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article imageCoca-Cola Happiness Monitor finds Canadians a happy bunch

By KJ Mullins     Apr 20, 2011 in World
Canadians are social butterflies preferring hanging out with their friends up close and personal more than being online with others who believe that they are happier than the average person according to findings from the Coca-Cola Happiness Monitor.
"For 125 years Coca-Cola has championed the values of optimism, positivity and happiness," said Nicola Kettlitz, President, Coca-Cola Ltd in a press release. "The Coca-Cola Happiness Monitor will help us inspire and encourage more of those happy moments that allow us to pause, refresh and experience life's simple pleasures."
The Coca-Cola Happiness Monitor canvassed 5,000 Canadians earlier this year about happiness including social networks, active living, work and the influence of Canadian icons and landscapes in their lives. For 71 percent family or a significant other topped the list as a contributing factor in their personal happiness.
When asked to rank their life on a scale from "best possible life" and the "worst possible life" Canadians scored a 6.7 out of 10. When asked to look ahead 5 years to the future their scores climbed to 7.5 out of 10.
Baby boomers over 65, first-generation Canadians and those making over $35,000 consider themselves to be happier than the average guy.
It's the simple life that makes most Canadians the happiest. The top 'happy places' were a camp fire at the cottage, hanging out at home and reading a book.
The largest number of Canadians (46 percent) enjoy being with two or three close friends. Being social with friends face to face is the number one way for Canucks to cheer up (28 percent) while 5 percent click online to be with their friends. Almost half of Canadians have online social networks that consist of less than 100 friends.
Those who do not have an online social network seem to have less stress when it comes to surfing the web. (24 percent versus 17 percent) Canadians who say that they are happier than the average person tend to have more friends in their real-life social network.
Ladies tend to like having one on one personal time with a close friend.
Eating dinner together as a family is a big factor in happiness for almost all Canadians.
Adding on a baby to the family is considered the happiest family milestone for over a third of Canadians. That milestone is happiest for third generation Canadians compared to first and second generation families.
Six out of ten Canadians volunteer or give time or money to charities. One half of those say they feel happy to support the causes that they believe in. Food and nutrition for disadvantaged children, helping animals, protecting the environment and contributing to medical research top the favorite Canadian causes.
One of the questions asked was if the government should use a GNH index when measuring the nation's standard of living with respondents voting two to one in favor of the concept. GNH stands for the concept of monitoring social well-being and happiness as a supplement to economic indicators. The concept is popular in the United Kingdom and France.
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