Health Status of Canadians 2016: Report of the Chief Public Health Officer - How healthy are we? - Community belonging

How healthy are we?

Community belonging

In 2014, just over 19 million or two thirds of Canadians said they had a somewhat or very strong sense of community belonging (see Figure 1)Footnote 1.

Figure 1: 2 in 3 Canadians said they had a somewhat or very strong sense of community belonging.Footnote 1

A sense of community belonging can positively influence a person's long-term physical and mental health.Footnote 2-4

Over time

The proportion of Canadians who consider their sense of community belonging to be somewhat or very strong has remained constant over time. Footnote 1

  • 64% in 2003.
  • 66% in 2014.

By income

In 2014, Canadians living in the lowest income households were less likely to report a somewhat or very strong sense of community belonging than those living in the highest income households (see Figure 2)Footnote 5.

Figure 2: Sense of community belonging by household income, 2014Footnote 5
Figure 2

Deciles (D) are calculated by dividing the Canadian population into ten groups of equal size (deciles) based on household income.

Text Equivalent

Bar chart showing percent of the population who report a somewhat or very strong sense of community belonging by household income in 2014. These data are divided into income deciles. Deciles are calculated by dividing the Canadian population into ten groups of equal size (deciles) based on neighbourhood income.

  • Decile 1 (lowest) = 39.7%
  • Decile 2 = 45.3%
  • Decile 3 = 51.3%
  • Decile 4 = 53.8%
  • Decile 5 = 59%
  • Decile 6 =62%
  • Decile 7 =64.9%
  • Decile 8 =67.4%
  • Decile 9 =69.2%
  • Decile 10 (highest) = 73.7%

By sex

In 2014, 66% of men and 67% of women said they had a somewhat or very strong sense of community belonging.Footnote 1

By age

Community belonging differs by age. In 2014, younger and older age groups were more likely to say they had a somewhat or very strong sense of community belonging than other age groups. The proportion of Canadians who report a somewhat or very strong sense of community belonging is lowest among those aged 20 to 34 years.Footnote 1

Percent of Canadians reporting a somewhat or very strong sense of community belonging, 2014.Footnote 1
Age groups %
12 to 19 years 77%
20 to 34 years 57%
35 to 44 years 65%
45 to 64 years 67%
65 years and older 74%

Indigenous populations

Data on community belonging in Indigenous populations are not directly comparable to the data described above. Community belonging data are not available for First Nations on-reserve. Data on some Indigenous populations show that Inuit are most likely to say they have a strong sense of community belonging.Footnote 6

Percent of Canadians reporting a strong sense of community belonging, 2007-2010Footnote 6

Data presented in this table are adjusted by age. Indigenous populations tend to be younger than non-Indigenous populations which can affect the ability to compare data across groups.

First Nations off reserve 63%
Métis 63%
Inuit 81%
Non-Indigenous 65%

International comparison

Data on community belonging are not collected internationally.

Notes to the reader

  • A sense of belonging is based on a person's attachment to and social comfort with their community, friends, family, workplace, or personal interests.Footnote 1,Footnote 2
  • Indigenous populations consist of First Nations, Métis and Inuit.
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