely to have a high happiness score.

READ MORE: Canada slips in ranks while Finland tops global happiness report

Forty-four per cent of those making $40,000 or less per year reported a high level of happiness, but that number rose to 53 per cent for those earning up to $80,000 per year and to 58 per cent for those with even higher incomes.

Yet only eight per cent said the state of their finances was a key driver of their happiness, on par with satisfaction with romantic relationships, the study indicates.

The factors participants deemed most influential on happiness were a sense of freedom and the belief they were living the life they had imagined for themselves, with 24 and 19 per cent of respondents identifying those as key.

Between five and seven per cent highlighted recognition from peers and family, health, how worried they are about the future and the courteousness of others as main factors affecting their happiness.

“Maybe making more money means that you can do more things (and) that allows you to feel happy,” but money itself is not what people believe makes them happy, said Dave Scholz, Leger’s president of communications.

“If you take away those first two — sense of freedom and living the life you’ve always dreamed — the next six are really all tied,” and close together in importance, he said.

“I think if you don’t have a satisfying romantic relationship, if you don’t have your health, you may not be able to have a sense of freedom or live the life that you want.”

Overall, there is a greater focus on happiness now, particularly in the workplace, a shift that appears largely driven by millennials, the first generation to come of age in this millennium, Scholz said.

“Millennials are asking for more, and part of being happy is being happy with what you have,” he said. “But 55 and over is happiest because they’re in the place they want to be — retired.”

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

CN train derailment cleared between Terrace and Prince Rupert

The CN mainline is now open, following a train derailment mid-way between… Continue reading

President and CEO leaving Coast Mountain College

Burt will say goodbye to CMNT come September

UPDATE: Downed power pole shuts down Petro-Canada

Business operator says Waste Management was responsible for the incident

Fire burns down barn and workshop near Tyhee Lake

Owner Martin Hennig estimates around $200,000 in uninsured losses after the buildings burned down.

Portugese national concertmaster headlines classical music festival

Spirit of the North festival will feature internationally-renowned musicians to local kids

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read