By the numbers: 10 reasons why Canadians can gloat on July 1

Canadians have reason to feel grateful. Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Today, Canadians from coast to coast are celebrating — and with good reason.

In the lottery of life, being born in Canada is a win.

And many others get an opportunity to build a healthy and prosperous life here for themselves and their children as immigrants.

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Canada 150: What travellers have to say about Canadians – Jun 5, 2017

From the cradle to the grave, here are the socio-economic indicators that show why Canadians — whether native-born or naturalized — are so lucky:

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1. Parental leave

Canadian babies are off to a good start. With roughly a year of available parental leave (soon to become 18 months), they get plenty of time to hang out with Mom and Dad in the earliest stages of life, which experts say encourages breastfeeding and is associated with a longer life expectancy.

Though there are still things it could do better, Canada’s is one of the world’s top countries when it comes to parental benefits.

The 2017 Liberal budget introduces the options for parents to take 18 months of maternity and parental leave. Nino H. Photography / Getty Images

2. Children’s education

When they start hitting the books, Canadians are at the top of the class. We consistently ace the best-known ranking of global literacy by science, mathematics and reading.

A young boy participates in an activity in a Nova Scotia classroom. File/Global News

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3. College degree

It gets even better when you look at university. Canadians are No. 1 when it comes to the percentage of adults with a higher education degree, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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Canadians have the world’s highest rate of adults with a higher education degree. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

4. Median income

Canadians make good money. Sure, America’s rich are richer, which means the U.S. has higher incomes on average.

But when you look at how much the typical family takes home, those living north of the border are better off. The U.S. median household income was only $53,889 ($68,932 Canadian) in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In Canada, it was $78,870 in 2014.

Canadians have a higher median income than Americans. Getty Images

5. Average work week

We make a good living and work less than many others. The average Canadian work week is just under 35 hours (accounting for two weeks of vacation per year), according to OECD numbers.

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Canadians work a reasonable 34-hour week, on average. Getty Images

6. Home ownership

The housing boom has made it hard to afford a house in Vancouver and Toronto. But Canadians are still more likely to own their home than most other people around the world. Nearly 29 per cent of Canadians own their home outright (compared to less than 23 per cent in the U.S.) and 41 per cent own their property with a mortgage (40 per cent in the U.S.).

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7. Equality

For gender equality, we’re in the top 25 per cent of countries. When asked about whether society should accept homosexuality, 80 per cent of Canadians say yes (and we score pretty well on LGBTQ rights overall).

We also fare well in terms of equality of opportunity: Upward social mobility in Canada is higher than in the U.S., the U.K. and Germany.

People take part in the Pride parade in Toronto, Sunday, June 25, 2017. Mark Blinch/CP

8. Life expectancy

Canadians live 81.5 years on average, almost three years longer than Americans. Overall, we’re number 13 out of 38 countries reviewed by the OECD.

Canadians live almost three years longer than Americans. Getty Images

9. Immigration

Is it any wonder everyone wants to live here? When you look at countries’ share of net immigration, Canada ranks 19 out of over 200 jurisdictions, according to UN data (which includes countries with large inflows of refugees, like South Sudan).

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Thirty-four new Canadians receive their citizenship in Halifax. The Canadian Press

READ MORE: Could you pass the Canadian citizenship test? 

10. Happiness

And that’s why Canadians are one of the world’s happiest peoples.

Cheers, Canada.


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