According to Canadian seniors, the years after 65 really are golden
By Katrina Caruso
Canadian seniors say they are more satisfied with their lives than any other age group, according to a Statistics Canada study released this past summer.
Based on the results of the 2016 “General Social Survey on Canadians at Work and Home,” the study measured overall satisfaction, as well as satisfaction in nine different areas: feeling part of the community, feelings of safety, health, life achievements, personal appearance, personal relationships, standard of living, time to do things that you like to do, and quality of the local environment. Other questions elicited information about family, perceived social class, marital status, religion, and stress levels.
Respondents were asked to rate their responses on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being “very dissatisfied” and 10 being “very satisfied.” Those 65-plus had an average rating of 8.2. Both seniors and the youngest respondents—those aged 15 to 19—reported higher levels of life satisfaction than men and women aged 20 to 59. Older women scored higher than their male counterparts, with women 70 to 79 scoring the highest of all groups.
The least satisfied groups were men 40 to 49 and women ages 50 to 59.
Seniors scored highest in the areas related to their personal safety (with an average score of 8.4 out of 10), relationships (8.3), and the quality of their local environments (8.3), but were less satisfied with regard to their health (though they still, on average, scored 7.2).
Having positive relationships and higher levels of connection to a one’s community were associated with greater levels of satisfaction.
Unlike as with the younger groups, family income was not a significant factor in seniors’ overall satisfaction levels. However, seniors who perceived that their social class was “lower class” reported a lower level of satisfaction than did those who perceived themselves to be in the middle or upper classes.
In 2016, people aged 65 or older made up 17% of the Canadian population—a number that is expected to rise to 24% by 2036.