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Top 6 Provinces with the Happiest People in Canada

Top 6 Provinces with the Happiest People in Canada

Different people have different ideas about what makes a city happy. Some people might think that a city is happiest when it is full of money and luxury, but places have their own unique aspects that make them a happy place for residents. 

If you’re looking for a place to raise a family or just want a change of scenery, choosing an ideal place is the utmost priority. Read on as we explore the best places in Canada that have the highest scores in happiness and life satisfaction surveys!

What is the happiest city in Canada?

In a 2021 study, Vancouver and Toronto figured as the happiest cities in Canada and ranked 11th and 12th happiest in the world, respectively. 

Both cities scored 7.3 out of 10 on the happiness rating scale that considered overall affordability, salaries, and housing costs as major factors in ranking.

Toronto is usually the most popular city when talking about happiness and has been generally cited as “Canada’s Happiest City” during the past decade. Various studies show contradictory results, however.

According to a 2018 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NABR) and a research paper by the New Vancouver School of Economics, some neighbourhoods in Toronto and Vancouver are home to several of the least happy communities in Canada.

Furthermore, Toronto Foundation’s Vital Signs report in 2019 revealed that Toronto is one of Canada’s least happy cities. The 142-page report assessed various areas, including education, safety, cultural diversity, health, and housing, to determine the scores.

2019 Vital Signs Report
Image from Toronto Foundation’s website | 2019 Vital Signs Report

Most studies about the happiest cities in Canada show erratic data, and this may be due to various factors, like changes in the economy, migration, and world events, and more. 

It’s even worth mentioning that, in 2015, Statistics Canada even named Sadbury, Ontario as the happiest city in Canada. In the data presented, Toronto and Vancouver placed last, while Sadbury’s residents scored their overall life satisfaction a 9 out of 10.

Given all these conflicting results in various studies over the decade, we chose to focus on the latest statistics on the happiest provinces in Canada to help you decide which one to choose in case you’re thinking of moving.

What is the happiest province in Canada?

In Canada, the provinces with the happiest residents are Newfoundland & Labrador (61.7%), Prince Edward Island (59.7%), Quebec (58.7%), New Brunswick (56.8%), Manitoba (56.1%), and Alberta (52.2%). 

According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, what makes them the happiest is the combination of their friendly people, diverse culture, and a strong economy with a low unemployment rate.

1. Newfoundland & Labrador

Newfoundland & Labrador's Homepage
2023 Population528,000
Life Satisfaction Rate61.7%
Cost of LivingOne PersonFamily of 4
Total (without rent)$703$2095
Total (with rent)$1407$3260
Rent & Utilities$704$1165
Monthly Salary (net)$2743

It should come as no surprise that Newfoundland and Labrador takes the top spot as the province with the happiest residents in Canada. After all, it is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, friendly people and welcoming culture.

Health Indicators in Newfoundland & Labrador
Well-beingPerceived mental healthPerceived life stress61.1%
Health conditionsBody mass index (18 years and over); overweightMood disorder, such as depression, and bipolar disorder36.8%

Health behavioursSelf-reported physical activityHeavy drinking49.4%
Health systemRegular healthcare providerInfluenza immunisation87.0%
Personal resourcesLife satisfactionSense of belonging to local community61.7%77.7%
Data sourced from: Statistics Canada

The life satisfaction rate of residents here is exceptionally high with a total of 61.7%—in fact, it’s one of the highest in the country. For starters, its thriving tourism industry has helped fuel a steady economy with numerous job opportunities for locals. 

Plus, people here are often well-connected within their communities, which can contribute to overall happiness. 

Not only that, but the province has plenty of outdoor activities to engage in—from surfing or skiing on the west coast to caving and fishing on the east coast—along with picturesque coastal drives across Long Beach and Gros Morne National Park. 

Top Destinations in Newfoundland & Labrador
Gros Morne National ParkRock-climbingZoatingSwimmingCampingFishing
Terra Nova National ParkKayakingCanoeingCampingFishing
Marble Mountain ResortZipliningSnowboardingHiking
Marble Mountain ResortHikingSwimmingPicnicFishing

These days, more people are looking at this city not just as a place to visit but also as one of the best places to live!

2. Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island's Homepage
2023 Population153,000
Life Satisfaction Rate61.7%
Cost of LivingOne PersonFamily of 4
Total (without rent)$737$2830
Total (with rent)$1648$3852
Rent & Utilities$911$1472
Monthly Salary (net)$1707

If you’re looking for a place to visit with beautiful scenery, rich culture, and a strong sense of community, then Prince Edward Island should be your go-to destination. 

It’s no wonder that this province is considered as the second-happiest province in Canada, due to its overwhelmingly high life satisfaction rate of 59.7%.

Health Indicators in Prince Edward Island
Well-beingPerceived mental healthPerceived life stress73.4%12.8%
Health conditionsBody mass index (18 years and over); overweightMood disorder, such as depression, and bipolar disorder71.0%

Health behavioursSelf-reported physical activityHeavy drinking49.8%
Health systemRegular healthcare providerInfluenza immunisation81.5%
Personal resourcesLife satisfactionSense of belonging to local community59.7%72.0%
Data sourced from: Statistics Canada

Prince Edward Island is home to some of the most breathtaking red sand beaches in all of Canada. You can easily spend days exploring the shorelines and admiring these unique and beautiful landscapes.

This island is full of delicious seafood restaurants that feature some of the freshest fish and shellfish around! From lobster to mussels, you can enjoy all the fresh flavours of the sea without travelling too far from home. 

Top Destinations in Prince Edward Island
PEI National ParkSwimmingWildlife-watchingCampingPicnic
Confederation TrailHikingBikingSnowmobile trail
Brackley BeachSwimmingSurfingKayakingCamping
North RusticoKayakingFishingHiking
Cavendish BeachStrollingSwimmingPicnic

The people on this island are known for their hospitality and friendliness. Everyone here is always willing to help out with whatever you need, so don’t be afraid to ask for directions or advice — you won’t regret it!

3. Quebec

Quebec's Homepage
2023 Population8,500,000
Life Satisfaction Rate58.7%
Cost of LivingOne PersonFamily of 4
Total (without rent)$1537$3651
Total (with rent)$732$2256
Rent & Utilities$805$1395
Monthly Salary (net)$2828

The third happiest province in Canada is Quebec. With a life satisfaction rate of 58.7%, Quebec has a lot going for it – especially when it comes to quality of life and happiness.

Firstly, Quebec is situated in a beautiful area, with picturesque natural scenery and plenty of green spaces.  People here enjoy their good coffee and great food – both of which have been heavily influenced by classic French culture. 

Health Indicators in Quebec
Well-beingPerceived mental healthPerceived life stress61.4%
Health conditionsBody mass index (18 years and over); overweightMood disorder, such as depression, and bipolar disorder36.5%

Health behavioursSelf-reported physical activityHeavy drinking52.6%
Health systemRegular healthcare providerInfluenza immunisation78.5%
Personal resourcesLife satisfactionSense of belonging to local community58.7%61.1%
Data sourced from: Statistics Canada

Plus, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities like skiing or snowshoeing during colder months or hitting up the beach during summertime!

Top Destinations in Quebec
Carnaval de QuébecVisitors can watch:Dog Sled racesParadesDancingSleddingSkating;Snow swimming
Sacacomie LakeCanoeingStar-gazingPicnic
Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National ParkCanoeingPaddlingSkiing in winterSnowshoeingBiking
North of Montreal: the LaurentiansCyclingHikingSkiing

Quebec is home to people from all walks of life; its population consists of francophones, anglophones and allophones alike. Whether you’re a student looking for culture or an expat seeking a relaxed lifestyle—you can find it all here. 

The presence of multiple cultures means that there’s always something new to explore—bringing out the best in everyone who lives there.

