(Submitted)

More Canadians report high levels of happiness after age 55: survey

Slightly more people reported high level of happiness in East Coast and Quebec, with B.C. in third

A new national survey suggests Canadians are happier after age 55 and when they earn a higher income, but also indicates most don’t consider money as a key factor affecting their happiness.

The Happiness Index compiled by Leger, asked Canadians across the country to rate their level of happiness on a scale of one to 10 and note which factors they believe influence their happiness the most.

The online survey, conducted between June 11 and 17, found about half of respondents ranked their happiness as at least eight out of 10, with almost no difference between rural and urban areas.

Slightly more participants reported a high level of happiness in the East Coast and Quebec — 56 and 55 per cent respectively — with British Columbia coming in third at 52 per cent.

Ontario participants were at the bottom of the list, with only 47 per cent reporting a high level of happiness.

High happiness scores remained steady at 44 per cent for participants between the ages of 18 and 54, but spiked to 61 per cent after age 55.

Participants with higher incomes were also more likely to have a high happiness score.

READ MORE: Canada slips in ranks while Finland tops global happiness report

Forty-four per cent of those making $40,000 or less per year reported a high level of happiness, but that number rose to 53 per cent for those earning up to $80,000 per year and to 58 per cent for those with even higher incomes.

Yet only eight per cent said the state of their finances was a key driver of their happiness, on par with satisfaction with romantic relationships, the study indicates.

The factors participants deemed most influential on happiness were a sense of freedom and the belief they were living the life they had imagined for themselves, with 24 and 19 per cent of respondents identifying those as key.

Between five and seven per cent highlighted recognition from peers and family, health, how worried they are about the future and the courteousness of others as main factors affecting their happiness.

“Maybe making more money means that you can do more things (and) that allows you to feel happy,” but money itself is not what people believe makes them happy, said Dave Scholz, Leger’s president of communications.

“If you take away those first two — sense of freedom and living the life you’ve always dreamed — the next six are really all tied,” and close together in importance, he said.

“I think if you don’t have a satisfying romantic relationship, if you don’t have your health, you may not be able to have a sense of freedom or live the life that you want.”

Overall, there is a greater focus on happiness now, particularly in the workplace, a shift that appears largely driven by millennials, the first generation to come of age in this millennium, Scholz said.

“Millennials are asking for more, and part of being happy is being happy with what you have,” he said. “But 55 and over is happiest because they’re in the place they want to be — retired.”

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from Feb. 17 to 23

PHOTOS: Looking back at 2010 Olympics with top 10 images captured by Chilliwack photojournalist

Progress photographer, Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

PHOTOS: Spirit of the People Powwow underway now in Chilliwack

Thousands of people have gathered this weekend to take part in the powwow open to the public

Cabaret of Wonders returns to Chilliwack with both new and familiar magicians

New material, new performers at Shawn Farquhar’s Cabaret of Wonders XVIII at Cultural Centre

Over a dozen birds found mysteriously dead on Abbotsford road

Ministry of Agriculture notified of the strange occurrence on No. 4 Road

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citzensip, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Homicide team investigating after body found in Abbotsford

Resident finds deceased person on Keeping Road on Sumas Mountain

Most Read