Key to happiness is in rural communities: study
Researchers find striking association between population density and happiness
Heaven is wide open spaces — at least, it is for most people, according to a massive new data set of happiness in Canada.
A team of happiness researchers at the Vancouver School of Economics and McGill University recently published a working paper on the geography of well-being in Canada. They compiled 400,000 responses to a pair of national Canadian surveys, allowing them to parse out distinctions in well-being at the level of more than 1,200 communities representing the country’s entire geography.
They were able to cross-reference the well-being responses with other survey data, as well as figures from the Canadian census, to see what sorts of characteristics were associated with happiness at the community level.
Their chief finding is a striking association between population density and happiness. When the researchers ranked all 1,215 communities by average happiness, they found that average population density in the 20 per cent most-miserable communities was more than eight times greater than in the happiest 20 per cent of communities.
“Life is significantly less happy in urban areas,” the paper concluded. So what makes the happiest communities different from all the rest? Details at thestar.com
A large crowd of commuters jam the path from the rail decks at Union Station during morning rush hour in Toronto. A team of happiness researchers found a striking association between population density and happiness.