Statistics Canada says that Vancouver is Canada’s unhappiest city

Residents of Saguenay rate their life satisfaction the highest, while Vancouverites are the unhappiest

View of downtown Chicoutimi, one of the boroughs of Saguenay, Que.

View of downtown Chicoutimi, one of three boroughs of Saguenay, Que., the city showing Canada’s highest levels of life satisfaction. (Chicoutimi)

Sanguenay, about 200 kilometers north of Quebec City, is apparently Canada’s happiest metropolitan city, according to Statistics Canada’s life satisfaction study. The mayor of Saguenay says it’s the city’s affordability, fresh air and low crime rate that make the citizens content. Trois-Rivieres, another city in Quebec, and St. John’s, Newfoundland, came in second and third, while Toronto and Vancouver ranked second-last and last, respectively. Here’s the full list:

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Almost 340,000 individuals participated in the Canadian Community Health Survey and General Social Survey from 2009 to 2013, which permitted Statistics Canada to perform community-level measures of life satisfaction for 33 census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and 58 economic regions across the country. Responses were measured on a scale from 0 to 10. The average life satisfaction score varies by 0.44 points across CMAs with Toronto being about 7.82, and Sanguenay being around 8.25. Canada, as a whole, scored a little shy of 8.0.

Canada ranked third in life satisfaction in 2014, with a score of 7.6, out of the 36 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), behind Norway and Switzerland. The average life satisfaction in the OECD was 6.6. Factors considered included housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, reported life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance.

Researchers of the Canadian study says factors such as work, urban size, population density, economic opportunity or deprivation, and access to and quality of infrastructure, amenities and services may explain the community-level differences in life satisfaction.