Wellbeing as the lens for decision-making in Canada

Read: The 2016 CIW National Index Report: How Are Canadians Really Doing?

Can we say that our lives have improved alongside economic growth?

Until now, Canada did not have an answer to this question. GDP is a number that tells us about one dimension of our wellbeing – our economy. The CIW as a partner to GDP provides Canadians with a fuller picture of wellbeing that measures real life, for real people. We start with eight domains that focus on key aspects of life and use them to measure what really matters to Canadians. 

Through several rounds of coast-to-coast-to-coast public consultations with everyday Canadians, they told us wellbeing frames their aspirations.

Understanding the interconnectedness of many aspects of wellbeing, and using it to fuel evidence-based and community-focused decision-making, is why the CIW exists.

The CIW regularly reports on the quality of life of Canadians – nationally, provincially, and locally – and advocates for social change that reflects our values and places wellbeing at the heart of policy.

About the Canadian Index of Wellbeing

What we do

Domains and indicators 

Start the conversation

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

  1. Nov. 28, 2016A Nation's Well-Being Is More Than Just How Rich It Is (The Huffington Post)Young girl in school gym

    By David Morley, President and CEO, UNICEF Canada

    For nearly a century, the global consensus around what makes life worthwhile was thought to be measured by a country's gross domestic product (GDP). Increased economic activity meant new jobs and, in the post-war era, offered a greater chance for peace. It's no wonder countries around the world clung to their economies -- and any signs of economic progress -- for hope.

  2. Nov. 25, 2016Making arts experiences accessible to all is more important than ever (The Globe and Mail)Women admire Canadian studio pottery at the True Nordic exhibition at the Gardiner Museum

    By Kate Taylor

    Esme Gotz and Lorraine Levinson admire Canadian studio pottery at the True Nordic exhibition at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto on October 24, 2016. (JENNIFER ROBERTS For The Globe and Mail)

  3. Nov. 23, 2016Canadians' Quality Of Life Not Keeping Up With Economic Growth: Study

    By Daniel Tencer

    A growing economy is supposed to raise people’s standards of living, but a new study suggests this effect is breaking down in Canada.

    An index of wellbeing published by the University of Waterloo found that Canada’s economy grew by 38 per cent per person between 1994 and 2014, but wellbeing, as measured by the study, only grew by 9.9 per cent.

Read all news
  1. July 10, 20177 easy ways to boost wellbeing this summera summer picture of people relaxing by a pond

  2. June 28, 2017Celebrate! Leisure and culture is good for you…and for CanadaFireworks celebration

    It’s encouraging to see people flocking to national parks, historic sites and free cultural events to celebrate Canada’s 150th with their friends and family. It’s not just about national pride. It’s important for national wellbeing.

  3. May 30, 2017Why GDP needs a partner: the Canadian Index of Wellbeing Do you care more about the length of your commute or today’s GDP numbers? It’s time we cared about both

View all blog posts