Social Well-Being Indicators
Our social well-being indicators are based on social determinants of health. These indicators are the economic and social conditions that shape the health of individuals and communities. Social determinants of health also determine the extent to which a person possesses the physical, social, and personal resources to identify and achieve personal aspirations, satisfy needs, and cope with the environment. Social determinants of health are about the quantity and quality of a variety of resources that a society makes available to its members. Important considerations include both the quality and their distribution amongst the population. 1
We have organized our social well-being indicators into seven main categories: A – Demographics, B – Income (B – Income, has been separated into four subcategories to handle the complexity and volume of data in this indicator) BA – Income and Income Gaps, BB – Poverty, BC – Cost of Living, BD – Government Transfers, C – Employment and Labour, D – Education and Literacy, E – Built Environment, F – Social Inclusion, G – Health and Health Services.
Demographics are, simply put, the characteristics of a population. Demographics can include the age range within a community, racial and cultural composition, and household types. Knowing the basic attributes of a community is essential to make decisions about programs, services, and policies needed to support community members.
Some groups in Canada face unequal access to factors associated with the social determinants of health, such as health care, education, and housing. If the demographics of vulnerable groups within a community are known, decision-makers can allocate resources and provide targeted services and programs specific to that community that could ultimately improve well-being.