Wellbeing survey checks in on local quality of life indicators

Completed surveys will enter a draw to win a variety of prizes valued at $25 to $500

Wellbeing Waterloo Region wants to gauge the quality of life of local residents through a mini survey based on the eight domains of life that the Canadian Index of Wellbeing has identified as critical to our overall wellbeing.

They include Community Vitality, Healthy Populations, Democratic Engagement, The Environment, Leisure and Culture, Education, Living Standards and Time Use.

Anyone over the age of 16 and living in the region can take the survey online. Completed surveys will enter a draw to win a variety of prizes valued at $25 to $500.

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing is based in the Faculty of Health at the University of Waterloo and will be collecting and summarizing the results.

Wellbeing WR will use the results to describe different groups in the region – by municipality, for example – to produce a final report as well as additional data snapshots.

Many community collaborators in Waterloo Region will be using this data to inform strategic planning processes and to make data-informed decisions about where energy and resources are needed most at this moment in time.

Community organizations and agencies will use the information to better understand and support the people they are reaching.

A full wellbeing survey completed in 2019 heard from over 5,000 residents.

Among the notable results from Cambridge respondents; 3.7 per cent said they felt “very unsafe” to a question about how safe they feel when walking alone after dark in their neighborhood. The response was higher than Waterloo, 3.2 per cent, and Kitchener, 2.1 per cent.

When walking in downtown, 18.5 per cent of Cambridge respondents said they felt very unsafe, while 13.5 per cent of Kitchener respondents answered the same way.

The well-being of others was slightly less of a concern in Cambridge than in other cities. Many said they felt discrimination in Cambridge and the city ranked highest for the number of respondents who said they experience of discrimination due to ethnicity, culture, race or skin colour.

Age and gender discrimination ranked highest in Waterloo.

Cambridge ranked lowest for overall sense of community and trust in others, while feelings of social isolation were higher than in all other parts of the region except Waterloo, according to the 2019 results.

Cambridge respondents also have less confidence in the healthcare system and the justice system than in other parts of the region.

Only North Dumfries township had a lower opinion of Waterloo Regional Police Service than Cambridge.

Demographic questions are intended to help shed light on wellbeing disparities across populations, and help organizations build programs and services that meet the needs of residents.

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing recommends to administer a full wellbeing survey every five to seven years, and a smaller version every two to three years.

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