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article imageStudy: Toronto residents are the least happy in all of Canada

By Andrew Moran     Nov 25, 2010 in Science
Toronto - A new study by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS) has concluded that Toronto residents have been ranked the least happy in all of Canada. What could the lack of joy be attributed to?
If you’re a resident in the Greater Toronto Area, you know the daily scenario all too well.
You wake up in the morning to get to a job that you most likely don’t want to work at. You get onto a bus that is packed and filled with individuals who hit you with their bag, cough in your face and push you without providing an apology.
At the end of the day, you repeat the same steps but this time you look at your grocery bill and realize that the item you purchased last week increased in price by 30 cents.
According to a new study by the CSLS, Toronto residents were placed the least happy in Canada. The report was released on Tuesday and is based on data from more than 70,000 Canadians from Statistics Canada’s Canadian Community Health Survey.
The study concluded that there were a variety of reasons for a Toronto resident’s happiness and unhappiness: “It appears that happiness in Canada is primarily determined by the individual characteristics of the people in the population, not the average characteristics of the geographic unit in which the people live,” stated the report.
Happiness
One’s perception of their mental health is a determining factor of happiness. The findings showed that if a person ranks their mental health higher then it is equivalent to a 309 percent increase in the household’s annual income: “Thus, perceived mental health has a very significant effect on individual happiness.”
A person’s physical health is another important aspect. As the person’s health status increases then their satisfaction with life goes up by less than 9 percentage points, which is also equivalent to a 157 percent increase in the household’s annual income on happiness.
Having the feeling of belonging to the community can also contribute to happiness. If a person is relatively pleased with their community then it boosts their life satisfaction by 6.5 percentage points and equals a 116 percent increase in an individual’s annual income on happiness.
Marital status can be an important determinant in providing happiness. The study showed that people who were married tended to be happier than those who were single or have never been married.
Unhappiness
Maintaining high levels of stress can erode one’s happiness. The higher the stress levels the more it equals to a 116 percent decrease in household income.
Being unemployed, of course, is one of the largest contributors to an individual’s unhappiness. Unemployment can make a person feel worthless, depressed and lead to many other negative impacts in a person’s life. Transitioning from being unemployed to employed is equal to a 151 percent increase in income.
Immigrants freshly entering the nation can also make one unhappy. The report showed that new immigrants are less happy then non-immigrants.
More about Centre for study living, Toronto, Study
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