Pandemic Sees Canadians Become The Most Dissatisfied Since 2003, Says StatCan Study

Canadians act cheery, but most are feeling a big drop in the quality of their life during the pandemic. A Statistics Canada (StatCan) analysis shows how the average person’s life satisfaction has changed between 2018 and 2020. The agency found polarization in scores – a higher level at the top and bottom, with less middle ground. The polarizing effect isn’t even though, with more people sliding to the bottom of the scale. Canadians now perceive themselves to be the least satisfied since 2003.

Canadians Satisfied With Life, Drops To 17 Year Low

Canada’s national statistics agency found life satisfaction has plummeted during the pandemic. In June 2020, the average Canadian rated life satisfaction as a 6.71, down 1.38 points from 2018. Breaking it down, only 40% of people rated life an 8 or above, down from 72% in 2018. On the flip side, 40% rated life a 6 or lower, up from 12%. Fewer people at the top, and a lot more people at the bottom. 

Employment Made A Slight Difference, But Not Much

Whether Canadians were employed or not, they both perceive sharp declines in life satisfaction. Those employed had a mean life satisfaction of 6.83 out of 10 in 2020, down 1.35 points from 2018. Employed, but absent from work, came in at 6.32, down 1.77 points. Those not employed rated a mean score of 6.67 in 2020, down 1.28 points from 2018. Yes, people employed were just a little more satisfied with life than those totally unemployed. 

Canadian Immigrants See Slightly Bigger Drop In Life Satisfaction

Immigrants went from rating their lives higher than Canadians in some cases, to rating it lower. People born in Canada rated their life satisfaction a mean of 6.81 in 2020, up 1.30 points from 2018. Canadians born in the US/Europe/Australasia had a mean score of 6.40, down 1.74 points over the same period. Canadian Immigrants from Asia dropped to a mean score of 6.40, down 1.74 points from 2018. Immigrants from all other regions had the highest score – 6.93, down 1.14 points over the period. 

At a high level, the average Canadian is seeing their life satisfaction drop. However, it’s interesting to note the polarization of the impact of the pandemic. Most people are less satisfied, with a big portion of the population sliding lower on the scale. Those who are satisfied, seem to be ranking higher than previously. There’s very little middle ground.

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  • V 3 years ago

    Maybe life sucks because everyone’s driving up home prices to the point it’s stressing everyone out. Immigrants got to break their backs just to live in a house. Maybe the government should have just let it played out instead of fueling the fire!

  • I think 3 years ago

    Early signs of increasingly growing gap between the have and the have nots, social friction and ultimately social unrest. All a side effect of government policy that has inflated asset prices resulting in the rich getting richer and everyone else getting poorer. Get ready for the ride of a lifetime; it will make history and it won’t be pretty .

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