CIW composite index reveals Canadian wellbeing is on the decline

Images for the 8 Headline indicators linking to the CIW infographicsHow are Canadians really doing? Is our overall quality of life getting better or worse? Are we getting closer or moving farther away from realizing the kind of Canada we want to live in?

The 2012 Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) composite report shows in the seventeen year period from 1994 to 2010, Canada's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by a robust 28.9% while our quality of life only improved by a very modest 5.7%. Further, it reveals that the decline in our wellbeing continues despite subsequent economic recovery.

The findings uncover some troubling truths about the connection between our economy and our wellbeing. When Canada’s economy was thriving, Canadians saw only modest improvements in their overall quality of life, but when the economy faltered our wellbeing took a disproportionate step backward. It begs the question: Are our governments truly responding to the needs and values of everyday Canadians?

Read How are Canadians really doing? (PDF) and ask yourself is this the Canada you want? Where did the benefits from our economic growth go? Why is Canada still creating one of the world’s largest Ecological Footprints when individual Canadians are successfully reducing our Green House Gas emissions? Why are we living longer, but experiencing poorer health? How did the lion's share of gains in income and wealth end up going to the richest 20%, while the gap down to the rest of us is growing even larger? 

Explore the infographics to see what areas of wellbeing are improving or getting worse.

Watch our video and start talking to your friends and families, colleagues and elected officials, about the kind of Canada you want.

In these uncertain times, we are fortunate to live in a country where we still have choices about how we want the future to look. Each of us has the power to voice – or not – our choices about the kind of society in which we want to live. The CIW provides a depth of understanding that can help steer Canada forward and build a society that responds to the global call for greater fairness. We challenge you to start talking about the future you want, so that all Canadians can enjoy the highest possible wellbeing status.

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