Yes the economy still isn’t doing all that great, the cost of living and owning a home keeps rising while our wage rate doesn’t keep up, and the news bombards us with bad news after bad news, but somehow we make it through all of that while still smiling. Congratulations, Canadians, you are one of the happiest people in the world!
We didn’t quite get the gold this time, but a silver medal isn’t bad. Yes, according to a well-being survey conducted by a Gallup poll, we are the second-happiest country in the world (we were actually tied with Sweden). Results are based on face-to-face and phone interviews with about 1,000 adults in 124 countries.
According to the survey, 69 per cent of Canadians rated their lives as “thriving,” which means most of us aren’t just getting by, we’re doing quite well. Respondents were asked to rate their lives at the moment and their expectations for the next five years on a scale from one to 10. If respondents rated their lives as seven or better and their expectations as eight or better they were considered “thriving”. Despite being the richest country in the world, the United States finished 12th on the list, with 59 per cent of respondents “thriving.” The country of Chad ranked the lowest amongst the countries interviewed.
And since life sometimes has its low moments, most of us Canadians are lucky enough to have someone to turn to. According to the survey, 95 per cent of us have at least one person who we can turn to for help in our time of need – which is much higher than almost all other countries assessed in the poll. According to Gallup, only the citizens of Denmark are happier. Seventy-two percent of people in Denmark rated themselves as “thriving.” The conductors of the poll argue that world leaders should focus not only on the country’s Gross Domestic Product as an indicator of the residents’ well-being, but also consider other, more vague, factors such as happiness and satisfaction.
It is particularly great to see that Canada is such a happy, prosperous nation, because it proves that multiculturalism as a policy works. We have among the highest proportion of foreign-born people in our population and Canadians continue to be among the most tolerant of minority groups, such as ethnic groups and people in same-sex relationships. So for those people that always complain about our multiculturalism and immigration policies, lighten up and smile once in a while – maybe if you do we’ll be number one next time! Look out Denmark, here we come!