PARIS – Canadians are the most tolerant people in the developed world, are terrific readers, enjoy more “positive experiences” than everyone but Icelanders, and don’t produce many babies, according to a new report released Tuesday. The conclusions were contained in the latest edition of Society at a Glance, a broad-brush analysis of social and economic indicators among the 34 member states of the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
“At 84 per cent on average, Canadians report the highest community tolerance of minority groups — ethnic minorities, migrants, and gays and lesbians — in the OECD, where the average is 61 per cent,” said a summary of Canada-specific findings.
The report also found:
• Canada has a fertility rate of 1.68 children per woman, below the OECD average of 1.74 “and easily the lowest of the anglophone OECD countries;”
New Zealand’s was 2.14, Ireland’s was at 2.07, the U.S. was 2.01, and the United Kingdom had a 1.94 per cent rate;
• Canada had the sixth-highest proportion of foreign-born people in its population, at roughly one in five;
• Canadian 15-year-olds rank third in reading skills, behind only Korea and Finland;
• Canadians rank second after Icelanders in having “positive experiences — feeling well-rested, being treated with respect, smiling, doing something interesting and experiencing enjoyment,” the report said; but
• “Canadians also have above-average negative experiences – pain, worry, sadness, stress and depression.”