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.
WATCH: What travellers say about Canadians
From the cradle to the grave, here are the socio-economic indicators that show why Canadians — whether native-born or naturalized — are so lucky:
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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).
And that’s why Canadians are one of the world’s happiest peoples.