Insight: Canada in the Creative Age

This Insight shows how Canada stacks up on the 2015 edition of the Global Creativity Index, based on a new Martin Prosperity Institute study by Richard Florida, Charlotta Mellander, and Karen King. The study presents a broad-based measure for advanced economic growth and sustainable prosperity based on the 3Ts which power economic development — talent, technology, and tolerance. The Global Creativity Index rates and ranks 139 nations on each of these dimensions and on our overall measure of creativity and prosperity.


Creative Class

The creative class includes workers in science and technology and engineering; arts, culture, entertainment, and the media; business and management; and education, healthcare, and law.

Canada ranks ninth on the creative class index with 44 percent of the nation’s population working in creative class jobs.


Talent is a driving force in economic growth.

Canada ranks 14th on the Global Talent Index, a combined measure of the proportion of the labour force that is the creative class and of enrollment in post-secondary or tertiary education.


Technology is a fundamental driver in innovation and the growth of the knowledge economy. The Global Technology Index is based on two measures: the standard measure of R&D effort (the share of GDP devoted to R&D) and the standard measure of innovation (patents).

Canada ranks 13th on the Global Technology Index. It ranks 18th in R&D effort (devoting 1.8 percent of its GDP to R&D) and eighth on innovation (with more than 1000 patents granted per million people).


Tolerance is the third T. Tolerance acts on economic development by helping to establish the broad context for both technological innovation and talent attraction. Places that are open to different kinds of people gain an edge in both attracting talent from across the spectrum and mobilizing new ideas. Tolerance thus forms an additional source of economic advantage that works alongside technology and talent. Our Global Tolerance Index is based on two measures: openness to ethnic and religious minorities and openness to gay and lesbian people.

Canada ranks first on the Global Tolerance index. It ranks third on tolerance towards racial and ethnic minorities, with 91 percent of the population stating that their city or town is a good place for racial and ethnic minorities to live, and it ranks second on tolerance towards gay and lesbian people with 81 percent of the population believing that their city or town is a good place for gay or lesbian people to live.

The Global Creativity Index

The Global Creativity Index, or GCI, is our overall creative economic performance based on all 3Ts.

Canada ranks fourth on the GCI, behind Australia, the United States, and New Zealand.

Canada is the top performer globally on tolerance, but lags on technology and talent, ranking 13th and 14th respectively. It should focus on improving its position in these two areas.

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