TORONTO – Canada has been named the world’s fifth happiest industrialized nation, according to a new quality of life measure from a leading international organization.
“Canada performs very well in many measures of well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index,” reads the report. “Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards.”
Australia took the top spot while Norway and Sweden came in second and third, respectively. The full list can be found here.
READ MORE: 25 happiest cities in Canada
Released Monday, the “Better Life Index” from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reveals to users for the first time what more than 60,000 people around the world believe to be the most important factors for quality of life.
This living database, viewable via an interactive map, allows policymakers to see what matters to their citizens.
The index ranks countries according to 11 different criteria, which it views as essential to a happy life. Indicators include community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, housing, income, jobs, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance.
Key Canadian findings
In Canada, 89 per cent of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, well above the OECD average of 75 per cent.
“This is truer of women than of men, as 88 per cent of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 90 per cent of women,” reads the report. “This reverses the OECD average picture, where men are slightly more likely to have graduated high school.”
According to the report, Canada is a top-performing country in terms of the quality of its educational system where the average student scored 522 in reading literacy, math and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
“This score is higher than the OECD average of 497, making Canada one of the strongest OECD countries in students’ skills,” says the report. “On average in Canada, girls outperformed boys by eight points, lower than the average OECD gap of 10 points.”
The report also found that in Canada, over 72 per cent of people aged 15 to 64 in Canada have a paid job, more than the OECD employment average of 65 per cent.
Life expectancy at birth in Canada is 81 years, one year higher than the OECD average of 80 years.
In general, 80 per cent of Canadians said that they have more positive experiences in an average day, which include feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc., than negative ones such as pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc.
- with files from The Canadian Press
© Shaw Media, 2014