Canada ranks high in the OECD Better Life Index. Canadians make more, work less, are happier with their lives and better educated than most residents of the 34 countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a new index suggests.

The OECD launched the “better life index” Tuesday, which allows comparisons between the member countries that go beyond the traditional economic measures, such as gross domestic product.

“Canada performs exceptionally well in measures of well-being,” the agency said, citing statistics such as:

– Nearly four out of five Canadians are satisfied with their lives, compared with three out of five for the OECD as a whole.
– Average Canadian household income of $27,015 US in 2008, more than $4,700 above the OECD average.
– Nearly 72 per cent of Canadians 15 to 64 have a paid job, above the OECD average of 65 per cent.
– Canadians work 40 hours a year (a work week) less than the OECD average.
– About 87 per cent of Canadians have the equivalent of a high-school diploma, much higher than the OECD average of 73 per cent.
– Life expectancy in Canada is 80.7 years, a year above the OECD average.
– The level of atmospheric PM10, tiny particles that are small enough to damage the lungs, is 15 micrograms per cubic metre, lower than the OECD average of 22.

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