4. New Brunswick

New Brunswick's Homepage
2023 Population761,000
Life Satisfaction Rate56.8%
Cost of LivingOne PersonFamily of 4
Total (without rent)$718$2252
Total (with rent)$1501$3456
Rent & Utilities$783$1204
Monthly Salary (net)$3025

When it comes to happiness, New Brunswick comes fourth in Canada with a rate of 56.8%. This maritime province has one of the highest rates of life satisfaction in Canada, according to Statistics Canada.

Health Indicators in New Brunswick
Well-beingPerceived mental healthPerceived life stress56.0%
Health conditionsBody mass index (18 years and over); overweightMood disorder, such as depression, and bipolar disorder35.9%

Health behavioursSelf-reported physical activityHeavy drinking50.1%
Health systemRegular healthcare providerInfluenza immunisation91.9%
Personal resourcesLife satisfactionSense of belonging to local community56.8%76.0%
Data sourced from: Statistics Canada

New Brunswick is a place of natural beauty. With its stunning beaches, lush forests, and an abundance of wildlife, it’s easy to see why so many people flock here for their retreats and vacations.

Top Destinations in New Brunswick
Bay of Fundy and Fundy National ParkSkiingCampingSwimmingGolfing
Hopewell RocksKayakingSwimmingCamping
St. Martins Sea CavesKayakingCanoeingExploring the caves
Parlee Beach and Kouchibouguac National ParkCampingPicnicSwimmingCanoeingBiking
Irving Nature ParkCampingPicnicPlayground playing for kids

This vibrant community culture isn’t limited to just the outdoors however; New Brunswickers have a strong sense of community and will go out of their way to help one another during tough times.

Lastly, with low rental costs and property prices, New Brunswick is also an affordable place to live. This helps people feel more financially secure and less burdened by day-to-day costs – all ingredients for a happy life!

5. Manitoba

Manitoba's Homepage
2023 Population1,034,0000
Life Satisfaction Rate56.1%
Cost of LivingOne PersonFamily of 4
Total (without rent)$706$2179
Total (with rent)$1539$3511
Rent & Utilities$833$1331
Monthly Salary (net)$2200

You may not think of Manitoba as being home to one of Canada’s happiest cities, but it actually is. It has a life satisfaction rating of 56.1%, making it the fifth province with the  highest life satisfaction rating in all of Canada. 

Manitoba is situated right on the Prairies and nestled between the Province of Saskatchewan and Ontario—allowing for easy access to vast expanses of rolling farmlands, forests, and miles and miles of untouched natural beauty.

Health Indicators in Manitoba
Well-beingPerceived mental healthPerceived life stress60.1%
Health conditionsBody mass index (18 years and over); overweightMood disorder, such as depression, and bipolar disorder34.6%

Health behavioursSelf-reported physical activityHeavy drinking54.4%
Health systemRegular healthcare providerInfluenza immunisation83.9%
Personal resourcesLife satisfactionSense of belonging to local community56.1%73.6%
Data sourced from: Statistics Canada

Manitobans are some of the friendliest folks you’ll ever meet. Beyond that, they have an infectious sense of humour and are always there when you need someone to talk to. 

If you’re looking for a welcoming city that embraces everyone from all different types of cultures and backgrounds, then Manitoba is the place for you!

Top Destinations in Manitoba
Grand BeachCasual dining Sun bathingSwimmingPicnic
Hecla Island & Lakeview Hecla ResortHikingGolfingSkiing
FortWhyte Alive
FishingPaddlingSnowshoeingIce skatingSkiing
The Forks National Historic SiteShoppingFine diningCanoeingSkating
Riding Mountain National ParkCountry-skiingCampingWild-life viewing

Manitoba also has some very affordable housing costs compared to other cities in Canada. This means more money saved for things like travel or leisure activities—which can definitely make life more enjoyable!

6. Alberta

Alberta's Homepage
2023 Population4,070,000
Life Satisfaction Rate52.2%
Cost of LivingOne PersonFamily of 4
Total (without rent)$807$2506
Total (with rent)$1787$4178
Rent & Utilities$980$1672
Monthly Salary (net)$3353

Coming in at number six with the rate of 52.2%, Alberta is home to some of the happiest Canadians. So what makes Alberta so happy?

