LEISURE & CULTURE
The Canadian Index of Wellbeing
Vital Signs® 2022 is grounded in the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) – a framework established by the University of Waterloo to measure the overall wellness of Canadians. Prior to development of the CIW, the health of Canada’s population was measured by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures monetary values of goods and services produced within a country’s borders. Researchers recognized that economic growth is only one aspect of wellbeing and began to develop a framework that would measure what real life was like for real people across the country.
The CIW is used in partnership with the GDP, at the national level, to create a deeper understanding of quality of life and wellbeing across demographics and can be used to fuel evidence-based and community-focused decision-making. One thing that sets the CIW apart from other methodologies is the process used to create the eight areas of wellbeing. Developing the categories started with listening to Canadians about what they feel are the most important contributors to quality of life, and establishing indicators based on these conversations. The CIW tracks changes in eight quality of life categories or ‘areas of wellbeing’: