Wellbeing as the lens for decision-making in Canada

Read: The 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. Our next issue of How are Canadians Really doing? will be coming out in 2025. While the most current data will always lag behind the release year, we have close to 30 years of trend data, including some during the Covid era, to help us imagine what might happen to the wellbeing of Canadians over the next few years, and help policy-makers make informed decisions for everyday Canadians.

About the Canadian Index of Wellbeing

What we do

Domains and indicators 

CIW logo

Start the conversation

Watch CIW Director, Dr. Bryan Smale, explain the importance of getting beyond GDP to measure and track changes in wellbeing. Two of the CIW's community partners (Nancy Mattes, former Director of Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo and Danny Graham, Chief Engagement Officer of Engage Nova Scotia) explain how using the CIW is providing a systems-thinking, collaborative approach to solving complex social issues in their communities.

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

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