UN Sustainable Development Goal 3

Good Health and Well-Being

On average, Canadians are living longer and healthier lives than ever – a long-term success resulting from a variety of public health measures and medical breakthroughs over the years. These trends have not only improved and extended the lives of individuals, but have also had a positive impact on family and community well-being.

However, these average improvements in public health mask significant inequalities in health and well-being experienced by marginalized communities. In particular, First Nations people, Inuit and Métis continue to experience lower life expectancy and much higher rates of morbidity and mortality (including infant and maternal mortality), infectious diseases, suicide, homicide and violence, and accidents than non-Indigenous Canadians.

SDG 3 aims to ensure healthy lives and promote the well-being among all people, which is essential to sustainable development in Canada and around the world.

Key facts and statistics:

  • In 2018, six in 10 Canadians rated their health as very good or excellent (61%), while 11% rated theirs as fair or poor.
    • Significantly lower rates of very good or excellent health were reported by First Nations people (49%), Inuit (45%) and Métis (51%) (2014 data).
  • In 2018, seven in 10 Canadians rated their mental health as very good or excellent (69%), while 8% rated theirs as fair or poor.
    • Girls aged 12 to 17 were less likely to report very good or excellent mental health than boys (70% vs. 79%) and were approximately twice as likely as boys to report having a mood disorder (6% vs. 3%).
  • In 2018, 68% of Canadians said they have a somewhat or very strong sense of belonging to their local community.
    • The proportion reporting a somewhat or very strong sense of belonging was similar among First Nations People (65%) and Métis (64%), but was significantly higher among Inuit (81%) (2014 data).

Source: Statistics Canada

Vanier Institute resources related to SDG 3:

Page last updated October 1, 2019