The Canadian Index of Wellbeing is a Canadian made innovation that is two things: an idea and a tool.
First and foremost, the CIW is a big idea. It is an idea that regards wellbeing as encompassing a wide variety of aspects of life, beyond economic measures like Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is a conceptual framework drawing on a broad spectrum of domains of life that has the potential to create an ongoing national dialogue that will influence how Canadians think, feel, and act with regard to their wellbeing and the wellbeing of their communities.
Second, the CIW is a tool that is measuring what matters to Canadians. It tracks wellbeing from year to year in an effort to offer clear, effective, and regular information on the quality of life of all Canadians. It is already providing unique insights into the quality of life of Canadians – overall, and in specific areas that matter: our standard of living, our health, the quality of our environment, our education and skill levels, the way we use our time, the vitality of our communities, our participation in the democratic process, and the state of our leisure and culture.
The combination is powerful. It is more than just a number. The CIW reflects real life.
The CIW provides information that policy shapers, decision makers, media, community organizations and the person on the street will be able to use to get the latest trend information in an easily understandable format. Our products include:
- A conceptual framework;
- Domains or categories of wellbeing;
- Our signature product, the CIW Composite Index; and
- A Community Wellbeing Survey.
We also provide periodic special reports and a methodology paper.
Going forward, the CIW will develop a series of technical and working papers. They will advance our understanding on the interconnections among our domains and report of the wellbeing of specific population sub-groups and sub-regions within Canada.