Small-town residents experience greater overall happiness

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SMALL-TOWN RESIDENTS REAP THE BIGGEST BENEFITS WHEN IT COMES TO OVERALL HAPPINESS

The allure of big cities has long been touted as an aspiration for happiness and success. But it seems the key to true contentment may be easier to find in smaller communities. This is no surprise to those of us who live, work and play in High River! 

Researchers from McGill University and the Vancouver School of Economics recently set out to investigate the happiness levels of Canadians in 1,215 communities. They  analyzed 400,000 responses from the Canadian Community Health Survey and the General Social Survey to gauge overall life satisfaction, which they then matched with census data compiled from Statistics Canada. 

The study found that Canadians who live in smaller communities are happier than city dwellers—right across the country. The following three characterisitcs are at the root of the study’s findings, and they mirror what we know to be true in our own community: 

A TRUE SENSE OF BELONGING AND COMMUNITY IS EASIER TO CULTIVATE AND GROW IN AREAS WITH LESS POPULATION DENSITY. 

Living in a city certainly means being surrounded by more people, but urban residents report they don’t have the same connection to, or even a feeling of, “community.” In smaller centres, neighbours and business owners get to know one another on a personal level. There’s also an inherent sense of safety within smaller communities that the study’s respondents feel is missing from large cities. 

The study found that the least-happy fifth of Canadian communities had population densities that were eight times higher than the density of the happiest fifth. 

High River is a people-first community where families put down roots for generations. The people who live and work in High River are genuine, supportive, involved and generous—relationships matter here, and everyone looks out for each other. The many events, recreational activities and revitalized pedestrian-friendly downtown core offers neighbours of all ages and interests many opportunities to connect. 

Watch our Rooted in People video to see what families have to say about their experience in High River. 

AFFORDABLE COST OF LIVING LEAVES MORE RESOURCES TO TRULY LIVE.

People living in large cities often spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. For most Canadians, this means there’s not much left over to cover other expenses—let alone think about disposable income. Accessible housing allows families at all stages to benefit from exceptional quality of life and enjoy the amenities the community has to offer.

The average home price in High River is $314,600, while Calgary’s average home price is $471,030. 

High River is also highly affordable for the more than 1000 businesses that operate or are headquartered here, offering a true competitive advantage to entrepreneurs and industry leaders alike. 0% business taxes, minimal regulations, flexible land use policies, a high-quality local talent pool, affordable commercial real estate and an engaged economic development department are just a few examples of High River’s supportive business environment.

Work-Life Balance Is Easier To Achieve Without A Long And Tedious Commute To Work And Play. 

Work-life balance is desired by many, but it’s often difficult to achieve—especially when you factor in the number of hours spent at work as well as on the road.

The average one-way commute time in Calgary is 26 minutes, according to Statistics Canada—about 100 hours a year!

In contrast, High River’s 1,019 businesses, diverse amenities and multitude of recreation opportunities are all accessible within minutes. A shorter commute just leaves more time for life.

Additionally, High River’s proximity to nature and abundant green space—there’s 28 km of trails and 32 major parks to explore—also offers physical and mental health benefits that residents can miss out on in congested urban centres. 

What does happiness look like for you? If you’re looking for a town that where you can feel like part of a community, strike a balance and experience an unbeatable quality of life, High River may be the place for you. 

High River is a community where families and businesses thrive. Visit highriver.ca to see what the community has to offer, and watch the Rooted in People video series on the Town of High River YouTube page to discover everything the town has to offer.

Follow High River on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest community updates and events.

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