Core Values and Domains Identified by Canadians

Since its inception and throughout its development, the CIW has been designed to ensure everyday Canadians hear their own voices and see themselves reflected in it.


The CIW is the result of the combined efforts of national leaders and organizations, community groups, research experts, indicator users, and importantly, the Canadian public. Through three rounds of public consultations, everyday Canadians across the country candidly expressed what really matters to their wellbeing. The process culminated in the identification of core Canadian values – including equity, diversity, sustainability, economic security – and eight domains of life that contribute to and affect the wellbeing of Canadians: Community Vitality, Democratic Engagement, Education, Environment, Healthy Populations, Leisure and Culture, Living Standards, and Time Use (see Figure A2). This framework shifts the focus solely from the economy to other factors that affect the quality of life of Canadians.

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing Framework

Together, these eight domains provide a more complete picture of wellbeing, incorporating a comprehensive set of the key social, health, economic, and environmental factors contributing to overall quality of life. Teams of nationally and internationally renowned experts then identified eight valid, reliable, and relevant indicators within each domain that are directly related to wellbeing. By integrating the 64 indicators and eight domains and revealing their complex interconnections, the CIW composite index provides a comprehensive portrait of quality of life in Canada.

The CIW composite index tracks all indicators and domains of wellbeing to measure our progress over time, highlighting how we are doing – where we are doing well and where we could be doing better. 

adapted from the Canadian Index of Wellbeing