• A study done by Knight Frank has resulted in the City Wellbeing Index 2020.
  • Montreal has ranked #9 in the world for overall wellbeing and is #1 in North America.
  • Montreal also tied with Toronto for the happiest city in North America and #6 happiest city in the world.

Do you live in Montreal? Do you consider yourself happy? Well, if you do, you are clearly not alone, as Montreal has just been ranked the #1 happiest city in North America and the #6 happiest city in the world. The City Wellbeing Index, put together by Knight Frank, one of the world's largest global property consultancies, details how happy the world's leading cities may be. The survey analyzed 40 global cities and used eight measures to "identify those urban centres that are enabling citizens to achieve a higher level of wellbeing."

Knight Frank acknowledges that "all such attempts are subjective, especially when it comes to the choice of measures used." With that said, these eight measures were chosen based on the larger Wealth Report 2020 that Knight Frank recently published, which showed that high-net-wealth individuals were now "dedicating more of their time and money to their own wellbeing."

The eight measures used to dictate the "overall wellbeing rank" for each city are as follows: green space, annual hours of sunshine, crime, traffic congestion, happiness, quality of healthcare, work-life balance, and governance. 

Take a look below at how Montreal fared in each of these categories to put us within the top 10 in the world for wellbeing, as well as the happiest in North America.

In the graphic below, you can see that Montreal is the only city in North America to make the top 10 in the overall wellbeing index, coming in at #9 worldwide.

Toronto manages to make it into the top 20, making it the #2 city in North America for overall wellbeing.

In terms of happiness, Montreal again takes the top spot in North America, alongside Toronto, with a score off 9.2 out of a possible 10.

The next two cities in North America to make the happiness ranking are New York and Miami, both with an 8.3 out of 10.

Knight Frank notes, "as with many policies, from the environment to happiness, it may be that urban centres are best placed to lead the way.

"Cities enable collaboration and encourage the exchange of ideas – often the starting point for innovation and change. The concentration of people in one space also makes it easier to measure indicators of wellbeing."


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Other measures that fed into the overall wellbeing rank were the percentage of green space and congestion-free traffic.

While Montreal did okay for both of these categories, the actual numbers might still surprise you. 

Montreal only has 15% green space, according to this data, which is only 2% more than Toronto. 

The top country for green space, Oslo, has a whopping 60%, which is even miles ahead of the runner up, Singapore, with 47% green space.

And finally, here's a measure where I'm sure many Montrealers feel we must be bottom of the pack: congestion-free traffic.

Montreal actually ranked 8th alongside Vienna with 73%.  

Here you can see the overall wellbeing rank, where Montreal tops the list for North American cities and comes in at #9 overall. 

If you want to take a look at all eight measures and how Montreal stacks up against 39 other cities in the world, head to Frank Knight's City Wellbeing Index 2020 here.

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