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Canadian index of wellbeing

This website is available in French. The majority of the supporting resources, however, are available in English only.

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) is an ongoing research project housed at the University of Waterloo that examines changes to the quality of life of Canadians. The CIW is used to develop provincial-, regional- and community-level well-being reports, sustainability plans and strategies for improving health and wellbeing. In addition, the resource encourages a policy focus on factors beyond economic productivity as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) to indicate how well Canadians are doing in their everyday lives.

Conceptual framework

The CIW has developed a conceptual framework (English only) that offers eight domains of wellbeing that can inform policy development and intersectoral action:

  1. Democratic engagement
  2. Community vitality
  3. Environment
  4. Leisure and culture
  5. Time use
  6. Education
  7. Living standards
  8. Healthy populations.

These eight domains incorporate a set of 64 indicators of social, health, economic and environmental health that contribute to overall quality of life.

Other resources

A section of the website for the research community and examples of how the CIW has been used provide opportunities to link with other professionals doing this work.

A series of reports describe profiles of well-being nationally, provincially and regionally, and a collection of resources is available to support the understanding and use of the CIW.

As a whole, the CIW informs community and public health strategies to address social, mental, physical and economic factors that contribute to overall population health.

Use this resource to:

  • facilitate discussion about the concept of well-being, quality of life and what factors contribute to overall health;
  • develop indicators to integrate well-being into your community health assessment process and plans; and
  • inform intersectoral strategies to address health inequities, using the eight domains of well-being as a framework.


Canadian Index of Wellbeing. (no date). Canadian index of wellbeing. Waterloo, ON: University of Waterloo.

Related resources

Tags: Assess and report, Healthy public policy, Reporting and measurement, Website

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