Alberta has one of  the highest life satisfaction rates at 7.7 out of 10 and offers its citizens a variety of job opportunities, good wages, and a wide range of outdoor activities to enjoy. Additionally, it’s one of the most affordable places to live in Canada.

Health Indicators in Alberta
Well-beingPerceived mental healthPerceived life stress63.1%
Health conditionsBody mass index (18 years and over); overweightMood disorder, such as depression, and bipolar disorder34.6%

Health behavioursSelf-reported physical activityHeavy drinking59.4%
Health systemRegular healthcare providerInfluenza immunisation83.7%
Personal resourcesLife satisfactionSense of belonging to local community52.2%67.3%
Data sourced from: Statistics Canada

Crime rates are on the lower end in Alberta compared to other provinces in Canada. This contributes to the overall happiness of its citizens as they feel safe and secure living in their communities. 

Furthermore, Albertans tend to be more socially connected which adds to their sense of contentment with daily life here.

Top Destinations in Alberta
Banff National ParkHikingCanoeingCampingPicnic
Lake LouiseCanoeingPaddlingHiking
Waterton Lakes National Park (Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park)HikingCampingSight-seeing toursPicnic
Lake Louise Ski ResortSkiingRiding the gondola
West Edmonton MallGolfingWatching live shoesBowlingIndoor go-kart racing 

From scenic hikes near Calgary, skiing and snowboarding near Banff and Lake Louise, or exploring the beautiful national parks throughout Alberta, there is plenty for locals and visitors alike to take part in and enjoy!

What are the factors that contribute to a city’s happiness?

What are the factors that contribute to a city’s happiness

Ever wondered what makes a city the happiest in Canada? Well, there are a few factors that come into play – and most of them revolve around the lifestyle of the city. 

7 Factors That Contribute to a City’s Happiness

  1. Affordable housing prices.
  2. Easy access to education.
  3. Endless job opportunities.
  4. Plenty of green spaces and parks.
  5. Good public transportation system.
  6. Low crime rates.
  7. Disciplined communities.

The key to happiness in Canada is also the availability and affordability of housing. Cities with more affordable housing will have higher levels of satisfaction due to fewer worries over finances – it’s easy to see why this would be important! 

Additionally, cities with strong community bonds or activities to bring people together generally score higher – having access to different types of culture, arts and entertainment can make all the difference.

What are the benefits of living in a happy city?

What are the benefits of living in a happy city

For starters, research suggests that living in a happier environment can lead to improved physical and mental health. 

Some studies have even indicated that people who live in happier cities are more likely to be satisfied with their personal relationships and jobs. 

If you’re looking for a job, choosing one of the cities we mentioned could also give you an edge. 

After all, when it comes to looking for new opportunities it pays to choose the right city, and when that city is one of Canada’s top happiest cities you can be sure of finding happier work environments.

And if it’s a more laid back lifestyle that you’re after, then the city of your choice should also enjoy a lower crime rate – something which these cities in Canada certainly have going for them. 

So regardless of what type of life you’re looking to build for yourself, the happiest cities in Canada will certainly offer you some extra added benefits.

Our Final Thoughts

Our Final Thoughts

The happiest places in Canada have certain features that set them apart from other cities. This can include a higher quality of life, better access to amenities, and more affordable housing.

Each one has its own unique blend of qualities that makes it special. Vancouver, for example, boasts a stunningly beautiful location on the ocean and mountains, plus a vibrant cultural scene that attracts both locals and visitors from around the world. 

Each city also has its own special way of fostering a sense of community among its citizens. In Ottawa, there’s a strong focus on civic engagement and volunteerism, while Calgary has an open approach to public dialog that celebrates diversity.

The happiest provinces in Canada are more than just places to live—they have  communities where people can enjoy an inspiring quality of life and connect with their neighbours on a deeper level.

FAQs about Which City Is the Happiest in Canada

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