Breaking the Stereotype: Why Urban Aboriginals Score Highly on 'Happiness' Measures
Dominique M. Gross
Simon Fraser University - School of Public Policy
affiliation not provided to SSRN
July 5, 2012
C.D. Howe Institute Commentary No. 354
On average, urban Aboriginals are as “happy” as other Canadians. The fact that the results are similar for Aboriginals and for all Canadians will be surprising to anyone whose image of urban Aboriginals is limited to those living in the poorest neighbourhoods of Canada’s cities. Although poverty and “unhappiness” exist among urban Aboriginals, those conditions are far from the whole story of urban Aboriginal life. The authors analyze the results of a disarmingly simple question: “Overall, are you happy with your life?”, one of many questions posed in a 2009 survey by the Environics Institute of a large sample of Aboriginals living in 11 Canadian cities. Many conclusions are similar to those of other surveys in Canada and elsewhere. The two most important ways governments can increase urban Aboriginals’ sense of well-being are to increase their successful participation in the labour market and the education system.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: Social Policy, Canada, urban Aboriginals, happiness
JEL Classification: I25, I30, R00Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 27, 2012
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