Well-being Lagging Behind GDP Growth, Report Says

A University of Waterloo professor says Ontario needs to start trying to improve more than just the economy.

President of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, Bryan Smale, released a report on Tuesday that says GDP has grown four times more than our overall well-being in Ontario. Smale looked at data from Statistics Canada on Ontario residents’ feelings on eight indicators of well-being from 1994 to 2010. The indicators were education, living standard, community vitality, democratic engagement, healthy populations, time use, leisure and culture, and environment.

How Are Ontarians Really Doing?” says Ontario has seen gains in education, safer and more caring communities and a strengthening of a healthy community. Smale’s work also shows Ontarians are becoming ambivalent about democracy, don’t have enough time or money to spend on leisure, recreation and culture and have seen little improvements in the economy.

The provincial government’s Ontario Trillium Foundation commissioned the study after reading an earlier report from the CIW on the overall well-being of Canadians.┬áSmale says the hope is the Ontario government will use the report to decide where to focus its efforts to help improve the well-being of Ontarians.

In order to increase Ontarians’ well-being, Smale says residents need to look at what is bringing down the quality of life in Ontario and fight for a solution.